Republic of Panama
Birding in Panama is hot stuff… its one of the hottest places in Central America to go birding in. Panama is a tropical rain forest with a huge flora and fauna including a surprisingly long bird list of nearly 950 species for you to see! There are specialist (bilingual) guides and comfortable lodges all very short distances from bird watching sites - just what a birder loves, besides the terrific hospitality, good accommodation and typically tasty Panamanian cuisine. Birding abounds both in the National Parks and in many other localities. A few of the best places are: Parque Metropolitano, Parque Soberanía, Parque Chagres, Pipe Line Rd, Piña Rd, Water Tank Rd, Achiote Rd, Escobal , Sierra Llorona etc. Panama is a veritable paradise. Come and check for yourself.
Birding abounds both in the National Parks and in many other localities. A few of the best places are: Parque Metropolitano, Parque Soberanía, Parque Chagres, Pipe Line Rd, Piña Rd, Water Tank Rd, Achiote Rd, Escobal , Sierra Llorona etc. Panama is a veritable paradise. Come and check for yourself.
Most birders come in December, January , February, March. In the Chiriqui highlands, Boquete and its surroundings have at least 6 micro climates and so you can always find a dry area to see the birds. December and January can be very wet in the cloud forest, with misty rains called Bajareque. Despite the popularity of these months the best time for birding is the last 2 weeks of April and first two weeks of May when migrants are singing and are in breeding plumage; the birds which stay are singing and nesting and easy to see. Everywhere is green and we have a lot of berries and flowers. Every afternoon there is some rain in some areas. Every month has its attractions though with January being the time for hummingbirds nesting in the highlands and the best time to see Quetzales and other Trogons being from January until May.
Panama is a country rich in Historical, Cultural and Social activities. If you want to take a rest from birding you can visit Spanish Forts like San Lorenzo, Sherman, Portobello and discover history full of galleons, cannons, pirates, slaves and gold! Also you can see one of the modern wonders of the world, The Panama Canal, which joins the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. A journey across Panama takes 60 minutes by car, or eight hours on a ship. No wonder we are called Bridge of the world; heart of the universe.
Los Quetzales Trail - (1800-2500 m) recently (August 2014) fully re-opened after a 5-year closure due to landslides. To hike the whole trail, start at the Boquete side and hike to Cerro Punta, because if it starts to rain the last river crossing coming from Cerro Punta can be to high too cross. The best area is around the ranger station on the Boquete site until the trout farm, on the dirt road; even for Quetzales - best from May to July. A good wattled Bellbird spot is the open grassy area near the ranger station towards the trout farm. (Bellbirds are easy to see there from January until mid June) On the los Quetzales trail in the area where you have the little trail to "las Rocas", just sit and wait for the birds to come to you! Most of the time you see Quetzales there and a lot of mixed flocks. On the other side of the trail near the ranger station in Guadelupe, you have an open grassy area with a lot of flowers, here you can see there Fiery-throated Hummingbird (December & January) and Wren-thrush (Zeledonia).
Sheep Farm It is on the road up the volcano which is drivable (4x4) with an entrance fee of $5 - good for those who have trouble walking. Good for Black-capped Flycatcher and Large-footed Finch and Quetzals. - after passing the ranger station there is a steep hike for two hours on a bad road. But you can reach the Sheepfarm now with a good 4 wheel drive car, you have to park your car at the sheepfarm. However, there is a very good chance to see Quetzales (and their nests in season) any time of year, although they are least evident in September, October and November.
The Hidden Waterfall Trail - This is a very steep and slippery trail and, for the most part, not of great interest for birdwatchers. At the waterfall at the right season (April/May) a Barred Hawk nests and there are Spot-fronted Swifts. Take great care not to fall on the trail. (In the same area you will find more signs with new trails as more farmers open their property's to the public. They mostly ask $3 to $5 per person entry fee.
Pipeline Trail (Pipa de Aqua or its new name: waterfall trail) – This is private property so you have to pay $3 at the entrance (1600m). It is a 3 hour hike, but for birdwatchers there is so much to see it will take much longer!. The first half hour is meadow, agriculture surrounded by forest and then you walk into nice cloud forest with different birds. This trail is one that even non-birders will see lots of birds on. The Hike ends at a Waterfall and the owners changed the name of the trail in Waterfall trail, there is a sign at the entrance. The first half hour is meadow, agriculture surrounded by forest and then you walk into nice cloud forest with different birds. This trail is one that even non-birders will see lots of birds on. Almost the whole year can be very rewardeing with a good chance of seeing Resplendent Quetzales.
Buena Vista on the road to Cerra punta - just go down the dirt road down and you will be amazed at the birds; Rufous tailed Jacamar, Buff-rumped Warbler, Green Honeycreepers, Purple-crowned Fairy and many more.
Continental divide trail and surroundings - on the trail, with a lot of luck, you could see Umbrella bird and Green Thorntail Hummingbirds. There is a trail after the continental divide crossing, up to the road with the "palo seco sign". A great place to go birding is the ANAM office little bit further along from the continental divide sign (in the province of Bocas del Toro), drive a little bit further and on the left is the house of the late Willy Mazu, nice area to see birds behind the house (the front washed away).
Las Lajas (70 km from David) Here there are lots of wetlands including the river delta iso it s great for water birds. It can be reached by a dirt road or you walk along the beach on the left side.
