Diego Calderón

Birding with FARC in Colombia

Diego Calderón-Franco is a biologist from the Universidad de Antioquia in Medellín and has been birding in Colombia for over 20 years. During his academic life he studied the courtship systems in manakins, the natural history of migratory birds in the Neotropics, as well as the relationships between Galliformes and Anseriformes. Today, his biology is much simpler and more romantic: it’s focused on natural history and on understanding Colombia’s geography through birds. It is also rooted in the deeper understanding of their behaviors, distribution ranges and nesting amongst many other aspects.Back in 2007, Diego founded COLOMBIA Birding, the oldest Colombian birdwatching company, offering trips to all corners of the country. In addition, he also guides in several other Latin American countries. In the field, Diego loves to make videos using a technique called digiscoping, not only capturing birds but also orchids in situ, landscapes and nature in general which he shares at @diegoCOLbirding. Diego has explored remote areas in Colombia such as the Serranía de Pirre in the Darién, the Baudó Mountains in the Chocó, the Putumayo lowlands, the Perijá mountains and the Guianan shield white sand forests around Mitú finding new bird records for the country. He has also been privileged taking part in the description of a couple of birds new to science.

Diego is featured in THE BIRDERS, a beautiful documentary showcasing birds, culture and music of Colombia and in NatGeo’s BIRDWATCHING WITH FARC, a documentary about how birds connect people. More recently, Diego co-hosts The Birders Show YouTube series. He has been sharing his life experiences with his talk “Birding with FARC – How Birds Connect People” speaking about reconciliation and the building a new Colombia.

How birding Colombia has changed