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Republic of Panama

Broad-billed Motmot Electron platyrhynchum ©John Afdem

Birding 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.

Top Sites

Chiriqui Highlands

Satellite View



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.

Contributor

Terry van der Vooren

[Top Spots] Guide & Lodge Owner

Boquete Chiriqui

info@coffeeadventures.net

http://www.coffeeadventures.net

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 986

(As at October 2018)

National Bird: Harpy Eagle Harpia harpyja

Endemics

Number of endemics: 13

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, Orange-throated Bush-tanager Chlorospingus hypophaeus

Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web

Useful Reading

A Guide to the Birds of Panama

By Robert S Ridgely & John A Gwynne | Princeton University Press | 1992 | Paperback | 534 pages, 48 colour plates, 53 b/w line drawings |

ISBN: 0691025126

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A Guide to the Birds of Panama with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras

by R S Ridgely & J A Gwynne | Princeton University Press | 1992 | Paperback | 534 pages, 48 colour plates, 53 line illustrations |

ISBN: 0691025126

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Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Panama

by George R Angehr | Sociedad Audubon de Panama | 2006 | Paperback | 74 pages, no illustrations |

ISBN: 9962884764

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Birds of Central America

(Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama) | By Andrew Vallely & Dale Dyer | Princeton University Press | 2018 | Paperback | 560 pages, 260 plates with colour illustrations; 1190+ colour distribution maps |

ISBN: 9780691138022

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Directory of Important Bird Areas in Panama

By George R Angehr | Sociedad Audubon de Panama | 2003 | Paperback | 342 pages, Tabs, maps |

ISBN: 9962884713

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Panama Birds

(A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species) | By James R Kavanagh & Raymond Leung | Waterford Press | 2016 | Unbound | 12 pages, colour illustrations, 1 colour map |

ISBN: 9781583559840

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Panama: Birds, Central Panama

Robert Dean & Mark Wainright | Rainforest Publications | 2009 | Unbound | 14 pages, colour illustrations, 1 colour map |

ISBN: 9781888538601

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Panama: Birds, Western Panama

By Robert Dean & Mark Wainwright | Rainforest Publications | 2014 | Unbound | 14 pages, colour illustrations, 1 colour map |

ISBN: 9781888538724

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The Birds of Panama: A Field Guide

by George R Angehr & Robert Dean | Cornell University Press | 2010 | Paperback | 455 pages, 908 colour illustrations |

ISBN: 9780801476747

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Where to find birds in Panama

by George R. Angehr, Dodge Engleman & Lorna Engleman | Sociedad Audubon de Panama | 2006 | Paperback | 391 pages, maps |

ISBN: 9962884756

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Useful Information

List of birds of Panama

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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…

Organisations

Asociacion Nacional para la Conservacion de la Naturaleza

Website

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: ancon@ancon.org

Fundación Natura

Website

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.

Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation

Website

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

Website

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…

Reserves

Abbreviations Key

NP Chagres

Information

Satellite View

The park contains tropical rain forests and a set of rivers which provide sufficient water to guarantee the operation of the Gatun Lake, main lake of the Panama Canal: The Chagres River and the Gatun River.

NP Coiba

Information

Satellite View

Coiba is the largest island in Central America, with an area of 503 km2 (194 sq mi), off the Pacific coast of the Panamanian province of Veraguas. Its unique location protects it from the damaging winds and other effects of El Niño, allowing it to sustain the uninterrupted evolution of new marine species including whale and tiger sharks, sperm whales, sea turtles, angel rays and giant schools of fish. It is also the last refuge for a number of threatened terrestrial animals such as the crested eagle and several sub-species of agouti, possum and howler monkey (including a Coiba Island howler monkey).

NP Darién

Information

Satellite View

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…

NP La Amistad

Information

Satellite View

The park area is equally split between Costa Rica and Panama, as part of the former La Amistad Reserves of the Talamanca mountain range. It covers 401,000 ha of tropical forest and is the largest nature reserve in Central America. It has 600 species of birds, including the three-wattled bellbird, resplendent quetzal, yellow-green finch, and bare-necked umbrellabird.

