Fundación ProAves – por la conservación en el país de las aves

Important sighting of the Cape May Warbler (Setophaga tigrina) in the Pro Aves Loro Coroniazul Reserve in Genova, Quindío

22 November, 2023


One of the most surprising phenomena of birdlife is migration; many of these birds have to travel thousands of kilometers without stopping to safeguard themselves during the winter in search of food, shelter, and rest. Colombia is lucky to receive a large number of these extreme travelers.

Last November 10, one of our Rangers made an important first-time sighting in the department of Quindío. It’s about the Cape May Warbler (Setophaga tigrina), a migratory species that nests in Canada and the far northeast of the United States and migrates during the winter to Central America and areas of the Caribbean.

BirdLife International and Handbook of the Birds of the World 2021. Setophaga tigrina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2022-2

According to eBird (2023), this species has only two records in the Colombian Caribbean (ProAves El Dorado Reserve, Ciénaga – Magdalena). However, there were no verified records within the country. Since 2019, constant records of this species have been made (Guarne – Antioquia, Manizales – Caldas, Tribunas – Risaralda).

The sighting made by Sergio Cruz, Ranger of the Pro Aves Loro Coroniazul Reserve, located in Genoa, Quindío, becomes the most distant record of the extent of this species, which measures about 13 centimeters and arrives at diverse types of forests and mangroves.

About 04:00 p.m. during my bird monitoring route in the Blue-Crowned Parrot Reserve, I saw the activity of a bird that was flying over the branches of a tree. I started to focus on it and noticed that I could not identify the bird because it was a very different species from the ones I usually see in the Reserve. So, I decided to take a picture of it to investigate and determine its species. Later, I was able to confirm that it was a female Setophaga tigrina.”.

Sergio Cruz, Ranger of the Pro Aves Loro Coroniazul Reserve.

Providing safe spaces for migratory birds in our reserves is a great satisfaction. Currently, ProAves has a reserve dedicated to conserving these extreme travelers called Reinita Cielo Azul, which is located in the Santander department. This conservation process is possible thanks to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and other key stakeholders joining our conservation efforts.