Number of Species
Number of bird species: 976
National Bird: Harpy Eagle Harpia harpyja
Number of endemics: 12
Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker Piculus callopterus Veraguan Mango Anthracothorax veraguensis Glow-throated Hummingbird Selasphorus ardens Escudo Hummingbird Amazilia handleyi Azuero Parakeet Pyrrhura eisenmanni Brown-backed Dove Leptotila battyi Yellow-green Tyrannulet Phylloscartes flavovirens Coiba Spinetail Cranioleuca dissita Beautiful Treerunner Margarornis bellulus Yellow-green Finch Pselliophorus luteoviridis Pirre Bush-Tanager Chlorospingus inornatus Green-naped Tanager Tangara fucosa
Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
A Guide to the Birds of Panama
Robert S. Ridgely, John A. Gwynne Jr Paperback - 550 pages (31 August, 1992) Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691025126Buy this book from NHBS.com
Panama Wildlife Guide: Birds
(Panama Field Guides Series) by R Dean - Rainforest Publications (1 Jan 2008)
ISBN: 188853835XBuy this book from NHBS.com
Directory of Important Bird Areas in Panama
George R Angehr - 342 pages, tabs, maps. - Sociedad Audubon de Panama 2003
ISBN: 9962884713Buy this book from NHBS.com
Where to find birds in Panama
by George R. Angehr and Dodge & Lorna Engleman - Panama Audubon Society, Panama (2006) 391 pages - paperback
ISBN: 9962884756Buy this book from NHBS.com
Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Panama
by George R. Angehr - Panama Audubon Society (Jan 2006)
ISBN: 9962884764Buy this book from NHBS.com
The Birds of Panama: A Field Guide
by George R Angehr & Robert Dean - 455 pages, 908 col illus, 911 maps - Cornell University Press 2011
See Fatbirder Review
ISBN: 9780801476747Buy this book from NHBS.com
DVD - Birding Central Panama - An Antswarm along Pipeline Road
Pipeline Road, Central Panama, in the presence of an antswarm certainly lifts forest birding to another level… Buy direct from the filmmaker:
List of birds of Panama
This is a list of the bird species recorded in Panama. The avifauna of Panama includes a total of 972 species, of which 12 are endemic, 6 have been introduced by humans, and 120 are rare or accidental. 20 species are globally threatened…
Guides & Tour Operators
Ancon Expeditions of Panama
Ancon Expeditions of Panama welcomes you to enjoy an experience of a lifetime, offering you the best nature and culture oriented tours, as well as adventure and academic programs. Our expertise and the friendly, enthusiastic, nature of the people of Panama will ensure that your vacation is educational, comfortable and hassle-free.
With a rising interest in natural and cultural experiences on the part today's travelers, Nattur Panama presents a unique combination of tour packages within Panama's national parks and indigenous communities. Panama's extraordinary biological diversity makes it a magnificent playground for birdwatchers, explorers, natural history buffs and nature lovers…
Panama Eco Tourism
Ecotourism Panama! If you're looking for Panama eco tours or ecotourism vacations in Panama, you've come to the right place! Experience eco tours and cultural tours alongside knowledgeable guides with years of ecotourism experience. The following is a list of eco tourism companies that operate eco tours and cultural tours in Panama…
Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…
Our tour of the Isthmus Panama offers a unique mix of Central and South American bird species commingling in the area surrounding the Panama Canal. We`ll be staying at a lodge whose restaurant and veranda offer great looks at normally difficult to see upper-canopy birds…
Focus on Nature
A week with some fine birding, with visits to bird-rich locales in the Canal Basin in the area of Gamboa, including Pipeline Road & Barro Colorado Island, and some fine forested areas near the Caribbean…
Our base of operations will be the exciting Canopy Tower, a former United States radar station elegantly converted into one of the most unique and enjoyable ecotourist lodges anywhere. Perched above Soberania National Park, the tower offers great birding literally right out your window, including the chance to view gems like Blue Cotinga and Green Shrike-Vireo, both of which can be quite difficult to see from ground level…
…This forest is considered one of the most accessible tropical forests in the world, with close to 400 species having been recorded; it has been the site of world record Christmas Bird Counts. You will look for Great Curassow, Barred Forest Falcon, Tiny Hawk, Broad-billed and Rufous Motmots, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Black-tailed Trogon, Rufous-crested Coquette, Cinnamon Woodpecker, Long-tailed Woodcreeper, Royal Flycatcher, as well as Gray-headed, Sulphur-rumped and Dusky-faced Tanagers…
Terry & Hans offer professional half day or full day birding tours in Boquete and the Chiriqui highlands…
Birding in Panama
With more than 970 species of birds (including 12 endemic and 122 migratory species) and with 45% of the country covered with tropical rainforest with easy access and few visitors, Panama is the new choice for your tropical vacation…
This great adventure will take you birding across Panama. The great biodiversity of the Isthmus will allow participants to see many specialties as the Resplendent Quetzal, Crimson- backed Tanager, Montezuma Oropendola, Silvery-fronted Tapaculo, Sapayoa, Speckled Antshrike among others…
Birding Panama is a group of Panama bird guides specialists in birdwatching and natural history. We provide guide services for birders and nature lovers around the best natural areas of the Isthmus. We do private trips and bird photography tours to the best places of Panama…
Gonzalo Horna - Panama Bird Guide
Panama Bird Guide Co. Is a leading birding company dedicated to promote guided birding tours within the country of Panama. Since 2007 specializes in the area of Central Panama (Soberania National Park -Pacific side) and Achiote Road (San Lorenzo National Park -Caribbean side…
Custom birding tours guided by expert birder Kenneth Allaire will be available effective Mar 22, 2009…
Upon arrival to Panama you will be met in the Tocumen International airport by a bilingual, interpretive, and birding expert and escorted to your accommodations. From your lodging, guests can wander the tree-lined streets of this former Canal Zone neighborhood. Frequent evening and morning visitors to this area include a variety of tanagers, toucans, thrushes, flycatchers, and more. This evening we will host a “Get Acquainted” event with cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and a tour briefing…
Panama Birding Outfitter, run by Panamanian Leader: Ariel Aguirre. It offers private journeys for 2 up to 4 persons…
Rockjumper Birding Tours
Panamá is a superb Neotropical birding destination, and our tour allows us to explore some of the most accessible rainforests and high-altitude cloud forests on Earth. The native flora is simply stunning, and with roughly 29% of its territory protected within 15 nature reserves, Panamá is fast becoming a must-see destination for nature travelers the world over.