NP Los Katíos

Information

Satellite View

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…

NP Soberanía

Information

Satellite View

Soberanía National Park (Parque Nacional Soberanía) is a national park in Panama near the banks of the Panama Canal in the provinces of Panamá and Colón, some 25 kilometres (16 mi) from Panama City. The Chagres River runs through the park. Established as a national park in 1980, the park covers 55,000 acres (220 km2). The park is popular with birdwatchers due to its abundance of bird species; some 525 bird species are found here. Pipeline Road extends for 17.5 km north-south through the park and passes through old-growth and secondary forest. Pipeline Road is one of the best places to see tropical birds in the Americas, with a bird species list exceeding 400

NP Volcán Barú

Information

Satellite View

The volcano was declared Volcán Barú National Park in 1976, with an area of 14,325 ha (35,400 acres). It is a part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. Fauna include the black guan, black-and-white hawk-eagle, Underwood's water mouse, volcano junco, wrenthrush, and yellow-thighed finch. Over 250 species of birds have been identified within the park, and all five species of big cats live here as well. The national park protects a range of habitat, including humid montane forests, low humid montane forests, and montane rainforests.

NR Barro Colorado Island

Information

Satellite View

Barro Colorado Island (BCI) is located in the man-made Gatun Lake in the middle of the Panama Canal. The island was formed when the waters of the Chagres River were dammed to form the lake in 1913. When the waters rose, they covered a significant part of the existing tropical forest, but certain hilltops remained as islands in the middle of the lake. It has an area of 15.6 km2 (6.0 sq mi).

NR Punta Patiño

Information

Satellite View

The 65,025 acre preserve is owned by conservation group ANCON. The area is on the List of Ramsar wetlands of international importance. Fauna in the reserve include harpy eagles, three-toed sloths, capybaras, bottlenose dolphins, crocodiles, jaguar, and humpback whales. Bird species include black oropendola, brown pelicans, frigate birds, terns, oystercatchers, willet, whimbrel, and spotted sandpiper, kingfishers, white ibis, heron, and laughing gulls.

Panama's Protected Areas

Webpage

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…

Wetlands of International Importance

Webpage

Panama currently has 5 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 183,992 hectares.

Forums & Mailing Lists

Xenornis

Mailing List

Latest sightings… feeds, emails and active website

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Ancon Expeditions of Panama

Tour Operator

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.

Ariel Birding

Tour Operator

Panama Birding Outfitter, run by Panamanian Leader: Ariel Aguirre. It offers private journeys for 2 up to 4 persons…

Birding Ecotours

Tour Operator

We offer the classic Panama tours as well as an "off the beaten track" Wild West of Panama birding tour. Panama forms the boundary between Central and South America and is one of the richest places on Earth for bird diversity. Harpy Eagle, Rufous-vented Ground-cuckoo and many of the dazzling species also found in Costa Rica (such as hummingbirds and Resplendent Quetzal), are sought on our trips to this fantastic piece of land. The infrastructure is excellent so travel is easy...

Birding in Panama

Tour Operator

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…

Birding Panama

Tour Operator

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…

Caligo Ventures

Tour Operator

…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…

Coffee Adventures

Tour Operator

Terry & Hans offer professional half day or full day birding tours in Boquete and the Chiriqui highlands…

Eco-Circuitos

Tour Operator

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…

Gamboa Ecotours

Tour Operator

Custom birding tours guided by expert birder Kenneth Allaire will be available effective Mar 22, 2009…

Gonzalo Horna - Panama Bird Guide

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…

Nattur Panama

Tour Operator

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…

Rockjumper Birding Tours

Tour Operator

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.

Sendero Panama

Tour Operator

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…

Tranquilo Bay

Website

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...

