Northwestern South America is a complex area that has witnessed the differentiation and expansion of a major portion of the Neotropical avifauna. The northern end of the Cordillera Central of the Colombian Andes contributes to this complexity by bringing a continuum of humid habitats from the Andean highlands to the lowland rainforests. We present new distributional information on 36 avian species of the cloud forests and páramos of this region (1300–3250 m), gained through eight years of fieldwork and general collecting. These new records reflect the mixed biogeographic affinities of the avifauna of the northern Cordillera Central, which is composed of taxa from the pluvial foothills of the Chocó (e.g., Indigo Flowerpiercer [Diglossa indigotica], Scarlet-and-white Tanager [Chrysothlypis salmoni]), Central America and Darién (e.g., Purple-throated Woodstar [Calliphlox mitchellii]), and elsewhere in the Andean mountains (e.g., Semicollared Hawk [Accipiter collaris], Yellow Manakin [Xenopipo flavicapilla]). In addition, we report the first or second definite Colombian records of the Pavonine Cuckoo (Dromococcyx pavoninus), Cinnamon Screech-Owl (Megascops petersoni), and Sharpbill (Oxyruncus cristatus). Our findings support Chapman's (1917) view of Colombia as being "at the crux of the problem of intercontinental relationships" of Neotropical birds.
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Vol. 110 • No. 3