Checklist - Birds of Puerto Rico
Tranquilo Bay has listed nearly 200 species of birds on site and over 460 from our daily excursions to nearby bird-rich environments. Bocas del Toro, Panama is geologically gifted, creating extreme species diversity; there are an incredible variety of ecosystems, habitats and altitudinal zones only a short distance from the lodge. Our guides are passionate about observing wildlife, excellent at spotting as well as identification and frequently work with bird watching groups and individuals with birding specific itineraries...
NEST Birding Tours
Conservation, Bird Watching & Photography - Birding tours in Ecuador, India and Panama & community based conservation
CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.
2009 [02 February] - Matt Denton
Panama offers some of Central America’s best wilderness birding, and this year’s tour excelled in many ways. We visit the western, central and eastern parts of this narrow republic, making for a single comprehensive tour unequalled by other companies…
2008 [12 December] - Jos Stratford & Lynn Ferguson-Weinert
I have tried to do this report more as a daily recap of the highlights from each day, areas visited, species seen, etc. In order to keep this somewhat short (it will still be huge) I have only listed the first time we saw a species in the highlights for each day. We saw many species several times such as the Violaceous Trogon, White-necked Jacobin, etc…
2012 [10 October] - William Young
2012 [11 November] - Barry Zimmer - Fall at El Valle's Canopy Lodge
Picking a favorite bird on a Canopy Lodge tour is a difficult task indeed. Our recent Fall at Panama's Canopy Lodge trip was so full of highlights that it was hard to whittle it down to a few dozen most memorable moments. The dizzying array of colors at the lodge feeders is an excellent starting point: Blood-red Crimson-backed Tanagers; velvety-black Flame-rumped Tanagers with glowing yellow rumps; stunning Rufous Motmots clad in green, blue, and rusty-orange with ridiculous racketed tails; gemlike Thick-billed Euphonias darting from feeder to feeder; powder-blue Blue-gray Tanagers too numerous to count; and wild Chestnut-headed Oropendolas looking like reincarnations of Heckle & Jeckle. The lodge feeder display is indeed a sight to behold…
2012 [10 October] - David Ascanio - Fall at Panama's Canopy Tower
Panama is one of my favorite birding destinations. Imagine this small country as if it were a jigsaw puzzle; it would have a blue corner, some green pieces, some gold pieces, and other sections that would be remarkably rufous and brown…
2013 [09 September] - Jeri M Langham
2013 [09 September] - Joshua Murphy
…Highlights were: LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT, STREAK-CHESTED ANTPITTA, SAPOYA, GREEN MANAKIN, TAWNY-FACED GNATWREN….
2013 [03 March] - Chris Benesh & Alexis Sanchez
…But birds did take center stage, and there were many favorites among the more than 200 species we saw over the course of the trip. Two species of forest-falcon topped the voting, with Slaty-backed being the top vote getter. Other multi-vote getters included Pheasant Cuckoo (what a display), Pygmy Kingfisher, and the jewel-like Golden-hooded Tanager….
2014 [02 February] - John Coons & Alexis Sanchez
During our stays at the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge we saw a lot of birds in a variety of habitats. In fact, one would be hard pressed to encounter this many tropical species while staying in just two places anywhere in Central America. Both sites are located close to the birding areas, and we were looked after so well by the great staff and local guides…
2014 [02 February] - Chris Benesh, Michael Castro & Tino Sanchez
Our inaugural Canopy Tower & Lodge tour was a great one, thanks in large part to our fun and cohesive group! Decent weather and lots of cooperative birds made for an enjoyable time too, of course…
2014 [02 February] - Kevin Zimmer
…After scoring the Sunbittern, we spent the remainder of that first full morning birding various sites on La Mesa. This area treated us to a number of goodies, including some nice mixed-species tanager-dominated flocks, highlighted by numbers of Tawny-crested Tanagers leapfrogging one another through the midstory. A pair of Orange-bellied Trogons, multiple Spotted Woodcreepers and Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrants, and a well- behaved White-bellied Antbird rounded out the morning…
2014 [01 January] - Kevin Zimmer
…Our first dawn vigil atop the Canopy Tower eventually produced nice views of Green Shrike-Vireo, that persistent (some would say annoying) voice from the canopy. We also scored fine views of several outrageous Keel-billed Toucans and more distant views of vocal groups of Red-lored and Mealy parrots, as well as close, but brief looks at an excited Brown-capped Tyrannulet…
2014 [01 January] - John Coons & Lena Senko
A nearby birding hotspot, Ammo Pond, is a haven for Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Yellow-tailed Oriole, and Barred Antshrike. We admired these striking species while studying differences between the similar-looking Great Kiskadee, Boat-billed, Rusty-margined, and Social flycatchers. What's birding without a healthy flycatcher challenge…
2014 [01 January] - John Coons & Domi Alveo - Darien
…we found a number of birds that cannot easily be seen anywhere else, as well as many more that occur nowhere else in Central America outside of eastern Panama. This was exemplified by our near-daily views of a magnificent male Ruby-topaz Hummingbird, a species not even illustrated in the Panama guides. Other birding highlights of the trip were many and included the perched Semiplumbeous Hawk calling at us on our last morning, a very close view of a Black-and-white Owl, the Great Potoo on a day perch, the afternoons sorting through all the hummingbirds at the verbena flowers, a tiny American Pygmy Kingfisher near the bank of the Rio Chucunaque, Barred Puffbirds right in camp, a scope view of Gray-cheeked Nunlet, Golden-green and Spot-breasted woodpeckers, a tiny Spectacled Parrotlet from the banks of the river, four male Blue Cotingas in one tree, multiple Golden-headed Manakins, a duetting pair of Black-capped Donacobius, nice looks at a local White-eared Conebill, and great views of rarely seen Black Oropendolas, among others….