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

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

PDF Report

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…

2012 [10 October] - William Young

PDF Report

...The Tower is a magical place, even in the rain at 4 o'clock. The first bird I saw was an Eastern WoodPewee, and the first warblers I saw were a Blackburnian in fall plumage and a male American Redstart in really bright plumage. I heard the mournful call of a Great Tinamou coming from the forest. Tropical Gnatcatchers are like our Blue-gray, but with a black cap. In the trees, I saw three Golden-hooded Tanagers, all close to each other. There were Palm Tanagers and a Plain-colored Tanager, who looks a bit like a large junco...

2013 [03 March] - Chris Benesh & Alexis Sanchez

Report

…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 [01 January] - Chris Benesh & Danilo Rodriguez

Report

…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…

2014 [01 January] - John Coons & Domi Alveo - Darien

Report

…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] - John Coons & Lena Senko

Report

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 [02 February] - Chris Benesh, Michael Castro & Tino Sanchez

Report

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] - John Coons & Alexis Sanchez

Report

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 [09 September] - Diego Calderón-F - Pirre, Darien

PDF Report

...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...

2014 [11 November] - David Ascanio

PDF Report

...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...

2015 [01 January] - John Rowlett & Eliecer Rodrigues

Report

...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...

2015 [02 February] - Chris Benesh & Alexis Sanchez - Canopy Tower

Report

...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] - John Coons & Nando Quiroz - Lowland Darien

Report

...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 [04 April] - Jon Hornbuckle

Report

An amazing list of 480 species with itinerary & notes.

2016 [01 January] - Eduardo Ormaeche

PDF Report

Birding Ecotours had the opportunity to return to Panama this year as part of a scouting trip to visit the Canopy Family lodges with the main idea to create a tour which can mix the three main accommodation facilities they have.

2016 [01 January] - Eduardo Ormaeche - Canopy Tower, Darien, Canopy Lodge & Tranquilo Bay

PDF Report

...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] - John Rowlett - Canopy Camp, Darien

Report

...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 [02 February] - John Coons - Panama's Canopy Tower

Report

...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] - Peg Abbott - Darien

PDF Report

A terrific week, with excellent looks at a number of species hard to find elsewhere. Many of these species were right at the Canopy Camp, making for leisurely viewing. Being based out of one spot made it a true vacation. Highlights included seeing woodpeckers well, a number of mixed flocks, some significant raptors (though we missed the newly found Harpy Eagle nest by days!), the Dusky-backed Jacamars were feeding fledged young, Capped Herons just a few feet away engrossed in feeding, and the very active antswarm at Quebrada Felix. Three species of monkeys, and other mammals were a bonus, and the sighting of one VERY large Bushmaster was a highlight. 288 species were tallied.

2016 [03 March] - John Coons - Panama's Canopy Tower & Lodge

Report

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 [04 April] - Kathie Claydon

PDF Report

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

Report

...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 [10 October] - John Rogers - Canal Zone

PDF Report

...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....

2016 [11 November] - Ecotours

PDF Report

What a colourful tour & great variety of habitats, birds and accommodations! We hope that the below description and pictures which we all did during this tour will give a taste of it. Although Ecotours Kondor & Worldwide Travel has visited and organized several tours in Panama for more than 10 years by now, this was the first time that we birded different corners of the country with staying everywhere based just solely at Canopy Family properties.

2016 [11 November] - Stefan Schlick - Canopy Camp

PDF Report

List

2016 [12 December] - Hans Matheve

Report

...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)...

2017 [01 January] - John Coons & Danilo Rodriguez Jr - El Valle de Anton

Report

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 [02 February] - Chris Benesh & Alexis Sanchez - Canopy Tower

Report

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

PDF Report

2017 [02 February] - Sam Woods - Canal Zone & Foothills

PDF Report

...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 [03 March] - Forrest Rowland - Darién & Chiriqui Highlands

PDF Report

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.

