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Field Guides Tour Report
Feb 23, 2013 to Mar 1, 2013
Chris Benesh & Alexis Sanchez

The view from the tower and the famous Panama Canal. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

The Canopy Tower trip never disappoints, and this year was no exception. We had some nice weather and cooperative birds, plus a whole host of other interesting critters to keep us enthralled. While we saw many wonderful mammals, none are more memorable than Elvis, the Crab-eating Raccoon that spent some time with us on a couple of days. Also, our Summit Road Three-toed Sloth encounter was something I'll not soon forget. We had some great sightings. The Rothchild's Porcupine, three species of monkeys, some big crocodiles, and a couple of great snakes (Brown Vine Snake and the Green Parrot Snake) within a few minutes of one another. 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.

Thanks to all of you for coming along and making this such a terrific trip. It was great to bird with all of you and I look forward to our next opportunity. Until then, safe travels and great birding! -- Chris

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Tinamidae (Tinamous)

Something has been spotted! (Photo by tour participant Kathie Romano)

GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) – Great looks at this species on a couple of occasions along the road at Semaphore Hill.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
GRAY-HEADED CHACHALACA (Ortalis cinereiceps)
Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum) – Nice studies of this species at the Ammo Ponds.
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)

A displaying Gray-headed Kites glides past us on the tower. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

BOAT-BILLED HERON (SOUTHERN) (Cochlearius cochlearius panamensis)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus)
GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis) – Wonderful views of a bird from the Discovery Tower that was displaying to a second unseen bird.
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus)
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis)
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus)
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea)
GREAT BLACK-HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga urubitinga) – Though its identity was overlooked at the time, our best views were of the one being harassed by Black-chested Jays at Summit Park. The southern nominate Great Black-Hawk resembles a Common BH, but has a more extensively white tail and a white rump patch.
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus)

This Great Black-Hawk was having a hard time enjoying its meal because of some unfriendly jays.
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus)
ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
WHITE-THROATED CRAKE (Laterallus albigularis) – Wow, we got close with this one. [*]
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinicus)
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla)
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)

The crazy ground display of a Pheasant Cuckoo.
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa)
SHORT-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas nigrirostris) [*]
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)
GRAY-CHESTED DOVE (Leptotila cassini) [*]
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – Seen almost daily, this species is always a crowd pleaser.
PHEASANT CUCKOO (Dromococcyx phasianellus) – One of the most amazing sightings of the trip was observing a bird doing its strange grating call and body quivering while prancing around on the ground.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
Strigidae (Owls)
MOTTLED OWL (Ciccaba virgata) – Good views of this species on our nightdrive at the tower.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) [*]
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)

Common Potoo (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) – Amazing experience with this species below the tower on Semaphore Hill. Great to see it singing right in front of us.
Apodidae (Swifts)
CHIMNEY SWIFT (Chaetura pelagica)
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura)
BAND-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura spinicaudus)
LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis)
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora)
LONG-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis longirostris)
STRIPE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis striigularis)
PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY (Heliothryx barroti)
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis)
RUFOUS-CRESTED COQUETTE (Lophornis delattrei)
GARDEN EMERALD (Chlorostilbon assimilis)
VIOLET-CROWNED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania colombica)
SNOWY-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia edward edward)
Trogonidae (Trogons)
SLATY-TAILED TROGON (Trogon massena)
BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus) [*]
WHITE-TAILED TROGON (Trogon chionurus)
GARTERED TROGON (Trogon caligatus)
Momotidae (Motmots)
WHOOPING MOTMOT (WHOOPING) (Momotus subrufescens conexus) – The Blue-crowned Motmot complex was reassessed a couple of years ago based on a variety of characters including voice and external morphology, resulting in five species. The Whooping Motmot is the result of this, getting its name from its single-noted call.
RUFOUS MOTMOT (Baryphthengus martii) [*]

A beautiful American Pygmy Kingfisher. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

BROAD-BILLED MOTMOT (Electron platyrhynchum)
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – Two were well seen at the Summit Ponds.
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)
AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea) – We had a couple of amazing views of this tiny kingfisher.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
WHITE-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus hyperrhynchus)
BLACK-BREASTED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus pectoralis)
PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus)
WHITE-WHISKERED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila panamensis)
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
COLLARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus torquatus)
BLACK-MANDIBLED TOUCAN (CHESTNUT-MANDIBLED) (Ramphastos ambiguus swainsonii)
KEEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos sulfuratus)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
BLACK-CHEEKED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes pucherani)
RED-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes rubricapillus)

A calling Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon.
CINNAMON WOODPECKER (Celeus loricatus)
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) – We had some terrific looks at this species on a couple of occasions.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
SLATY-BACKED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur mirandollei) – Wow! Just wow! What an amazing experience having this bird calling along the Pipeline Road. Though this species is somewhat widespread, it is seldom seen.
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) – Only slightly overshadowed by the preceding, we were really fortunate to encounter this silent bird along the Pipeline Road. Yet it stuck around and allowed us to enjoy it at length.
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima)
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis)
Psittacidae (Parrots)
ORANGE-CHINNED PARAKEET (Brotogeris jugularis)