2014 [01 January] - Kevin Zimmer - Darien Lowlands
…White-eared Conebill, One-colored Becard, White-headed Wren, and Orange-crowned Oriole, all of which are as easily found in the Darien as anywhere…
2014 [01 January] - Tony Nunnery
…There was also a mixed flock with Black-crowned Antshrike, Checker-throated Antwren, Dot-winged Antwren, Dusky Antbird, Chestnut-backed Antbird, Red-capped Manakin, and Long-billed Gnatwren…
2014 [01 January] - Chris Benesh & Danilo Rodriguez
…While not as rare or unusual as the Black-crowned Antpitta sighting, our encounter with the Streak-chested Antpitta was first rate. Silver-throated Tanager was another species that got more than one vote as trip favorite…
2013 [12 December] - Tony Nunnery
…as we stood on the bridge crossing the stream to the Canopy Lodge. We were admiring the Basilisks sunning themselves on the rocks when a pair of Gray-necked Wood-Rails walked out of the dense brush and began to feed along the stream….
2013 [11 November] - Barry Zimmer
…In an area above the lodge known as La Mesa we had fantastic views of the rarely seen Black-crowned Antpitta, an even rarer Tiny Hawk, Russet Antshrike, Slaty Antwren, Silver-throated and Tawny-capped tanagers, and a Dull-mantled Antbird from ten feet. A family of Spot-crowned Barbets, several Keel- billed Toucans, Broad-billed Motmot, and a group of Dusky-faced Tanagers were along the roadside just above the lodge, while brilliant Orange-billed Sparrows at dawn outside the dining room were a group favourite….
2015 [01 January] - John Rowlett & Eliecer Rodrigues
...Among the least commonly seen species we saw in the immediate vicinity of the Lodge were Tody Motmot (one of which sat for fifteen minutes not two meters away!), a pair of roosting Mottled Owls (at a stakeout), a roosting Tropical Screech-Owl (stakeout at a yard in El Valle), a family of four Spot-crowned Barbets, Snowy-bellied Hummingbird, and Buff-rumped Warbler...
2014 [11 November] - Barry Zimmer
...The road to Rio Indio and Jordanal (on the Caribbean Slope) offered up a different set of birds, including seven Barred Puffbirds, Gartered Trogon, Chestnut-backed Antbird, Broad-billed Motmot (completing our “motmot slam”), Long-tailed Tyrant, Sulphurrumped Tanager, and Crested Oropendola...
2014 [11 November] - David Ascanio
...Well, talking about highlights and other fond memories, think about our visit to the Pipeline road. What a birding site! We came across attilas, woodpeckers, antbirds, antshrikes, antthrushes and much more. A very special moment happened when a Great Jacamar was seen perched at midstory and sang for various minutes. Photographers got superb shots...
2014 [11 November] - David Ascanio - Canal Zone
...gems, such as the Blue Dacnis and the Red-legged Honeycreeper, waited around the bird feeders for the daily fruits....
2014 [10 October] - Barry Zimmer
...One day spent in the foothills of Cerro Azul yielded an entirely new suite of birds. An incredible 15 species of hummingbirds were seen on that day including the likes of White-tipped Sicklebill, Green Hermit, Purple-crowned Fairy, Brown Violet-ear (locally rare), Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Violet-capped Hummingbird, Violet-headed Hummingbird, White-necked Jacobin, and Crowned Woodnymph among others. ...
2014 [10 October] - Barry Zimmer - Darien Lowlands
...working our way back to the Canopy Camp after eating for a midafternoon break. But as lunch wound down, a Rufous-tailed Jacamar began calling from the nearby thicket. We quickly scrambled over to the forest edge, where we were almost immediately greeted by a pair of Black Antshrikes working the lower vines...
2014 [09 September] - Diego Calderón-F - Pirre, Darien
...we got to find and enjoy great views of some not easy birds -highlighted as “mythical by some- like the Wing-banded Antbird (Myrmornis torquata), plus all the Panama big raptors including the colossal Harpy (Harpia harpyja) and Crested Eagles (Morphnus guianensis), and the most obliging ever stunning Ornate Hawk-Eagle...
2015 [04 April] - Jon Hornbuckle
An amazing list of 480 species with itinerary & notes.
2015 [01 January] - Kevin Zimmer - Darien Lowlandsa
...We then drove several kilometers east to the Rio Mono, where we enjoyed great views of snazzy pairs of Cinnamon Woodpeckers and Black-tailed Trogons, a lively group of White-eared Conebills, a mixed-species flock with Redrumped Woodpecker and Streaked Xenops (a surprise to me in this lowland region), and a Bright-rumped Attila that we could actually look down on!
2015 [02 February] - Kevin Zimmer - Canopy Tower
...We also scored fine views of several outrageous Keel-billed Toucans, a snazzy Squirrel Cuckoo, and fly-by views of vocal groups of Red-lored Parrots, as well as exceptional eye level studies of the canopy inhabiting Browncapped Tyrannulet, Paltry Tyrannulet, and Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher. After breakfast we headed down Semaphore Hill, where we spent the rest of the morning enjoying a nice selection of typical Canal Zone birds, highlighted by close views of exotic Broad-billed Motmots, confiding White-whiskered and Black-breasted puffbirds, and several species of antbirds.
2015 [02 February] - John Coons & Nando Quiroz - Lowland Darien
...We also encountered at least three quite unexpected species. We relocated a Bicolored Wren that Nando had reports of in Yaviza from earlier in the season -- we had great looks in the town cemetery of this mega-rarity for the area. We saw two Ruby-topaz Hummingbirds at the Canopy Camp feeding in the verbena flowers, where a male was seen for a few weeks in January and February of 2014. Nando spotted a brilliant male, and we also found an immature male at the same time. This is another South American species with only a few Panama records. Then, on our last day we had wonderful looks at a Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker at the San Francisco Reserve. It's typically a bird of higher elevations, and it was a real surprise to find this Panamanian endemic here for the first time.
2015 [02 February] - Chris Benesh & Alexis Sanchez - Canopy Tower
...The third day found us visiting the Metropolitan Park in downtown Panama City. Anything but an urban park, this place was loaded with birds, including lots of small forest flycatchers and colorful Lance-tailed Manakins.