2017 [03 March] - John Coons, Alexis Sanchez & Danilo Rodriguez Jr - Canopy Tower & Lodge

Report

...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 [03 March] - Pat Lueders - Darien

PDF Report

All agreed that we had a very special week in this unique area that is home to many species hard to find anywhere else. We enjoyed spending the week at the Canopy Camp, never having to move, with many of the species available on the Camp property. T

2017 [04 April] - George Armistead - Darién

PDF Report

Enigmatic, remote and rich with wildlife, the Darién has long intrigued birders as a tantalising, impenetrable wilderness. Brimming with regional specialities and endemics, until recently, access here was possible only through fairly rigorous expedition-style travel...

2017 [10 October] - Barry Zimmer - Canopy Lodge

PDF Report

...We visited a number of nearby areas in the foothills above El Valle. At La Mesa, we found roosting Tropical Screech-Owls, Stripe-throated and Green hermits, Orange-bellied Trogon, Broad-billed Motmot, Lineated Woodpecker, Spotted Woodcreeper, Emerald Toucanet, and Silver-throated Tanager. Two full days in Altos del Maria yielded a plethora of great birds including White Hawk, Barred Hawk, the amazing Snowcap, Purple-throated Mountain-Gem, Brown-billed Scythebill, Red-faced Spinetail, Spotted Barbtail, Black-crowned Antpitta, Dull-mantled Antbird, Spot-crowned Ant-Vireo, Palevented Thrush, Black-and-yellow Tanager, and White-vented and Tawny-capped euphonias among many others...

2017 [10 October] - Jenn Sinasac - Darién Gap

PDF Report

...A small mixed flock containing Emerald, Rufous-winged and Tawny-crested Tanagers, as well as Shining Honeycreeper, was a delight to see along the road. After our morning of birding in the Nusagandi area, we drove to Torti, where we had a great lunch at the Avicar Restaurant. The hummingbird feeders at the restaurant kept us entertained with Snowybellied, Rufous-tailed and Scaly-breasted Hummingbirds, along with the impressive Long-billed Starthroat – great lunch entertainment!

2017 [11 November] - David Ascanio

PDF Report

...The bird feeder was our first step to identify some of the common and colourful species that included Plain-coloured, Blue-grey, Palm, Crimson-backed, and Golden-hooded tanagers. In addition to this kaleidoscope of colours, we also saw Red-legged and Shining honeycreepers, Orange-chinned Parakeet, and Buff-throated Saltator...

2017 [12 December] - Brent Steury

Report

Mammals that were commonly observed around the GRR were Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth, White-throated capuchin, mantled howler monkey, white-nosed coati, capybara, and the Central American agouti. Below is a list of 84 bird species found with little effort during this far too brief trip to central Panama...

2017 [12 December] - Jesse Fagan - Chiriqui & Bocas del Toro III

Report

We timed it perfectly for the Storm of the Century. Nevertheless, it didn't stop us from getting out in the rain and wind to see birds. And despite many uncontrollable obstacles in our way, we saw 258 bird taxa, 9 species of mammal, and had a heck of a critter list...

2018 [01 January] - Chris Benesh & Danilo Rodriguez Jr.

Report

This year’s Canopy Lodge New Year tour brought together a terrific bunch of people and a lot of terrific wildlife experiences. Thanks to Danilo’s great job in assuring we were well looked after throughout the trip. Alas, it will undeniably be known as the tour the coincided with a massive storm system affecting weather from the eastern United States as far south as northern South America. Instead of enjoying the start of the dry season at El Valle, we were left with unsettled, wet weather hanging over the region for much of the tour...

2018 [01 January] - John Coons & Eliecer Rodriguez

Report

Highlights of the trip were many and included a Little Tinamou that walked across the dirt road right in front of us, three rather close Great Curassows picking at grain just off the Pan-American Highway, a perched King Vulture in the scope, a quite small Tiny Hawk that was also perched for us, a Common Potoo we spotlighted from the canoe out of Yaviza, nearly daily views of Pale-bellied Hermits, a fabulous male Rufous-crested Coquette, a Green-and Rufous Kingfisher at the lagoon, eight species of puffbirds including our Russet-throated and the small Gray-cheeked Nunlet, Spot-crowned Barbet, Golden-green Woodpecker, Aplomado Falcon, Great Green Macaws at a distance, the very local Black Antshrike, Bare-crowned Antbird, Streaked Xenops...

