Bird watching is an enthusiastic activity that could include different participants from academic to non academic background. Given the status of Colombia as a megadiverse country in the tropics, with more bird species than any other country all around the world, encouraging many audiences to explore their nature is a must. Although several efforts to synthesize the inventory of birds in Colombia have demonstrated the importance of the country to maintain such biodiversity, many regions remain understudied and poorly known. I was part of some efforts beginning eight years ago to encourage local leaders to monitor their birds in the Andean and Amazon region of Colombia. After short field and class lectures, some local leaders are still exploring sites that many academic researchers could not visit; they became our eyes and ears in the fields of Colombia. We would present the most remarkable contributions that local birding leaders had given to the Colombian ornithology, namely the inventory of birds in the country, by some examples from two poorly known regions of Colombia: the southern Andes and the Amazon regions. This community-based monitoring by local leaders demonstrates the importance of extending “impact factor” to regional actors, empowering and working together with them, by exploring and reporting their discoveries. Nonetheless, some barriers remain for these local researchers, such as language and paywalls for academic journals.
Amazonas, bird diversity, Caquetá, conservation, local leaders, Putumayo, sustainability