2015 [02 February] - Kevin Zimmer - Canopy Lodge
...To see such normally skulking birds as Duskyfaced Tanager and Red-crowned Ant-Tanager attending feeders is a rare treat, and the spectacular Rufous Motmots and Collared Aracaris are grand icing on the cake. We soon discovered the most recent feeder development—that being the habituation of the resident Gray-headed Chachalacas, which now descend upon the feeders multiple times per day for their banana fix.
2016 [01 January] - Birding Ecotours
2016 [03 March] - John Coons - Panama's Canopy Tower & Lodge
This was a wonderful week of birding, mammal-watching, and laughing at the Canopy Lodge and Canopy Tower, as we experienced nice weather in a very comfortable setting. We had a great time with our local guides -- Eliecer at the Lodge and Alexis at the Tower; their ability to spot birds is amazing! The staff at both sites looked after us very well....
2016 [02 February] - John Coons - Panama's Canopy Tower
...Highlights of our trip were many and included that Rufescent Tiger-Heron perched just below us, a rarely encountered Agami Heron, Panama's first White-faced Ibis, those two perched Gray-headed Kites from the tower followed soon after by two soaring Swallow-tailed Kites, a family of White-throated Crakes, the Common Potoo on a day roost, all those hummingbirds including scope views of a tiny male Rufous-crested Coquette, five species of trogons, great looks at American Pygmy-Kingfisher, several studies of White-whiskered Puffbird, the Collared Forest-Falcon that perched in front of us, a Streak-chested Antpitta, the baby Brown-capped Tyrannulet in the leaf litter in full song, a wonderfully bright male Blue Cotinga, males of four species of manakins, all those tanagers and euphonias, and a colorful male Painted Bunting, among others...
2016 [02 February] - Tony Nunnery - El Valle's Canopy Lodge
... Of course, all sightings are appreciated; however, some of the exceptional moments are worth mentioning. For example, the Mottled Owl sitting just underneath the canopy on a day perch, and the Spectacled Owl we searched for by hiking around in the underbrush before finding it roosting down low in the vine tangles...
2016 [01 January] - Eduardo Ormaeche - Canopy Tower, Darien, Canopy Lodge & Tranquilo Bay
...Guests are able to visit the tower at dawn before breakfast and are enchanted by the calls of Slaty-backed and Collared Forest Falcons and views of Brown-hooded Parrot, Red-lored Amazon, Blue-headed Parrot, Green Honeycreeper, Plain-colored Tanager, Red-legged Honeycreeper, and with luck and persistence even the elusive Green Shrike-Vireo...
2016 [01 January] - Tony Nunnery - Canopy Tower
...The Crimson-crested Woodpecker appears this morning as well. Beside the road we also see both Gartered and Black-throated trogons. A mixed species flock seems to follow us down the road, teasing and tempting us to sort out its many individuals, including Blackcrowned Antshrike, Checker-throated Antwren, Dot-winged Antwren, Dusky Antbird, Cocoa Woodcreeper, Plain Xenops, and Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher, as well as various others...
2016 [01 January] - John Rowlett - Canopy Camp, Darien
...We headed off for the Camp from the Hotel Riande in Tocumen, with a two-hour or so digression along the Llano-Carti Road near Nusagandi, where, birding along the road only, we picked up some nice foothill birds we wouldn’t see elsewhere on the tour: stellar looks at highly responsive Black-and-yellow Tanagers, Tawny-crested Tanagers, Sulphur-rumped Tanagers, Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, Stripe-throated Wren (which sat motionless for five minutes in response to brief playback), and Shining Honeycreeper...
2016 [01 January] - John Coons - Canopy Lodge
...Other highlights of our stay included the perched White Hawk with a snake in its talons, a pair of Tropical Screech-Owls at the Lodge, a feeding White-tipped Sicklebill, tiny male and female Green Thorntails, a beautiful male Snowcap, five species of motmots, a handful of Barred Puffbirds, Spot-crowned Barbet, the Aplomado Falcon perched right over the road, great views of a Spot-crowned Antvireo, an out-of-range Least Flycatcher, and the Sulphur-rumped and Emerald tanagers at our lunch spot, among others...
2016 [01 January] - Tony Nunnery - Canopy Tower
...This leisurely stroll down the road also resulted in us having great views of Broad-billed Motmot, Crimson-bellied Woodpecker, and Slate-colored Grosbeak, together with a feeding flock of mixed species, which included Fasciated Antshrike, Black-crowned Antshrike, Checker-throated Antwren, Dot-winged Antwren, Dusky Antbird, and Spotted Antbird....
2015 [12 December] - Tony Nunnery - Canopy Lodge
...After breakfast and a bit of birding, we made the relatively short drive to the Canopy Lodge in El Valle. Here the act of concentrating our interest on birding began at the banana feeders near the dining area. Before lunch was served we had already seen Rufous Motmot, Collared Aracari, Bay Wren, and numerous Clay-colored Thrushes...
2015 [11 November] - Barry Zimmer - Canopy Lodge
...Finally, we visited the Pacific lowlands near Anton and Santa Clara. In one day we added 45 species to our list! Seven Savanna Hawks, numerous Southern Lapwings, Wattled Jacana, Pale-breasted Spinetail, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Sapphire-throated Hummingbird, Brown-throated Parakeet, and Lance-tailed Manakin were among the most memorable. A Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch from 30 feet the last morning was the icing on the cake...
2016 [04 April] - Kathie Claydon
We were out by first light at 06.15hrs and immediately started seeing birds. Some of the species around the gardens and woodland edge were Red-crowned Woodpecker, Whooping and Rufous Motmots, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Clay-coloured Thrush, Vermilion, Dusky-capped and Social Flycatchers, Black-headed Saltator, Crimson-backed, Blue-grey and Palm Tanagers and Baltimore Oriole...