2018 [01 January] - Pat Lueders

PDF Report

Annotated list

2018 [01 January] - Pat Lueders

PDF Report

Everyone in the group was very excited to leave the harsh US winter and arrive in Panama City to a sunny 80 degrees. The welcoming Riande Airport Hotel was the perfect place to relax and enjoy some of the beautiful resident birds of Panama before our adventure began.

2018 [03 March] - Rich Lindie

PDF Report

We kicked off this year's first tour to Panama with a visit to the very birdy little village of Cerro Azul, only an hour from the country's capital. As always, we had a very productive morning there, seeing a range of species that would help take our trip list to almost one hundred species by the end of the day! Walks along some of the quiet backroads in town gave us several tanager species – including Toothbilled, Black-and-yellow, Speckled, Emerald and Carmiol's – a host of warblers that included our only Blackpolls of the trip, both Red-capped Manakin and White-ruffed Manakin, Isthmian Wren, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Scale-crested Pygmy Tyrant, Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker (our main target for the morning), and – one of the highlights of the trip – a pair of Yellow-eared Toucanets!

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Al Natural Resort - Old Point, Bocas del Toro

Accommodation

Between jungle and sea, Al Natural Resort has created for you a comfortable and private retreat, perfectly integrated into the lush tropical environment…

Canopy Lodge

Accommodation

Inches from your bedroom window, the cloud forest canopy is riotous with early morning bird life… Fatbirder Recommended

Canopy Tower

Accommodation

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

Cielito Sur B&B - Chiriqui

Accommodation

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…

Coffee Adventures B&B - Boquete

Accommodation

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…

Finca Lerida, Boquete

Accommodation

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…

Gamboa Panama Rental

Accommodation

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…

Gamboa Tropical Rainforest Resort

Accommodation

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.

Hostal Cielito Sur

Accommodation

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.

Hotel Campestre

Accommodation

…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…

Ivan's B&B - Gamboa

Accommodation

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…

La Montaña y el Valle - The Coffee Estate Inn - Boquete

Accommodation

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…

Los Quetzales

Accommodation

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

Accommodation

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…

Panama Canal Lodge

Accommodation

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…

Park Eden Country Retreat

Accommodation

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.

Tinamou Cottage Jungle Lodge

Accommodation

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

Website

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...

Observatories

The Canopy Tower

Observatory

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…

Museums

Conservation through Research Education and Action

Webpage

Dedicated to the promotion of ecological literacy and the conservation of tropical biodiversity. 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

Website

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…

Blogs

Bird Sampler Panama

BLOG

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.

Jan Axel's Blog

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…

John Afdem

BLOG

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

BLOG

Terry van Niekerk of the tour company Coffee Adventures Boquete - follow her birding tales…

Other Links

Birdwatching In Panama

Website

Bird photos and a few hiking tips from Panama…

Cinnamon Becard

Website

Cinnamon Becard footage taken behind Gamboa resort December 2009…

Fatbirder Watching Hummers

Website

Cooled by the wings of angels!

Panama Hummingbirds

Website

More video footage…

Tiny Hawk Video

Website

Filmed through my scope in December 2009 Rainforest Discovery Centre, Pipeline Road…

Xenornis

Website

The latest reports of rare birds in Panama - updated throughout the year…

Photographers & Artists

Photographer - Adrian Hopkins

Gallery

A gallery of images from Panama by this Welsh photographer…

Photographer - Noah Stryker

Gallery

Gallery of bird photos…

Photographer - Robert Scanlon

Gallery

Photos taken on a trip to Panama in January 2004…

Photographer - Will Cook

Gallery

Here's a selection of bird images from a trip to Panama, March 17-April 4, 2004….