Birding around Caracas

There seem to be a migration route for boreal migrants especially raptors, swallows and swifts passing by Sabaneta, Mun. El Hatillo, Miranda state just half an hour out of the city of Caracas. I have been observing migration movements in Sept-Oct-Nov for quite some years and comparing with other sites around Caracas I have noticed a significant difference. Sabaneta lies along a ridge connected to more mountainous regions to the west and could be the easternmost outpost of the central coastal mountain-range for birds migrating along the coastal mountains. Migrants taking an easterly route after coming down through central america, passing Colombia and then hitting the Venezuelan Andes, might be the origin of these migrants but why are there so few turkey vultures if that is the case and so many swallows compared to other sites along the coastal mountain-range ? And where do these Broad-winged Hawks, Swainson´s Hawks, Barn Swallows, Bank Swallows, Cliff Swallows, Purple Martins, Ashy-tailed Swifts etc. end up after leaving leaving Sabaneta ? Guatopo N.P.? If so, and after Guatopo ?

John Kvarnbäck

Born in Uppsala and raised in Stockholm, Sweden. After finishing high school (including one year on high school in Massachusetts, USA) he did the compulsory military service in the swedish special forces in Arvidsjaur in northern Sweden. Later he went on an environmental education programme on Lidingö in Stockholm, where he later worked for the municipality with environmental issues for a year. After travelling the world he went back to Sweden and started studying to become a nature-guide and an expert on tropical ecology. He studied geology and biology at Lund University,Sweden, graduated in 2004 after spending almost 3 years in Venezuela doing his MSc thesis, raising a family and taking spanish, biology and philosophy courses at the Simón Bolívar University in Caracas. The thesis topic was the breeding biology and nest-site selection of the Yellow-knobbed Curassow(Crax daubentoni). After graduation in Sweden he went back to Venezuela where he started working with tourism and english-teaching. Since 2007 John is guiding exclusively, especially birdwatchers, not only in Venezuela but also in Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil and soon Colombia. John is a member of the recently started CRAV(Comité de Registros de Aves de Venezuela) to evaluate reports of rare birds in Venezuela. He still spends the northern summer in Sweden, it is a must ! Contact him on jkvarn at, or tel +58 412 8907502.