2016 [05 May] - Johan Chaves
...Buff-rumped warbler, (Myiothlypis fulvicauda semicervina), a very common bird to both CR (M.f. leucopygia) and PA, however I found interesting the race here in east Pa. has a darker buff rump...
2016 [12 December] - Hans Matheve
...Dusky-backed Jacamar (it took some time to find, eventually we heard 1 bird calling distantly and soon had great views of a pair, perched high up in some trees), Black Oropendola (several groups seen along the rivers, both on the way to El Real as to the jacamar site, more than 20 birds in total)...
2016 [11 November] - Stefan Schlick - Canopy Camp
2016 [10 October] - Barry Zimmer
...Gray-cheeked Nunlet was spotted at eye level just off the trail. This range-restricted member of the puffbird family is usually near the top of the wish list for birders visiting the Darien region of Panama, and we had one in full view just twenty feet away. Keelbilled Toucans and Blue-headed Parrots vied for our attention. A pair of diminutive Redrumped Woodpeckers came in to check out the group. Which way to look first? A Blackbellied Wren cut loose with its liquid song, allowing brief views before an even better bird was heard—the highly sought and seldom seen Red-billed Scythebill singing quietly from low down in the forest not far off the trail...
2016 [10 October] - Barry Zimmer - Canopy Lodge
...There we added an incredible 52 species to our ever-growing list. The Panamanian endemic Veraguan Mango was the bird of the day, but we tallied many other wonderful species including Blue-footed Booby, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Savanna Hawk, Pearl Kite, Barethroated Tiger-Heron, Southern Lapwing, Wattled Jacana, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Amazon Kingfisher, Sapphire-throated Hummingbird, Straight-billed Woodcreeper, Palebreasted Spinetail, Pale-eyed Pygmy-Tyrant, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Lance-tailed Manakin, and Rufous-browed Peppershrike among others...
2016 [10 October] - John Rogers - Canal Zone
...We had a great start to the trip with 123 species seen on the first day: the Pacific lowlands in Metropolitan Park and the areas surrounding Canopy Tower. Canopy Tower was a friendly place to stay as well as providing tree top views of Black and White Owl, Green Shrike Vireo and Blue Cotinga....
2017 [03 March] - John Coons, Alexis Sanchez & Danilo Rodriguez Jr - Canopy Tower & Lodge
...Bird highlights were many and included the Great Tinamou quietly walking through the forest; Crested Bobwhite flushing from the roadside brush; a young Rufescent Tiger-Heron on a nest; a perched Gray-headed Kite across the lake; at least ten Swallow-tailed Kites above the Canopy Lodge; the fabulous view of the close singing Pheasant Cuckoo; a Spectacled Owl perched just above the road; both Great and Common potoos on perches during the day; all those hummingbirds including a White-tipped Sicklebill, a tiny Rufous-crested Coquette, and a perched Long-billed Starthroat; great views of several trogons, motmots, and puffbirds; a close perched American Pygmy Kingfisher; our Emerald Toucanet and colorful and huge Keel-billed Toucans...
2017 [02 February] - Sam Woods - Canal Zone & Foothills
...Yellow-headed Caracara too. Our local guide and companion throughout, Luis Paz, was quick to find some other specialties of the area, the diminutive Plain-breasted Ground-Dove, (which were the only ones seen on the entire tour), and a typically vocal Striped Cuckoo. While the latter was definitely not one of these species, Panama is a tropical country, seemingly packed full of exotic and extremely colorful species, and this was revealed to us that afternoon, with Red-breasted Meadowlark (recently renamed from blackbird to meadowlark), Yellow-crowned Euphonia, Red-lored Parrot, and a handsome male Ruddybreasted Seedeater...
2017 [02 February] - Chris Benesh & Alexis Sanchez - Canopy Tower
This year’s Canopy Tower tour was a real treat with a number of exciting highlights and even a bit of adventure. Our first afternoon we spent watching hummingbird feeders (with White-necked Jacobins, Blue-chested Hummingbirds, and a Long-billed Hermit) and watching the sunset from the upper observation deck. Short-tailed and Band-rumped swifts were zipping around (with a few Gray-breasted Martins), and several Keel-billed Toucans showed off nicely for us....
2017 [02 February] - Nando Quiroz
2017 [01 January] - John Coons & Danilo Rodriguez Jr - El Valle de Anton
Highlights were many and included lengthy views of a Fasciated Tiger-Heron which we saw catch and swallow a fish; a close Black Hawk-Eagle and stunning views of White Hawks; a Gray-cowled Wood-Rail basking in the sun; a pair of Tropical Screech-Owls on a perch right over the road; the fabulous Crested Owl, plus three Spectacled Owls during the day; a White-tipped Sicklebill feeding at a Heliconia flower and a scope view of a tiny male Green Thornbill; a pair of Orange-bellied Trogons hovering to pluck fruit from a tree....
2017 [03 March] - Forrest Rowland - Darién & Chiriqui Highlands
With over 1,000 species recorded within its 28,640 mi2 , there is no doubt that Panama is the premier birding destination of Central America.
Places to Stay
Gamboa Tropical Rainforest Resort
The resort is located on the banks of the Chagres River where it intersects the Panama Canal, adjacent to the Soberania National Park. The Soberania Park is a large tract of protected tropical rainforest located within the Panama Canal watershed. Thousands of different species of birds, mammals, insect, trees, reptiles and flora co-exist in the national parks adjacent to the resort.
Your bedroom is at treetop level, no more than 40 feet from the birds. In the cool Panamanian dawn you can feel Panamá's great rainforest awakening around you. Blue Cotingas and Green Shrike-Vireos, birds normally glimpsed high in the tops of trees, perch right outside your Canopy Tower room. Fatbirder Recommended
La Montaña y el Valle - The Coffee Estate Inn - Boquete
Our native forest and citrus grove provide excellent habitat for traditional coffee, butterflies, insects and over 100 species of birds. Some of the most vividly colored and most commonly seen birds are Red-legged Honeycreepers, Bay-headed, Blue-gray and Flame-colored Tanagers, Thick-billed Euphonias, Emerald Toucanets, Violet Sabrewing Hummingbirds and Blue-crowned Motmots. Based on multiple sightings by ourselves and hotel guests, we have compiled a comprehensive bird list…
FINCA HARTMANN is a small family farm owned and operated by Ratibor Hartmann and his sons and daughter. The land use is predominantly shade-grown coffee, under towering remnant rainforest trees, and intact pre-montane highland forest that serves as a buffer zone to Parque Internacional La Amistad. At elevations between 4000-6000ft there are a number of accessible dirt roads that pass through many habitat types that are excellent for birding.
