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

Niceforo’s Wren Bird Reserve

19 January, 2010


(Pheugopedius nicefori)


The Niceforo’s Wren Bird Reserve was founded in 2009 with the support of World Land Trust, American Bird Conservancy  and the Corporación Autónoma Regional de Santander, based on the urgency of conserving one of the most threatened ecosystems in Colombia and the world, tropical dry forest, habitat of many animal and plant species unique to this particular ecosystem. It has two species of endemic and threatened birds Chicamocha Canyon, Niceforo’s wren (Thryothorus nicefori) and Chestnut-Bellied Hummingbird (Amazilia castaneiventris), two species and three subspecies of endemic birds and a threatened species of cactus.

Location and Area: 

The reserve is located in the Town of Zapatoca, 60 km from Bucaramanga, Santander department, via Chocoa-Girón. It covers an area of 3,079 acres, at an altitudinal range between 310 and 1,410 m above sea level.   This reserve has a well preserved forest fragments despite the overgrazing of goats.(See map).

Biological importance: 

One of the most important characteristics of both fauna and flora of the reserve is the presence of two endemic and critically endangered species like Thryothorus Amazilia nicefori and Amazilia castaneiventris. There are also endemic species like: Ortalis colombiana, Myarchus apicalis and some endemic subspecies like: Momotus momota olivaresii, Arremon schlegeli canidorsum, Campilorhynchus and bicolor. Plant species like Zamia encephalartoidesand and Cavanillesia chicamocha are also threatened.


Rainfall is bimodal, with periods of rain from April to June and from September to October and dry periods from July to August and from November to March. The humidity is between 65% & 70% and temperature between 20 º C and 26 º.

Biophysical characteristics: 

The reserve is located in Sogamoso river basin near the confluence of Smith and Chicamocha rivers that form it. The soils are dry, rocky, low fertility and highly eroded. These semiarid characteristics are the result of different geological, climatic and anthropogenic factors.

Chicamocha Project: 

The Chicamocha Project is an initiative that came about in 2004 by a group of students from the Universidad de Los Andes and the District University, to prevent the extinction of two bird species critically endangered and endemic to the Chicamocha Canyon: Thryothorus nicefori and Amazilia castaneiventris. 

Thanks to the findings that these researchers obtained from their studies in the canyon of Chicamocha and because of the recommendation they made to purchase the land that now constitutes the protected area, it was possible to create the natural reserve of Cucarachero de Nicéforo which contains a good representation of tropical dry interandean valles in the eastern range. 


Observation of the scenic beauty, the Chicamocha canyon can be seen, Sogamoso river can be visited the during the rainy season and the river can be bathed in. Hiking and bird watching can also be done.

General Recommendations:

  • Respect the natural values of the reserve, the plants and animals. 
  •  No collection of biological material. 
  • Follow the instructions of the reserve staff and travel on established trails. 
  • Camping is not allowed within the reservation. 
  • Sun blocker must be taken, canteen, boots and insect repellent. 
  • Disinfect footwear with Clorox or bleach to prevent the spread of the chytrid fungus (one of the leading causes of death of amphibians in the world).

Income and visits: 

Email:  and

With the support of:

abc worldlandtrust cas



Related news




A solar panel for the Cucarachero Chicamocha RNA, An economic and non-polluting source of energy
Thursday 4 February 2010.

A solar panel has already been installed that will supply the electricity needs of the Natural Bird Reserve Chicamocha Wren with a clean energy alternative.




A Brighter future for the endangered Niceforo’s Wren
Tuesday 2 June 2009.

ProAves has established the first protected area for the Critically Endangered Niceforo’s Wren and many other threatened flora and fauna restricted to the dry forests of the Chicamocha Valley. The new 1,300 ha Cucarachero del Chicamocha Nature Reserve protects one of the last intact remnants of dry forest for the region.