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Colombia Crowned Top Birdwatching Destination: Wins First Place Again in the Global Big Day 2024

Tourists in Colombia

Miami, FL. May 16th, 2024. Colombia once again demonstrated outstanding performance in the Global Big Day 2024, establishing itself as the leading destination for birdwatching in the globe. With a total of 1,558 species recorded and 12,007 checklists submitted, the Country of Beauty outperformed countries such as Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, and India, positioning itself at the top of the global count.


Since the inception of Global Big Day in 2015, Colombia has ranked first in the standings since 2017, except for the year 2021. The numbers speak for themselves: in 2017, 1,487 species were recorded; this increased to 1,565 in 2018 and reached 1,617 in 2019. Although there was a slight decline in 2020, with 1,453 species, Colombia rebounded in 2022 with 1,561 and in 2023 with 1,547 species recorded.


This birdwatching event is organized globally by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which invites people from around the world to observe and record birds for a day. Its goal is to gather important data on the distribution and abundance of birds on its eBird platform, which is crucial for conservation and scientific research.


Germán Umaña Mendoza, Minister of Trade, Industry, and Tourism of Colombia, emphasized that "developing nature tourism with a conservation focus is a priority for the Government of Change. Therefore, we have designed four birdwatching routes in various regions of Colombia. The fifth is in development through Fontur, and this week we announced the sixth, which corresponds to the Amazon tourism corridor."


The event, held on May 11th, was a great opportunity to highlight the vast diversity of bird species that inhabit Colombia, promoting the country as a unique bird watching destination.


"The outstanding performance of Colombia in the Global Big Day 2024 reflects our commitment to conserving natural wealth and consolidates our position as a world leader in birdwatching. We invite nature lovers to discover the magic of our landscapes and the extraordinary biodiversity of Colombia, The Country of Beauty," said Carmen Caballero, President of ProColombia, the promotion agency of the country.


Among the new species found in the country are the Long-tailed Potoo, Rufous Potoo, Scissor-tailed Nightjar, Wattled Curassow, and Ocellated Poorwill, adding even more richness to Colombia's ornithological record.


The Colombian departments that stood out in the count were Antioquia, Meta, Valle del Cauca, Putumayo, and Cundinamarca, demonstrating the importance of biodiversity and conservation in these regions.


For the organization of this great 2024 event, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Tourism supported local organizations such as Acoaves del Cauca, the Ornithological Society of Córdoba, the Pajareritos Foundation of Putumayo; the Group of Birdwatching Operators and Specialists of the Amazon Birdwatching Group, and the Ethnocultural Educational Institutions El Mamey in Magdalena and Luis Carlos Galán Sarmiento in Meta. Together, they contributed around 491 species registered on the eBird platform.


They received field workshops with specialized guides, interpretive activities for scientific recognition, binoculars, birdwatching guides, and other logistical elements. The educational material and equipment were left at each destination to contribute to capacity-building processes and encourage more young people to participate in birdwatching and conservation.


ProColombia, the promotion agency of the country, for its part, joined the USAID Destination Nature program to boost the bird count under the slogan "Gossip flies because birds have much to tell us”, a strategy that encouraged participation from both experts and enthusiasts during the event.


"It is excellent news to have once again ranked first in the number of bird species spotted during Global Big Day. This not only shows that more people are joining these citizen science days supported by the Program but also shows that Colombians are becoming aware of the importance of conserving our biodiversity and natural environments," said Julián Guerrero, Director of the USAID Destination Nature Program.


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