Tucked away in the highland cloud forest, Los Quetzales Lodge & Spa is ideal for those longing to retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern living. At 7260 feet above sea level (2,200 meters), the reserve has the highest lodging facilities in the country, and lies inside the primary cloud forest of Volcan Baru National Park, which was established in 1976. The Volcan is adjacent to the 407,000 acre Parque Internacional La Amistad, which straddles Costa Rica and Panama. Our 400 hectare reserve has been protected by the private efforts of its founders in 1970…
Mangrove Inn Eco Resort - Bocas del Toro
Built in the vicinity of a mangrove forest and a coral reef, over a shallow marine plain, 5 minutes from Bocas del Toro City by boat, MANGROVE INN ECO RESORT offers the visitor a style of vacation that transforms their stay into a special adventure. The resort comprises of wooden cabins, built on the old caribbean architecture, on concrete stilts over the water, accessed by wooden walk ways. The cabins accomodates up to four or six people, each with bathroom and a balcony facing the sea, from where you can relax and enjoy the beauty of a caribbean sunset…
Al Natural Resort - Old Point, Bocas del Toro
Between jungle and sea, Al Natural Resort has created for you a comfortable and private retreat, perfectly integrated into the lush tropical environment…
Hostal Cielito Sur
Hostal Cielito Sur Bed & Breakfast is a quiet, private, country estate inn on 2½ hectares at an altitude of 1,600 mts. Surrounded by trees, gardens, fruit & coffee orchards, the estate is a natural bird sanctuary nestled in the rustic landscape of the Chiriqui highlands. It`s conveniently located between the towns of Cerro Punta and Volcan, offering easy access to both the Volcan Baru National Park & the International Friendship Park… Some of the Chiriqui highlands birding locations include: The Volcan Baru National Park and the International Friendship Park where you can find the Resplendent Quetzal, Red-headed Barbet, Collared Redstart, Ruddy Treerunner, Large-footed Finch, Black-capped Flycatcher, Buff-fronted Quail Dove, Yellow-winged Vireo, Silvery-throated Jay, Spangle-cheeked Tanager, Prong-billed Barbet, Barred Becard, Black and Yellow Silky Flycatcher, Slaty Finch, Black Guan, Prong-billed Barbet and other highland specialties. The Volcan Lagoons is one of the best birding area. Here you can find the Collared Trogon, Orange-bellied Trogon, Smoky-brown Woodpecker, Rose-throated Becard, Little Tinamou, Sunbittern, Northern Jacamar, Wattled Jacamar, Common Moorhen, Osprey, Purple Gallinule, Least Grebe, Masked Duck.
…meandering through the interpretative path La Zamia, a very interesting place due to the variety of species and because of the beautiful water and mountain views…
Park Eden Country Retreat
Located but 75 miles from the city capital of Panama, is El Valle de Antón, which undoubtedly ranks among the top list of Panamas best relaxing refuge sites in the country.
Panama Canal Lodge
Davis Suites offers lodging in a quiet and peaceful setting for tourists, business travelers, birdwatchers and anyone that needs to remain in the Province of Colon…
Nestled on El Santuario`s plateau in Boquete, Panama`s mountain paradise, Villa Marita offers seven impeccable cottages with hardwood finishings and country decor. Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the 10,000 ft. Volcano Baru, surrounding mountains and coffee farms from large bay windows in your cottage…
Cielito Sur B&B - Chiriqui
Run away to Cerro Punta, a scenic and tranquil agricultural community surrounded by a beautiful tropical cloud forest, in the province of Chiriqui, Panama. The estate is a natural bird sanctuary nestled in the rustic landscape of the Chiriqui highlands…
Finca Lerida, Boquete
Located on the majestic Baru Volcano in Alto Quiel in the highlands of Panama, 5000 feet asl 10 minutes from Boquete. A B&B in a 800 acre reserve with 8 new birding trails…
Coffee Adventures B&B - Boquete
We have three cottages B&B and organize Birding and Nature tours here in Boquete Panama. We have been doing this for 11 years and have built up a good reputation among birders…
Inches from your bedroom window, the cloud forest canopy is riotous with early morning bird life… Fatbirder Recommended
Ivan's B&B - Gamboa
At just 20 minutes from the cosmopolitan city of Panama, an incredible beautiful rainforest is the natural habitat of winged miracles that will thrill you with the adventure of your life… …he accomodations are confortable, the food is outstanding, the location is superb, the price reasonable, and the company invigorating, you cannot find a better value in Central Panama…
Gamboa Panama Rental
Gamboa, Panama is a unique place to visit or live. Mostly built in the 1930's to house a Division of the Panama Canal Company, it is small, quiet, and charming, with the feeling of a place from an earlier time. Perfect for birders as well as other nature lovers, Gamboa has the ambiance of both an isolated outpost in the rainforest and a comfortable modern suburb. It is embedded in Soberania National Park and bordered on one side by the Panama Canal. Fingers of the jungle run between the houses in Gamboa, providing access for wildlife to our backyard…
Tinamou Cottage Jungle Lodge
These Deluxe Cottages offers you an unique experience of a genuine stay in the Jungle - you stay on Finca Habbus de Kwie a 22 Acre private forest reserve. Located relatively close to Boquete with all it's services and restaurant...
Tranquilo Bay is an owner-operated eco adventure lodge located on Isla Bastimentos, Bocas del Toro, Panama adjacent to Bastimentos National Marine Park. We specialize in all-inclusive adventure eco tours and rejuvenation. We have over a kilometer of Caribbean coastline covered in coral gardens teaming with tropical fish...
The objective of the national fund is to serve as a permanent source of funding for environmental initiatives, with an emphasis on initiatives within the Panama Canal Watershed.
Asociacion Nacional para la Conservacion de la Naturaleza
La misión de ANCON es conservar la biodiversidad y los recursos naturales de Panamá para beneficio de las presentes y futuras generaciones… ANCON Apartado Postal 1387, Panamá 1 República de Panamá Tel.: (507) 314-0050, 314-0060 Fax: (507) 314-0061, 314-0062 E-mail: email@example.com
Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation
As in many areas of tropical America, the Bocas del Toro region suffers some environmental problems. In cooperation with national, regional and local conservation organizations, ITEC works to maintain the environmental health of the Bocas del Toro Archipelago through several initiatives…
Sociedad Audubon de Panamá
Panama has an extraordinary wealth of birds for a country of its size. Although only about the size of the U.S. state of South Carolina, a total of 976 species has been recorded to date, exceeding the list for the continental United States and Canada combined. This remarkable diversity owes much to Panama’s location at the juncture between North and South America…
The Canopy Tower
Panama has some of the most easily accessed forests anywhere in the tropics. The Canopy Tower is located on top of Semaphore Hill, in a well preserved semideciduous tall forest in the heart of Soberanía National Park. It is at an altitude of 900 feet above sea level, and from its roof you can see the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal and the skyline of Panama City, just 30 minutes away…
Conservation through Research Education and Action
Conservation through Research Education and Action [CREA] is a UK registered charity organisation dedicated to the conservation of tropical environments that offers short field courses in several disciplines of Tropical Biology in Panama. One such course is Ornithology. Panama, a country smaller than the UK contains over1000 species of birds and straddles two of the worlds 25 biodiversity hotspots. We run separate courses for gap year, undergraduates and naturalists at our field station in the hilly forested region of centralPanama. Courses are given by university lecturers and participants take part in research being conducted at the station. All proceeds from our courses gotowards conserving forests and undertaking research.
Liquid Jungle Lab
Located on a remote island in Pacific Panama, the LIQUID JUNGLE LAB (LJL) seeks to merge traditional scientific research with state-of-the-art technology to improve the understanding of ocean and terrestrial sciences and advance conservation ecology for the future benefit of the planet. An international group of scientists and students from around the world use the marine lab facilities and experimental farm to conduct their multidisciplinary research…
Wetlands of International Importance
Panama currently has 5 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 183,992 hectares.
Darién National Park
The park contains the most extensive lowland tropical forest on the Pacific coast of Central America. Darien harbours a variety of habitats ranging from sandy beaches, rocky coasts, mangroves, swamps and lowland and upland tropical forests containing several endemic faunal species…
Los Katíos National Park
Los Katíos supports a number of species which are characteristic of Central America and are only found in this part of South America such as the mouse Heteromys desmarestianus and grey-headed chachalaca Ortalis cinereiceps. The Serranía del Darién is home to many endemic species such as the rufous-cheeked hummingbird Geothalsia bella and violet-capped hummingbird Goldmania violiceps and the frog Rhamphophyrne acrolopha. More than 450 species of bird (representing respectively 25% and 50% of the avifauna of Colombia and Panama) have been recorded within the park…
Panama's Protected Areas
In a country where the sun rises over the Pacific and sets in the Caribbean you should have unusual expectations: well, you are unlikely to be disappointed: Panama has some of the most accessible rainforests and high altitude cloud forest on earth. In Panama, even the most experienced travelers can discover wonders of creation that open eyes and minds to a deeper understanding of our planet's incredible richness and infinite variety…
Primeval rainforests bedecked with clouds, noisy, chattering birds flash brilliant iridescent colors as they dart about their daily chores, flowering epiphytes bloom en masse high above the forest floor while gurgling streams glisten and tumble hurriedly over great boulders in their dance towards the sea. This enchanted land is the Chiriqui Highlands, the part of the Cordillera Central that defines the northern border of the province of Chiriqui…
Forums & Mailing Lists
Latest sightings… feeds, emails and active website
Jan Axel's Blog
I'm a birdwatcher since the age of fourteen. With my beloved wife, I travel all around Panamá, enjoying everything this diverse country has to offer…
Superb photoblog of this American's three month sojourn in Panama just taking pictures of the wildlife!
Terry's Boquete Bird Stories - Terry van Niekerk
Terry van Niekerk of the tour company Coffee Adventures Boquete - follow her birding tales…
Bird Sampler Panama
This blog highlights the avifauna of Panama, illustrating the systematic data always the same to promote a better understanding of these beautiful organisms that enrich the country's biodiversity. The entries begin with the Order, Family and common and scientific name of the species of bird shown.
Los Quetzales, Birding
Los Quetzales is renowned for its world-class birding. In the vicinity of our chalets, well over 100 species have been sighted by experts. Many of these birders include members of Panama`s Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and Audubon Society, both of whose ornithologists, biologists, and zoologists regularly come to spend precious vacation time to observe and record our avian diversity.
Birdwatching In Panama
Bird photos and a few hiking tips from Panama…
Tiny Hawk Video
Filmed through my scope in December 2009 Rainforest Discovery Centre, Pipeline Road…
Fatbirder Watching Hummers
Cooled by the wings of angels!
More video footage…
Cinnamon Becard footage taken behind Gamboa resort December 2009…
The latest reports of rare birds in Panama - updated throughout the year…
Photographers & Artists
Photographer - Noah Stryker
Gallery of bird photos…
Photographer - Adrian Hopkins
A gallery of images from Panama by this Welsh photographer…
Photographer - Will Cook
Here's a selection of bird images from a trip to Panama, March 17-April 4, 2004….
Photographer - Robert Scanlon
Photos taken on a trip to Panama in January 2004…