A curious Collared Forest-Falcon checking us out.
BROWN-HOODED PARROT (Pyrilia haematotis)
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)
RED-LORED PARROT (Amazona autumnalis)
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa)
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus)
WESTERN SLATY-ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus atrinucha) – This species is no longer considered to be part of the slaty antshrike clade and has been renamed Black-crowned Antshrike by the SACC (South American Classification Committee). It is likely that the NACC and thus this list will someday follow suit.
SPOT-CROWNED ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus puncticeps)
CHECKER-THROATED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla fulviventris)
MOUSTACHED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula ignota) – After a bit of work, we got good views of this tiny antwren.
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris)
DOT-WINGED ANTWREN (Microrhopias quixensis)
DUSKY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra tyrannina)

A Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh).

WHITE-BELLIED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza longipes)
SPOTTED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax naevioides) – This one is always a crowd pleaser!
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
STREAK-CHESTED ANTPITTA (Hylopezus perspicillatus) – Really nice looks at this antpitta.
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
BLACK-FACED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius analis)
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (GRAYISH) (Sittasomus griseicapillus sylvioides) – One was seen and heard at the Metro Park. This is another species has may actually consist of a few good species.
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa)
COCOA WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus susurrans)
BLACK-STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus lachrymosus)
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus)
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
BROWN-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Ornithion brunneicapillus)
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum) [*]

A Yellow-olive Flycatcher of the regional subspecies flavoolivaceus. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh).

YELLOW TYRANNULET (Capsiempis flaveola)
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii)
GRAY ELAENIA (Myiopagis caniceps absita) – Seen along Pipeline Road.
GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata)
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster) [*]
PALTRY TYRANNULET (Zimmerius vilissimus) – For fear of sounding like a broken record, this is another species that may actually be comprised of three different species, based on vocal type. This form has been known as Mistletoe Tyrannulet in the past.
BLACK-CAPPED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis atricapillus) – One of the tiniest of birds.
SOUTHERN BENTBILL (Oncostoma olivaceum)
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum) – Cute and common.
BLACK-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum nigriceps) [*]
BROWNISH TWISTWING (Cnipodectes subbrunneus)
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (YELLOW-OLIVE) (Tolmomyias sulphurescens flavoolivaceus) – This form is the one found in most of Panama. Again, more than one species is involved here, so keep good notes each time you see this "species" in your travels.
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (YELLOW-MARGINED) (Tolmomyias assimilis flavotectus)

The Whooping Motmot. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus)
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax virescens)
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus)
RUFOUS MOURNER (Rhytipterna holerythra)
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)
PANAMA FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus panamensis)
GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus) [*]
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor)
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis)
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
PURPLE-THROATED FRUITCROW (Querula purpurata) – We eventually got birds in good enough light to enjoy the male's throat color.
BLUE COTINGA (Cotinga nattererii)
Pipridae (Manakins)
BLUE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix coronata)
GOLDEN-COLLARED MANAKIN (Manacus vitellinus)
LANCE-TAILED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia lanceolata)
RED-CAPPED MANAKIN (Pipra mentalis)
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)
CINNAMON BECARD (Pachyramphus cinnamomeus)
Vireonidae (Vireos)
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Vireo flavifrons)
PHILADELPHIA VIREO (Vireo philadelphicus)
YELLOW-GREEN VIREO (Vireo flavoviridis)
GOLDEN-FRONTED GREENLET (Hylophilus aurantiifrons)
LESSER GREENLET (Hylophilus decurtatus)

Green Shrike-Vireo. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

GREEN SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius pulchellus)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BLACK-CHESTED JAY (Cyanocorax affinis)
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
PURPLE MARTIN (Progne subis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
MANGROVE SWALLOW (Tachycineta albilinea)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
BLACK-BELLIED WREN (Pheugopedius fasciatoventris)
RUFOUS-BREASTED WREN (Pheugopedius rutilus)
RUFOUS-AND-WHITE WREN (Thryophilus rufalbus) [*]
PLAIN WREN (Cantorchilus modestus)
BAY WREN (Cantorchilus nigricapillus)
WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta)
SONG WREN (Cyphorhinus phaeocephalus)
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)

A handsome Golden-hooded Tanager. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

TAWNY-FACED GNATWREN (Microbates cinereiventris) – After a bit of work, we had some great looks at this secretive bird.
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus)
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis)
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora chrysoptera)
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER (Protonotaria citrea)
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Oreothlypis peregrina)
KENTUCKY WARBLER (Geothlypis formosa)
MAGNOLIA WARBLER (Setophaga magnolia)
BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (Setophaga castanea)
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica)
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
GRAY-HEADED TANAGER (Eucometis penicillata)
WHITE-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus luctuosus)

A beautiful Green Parrot Snake seen along Pipeline Road. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

CRIMSON-BACKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus dimidiatus)
FLAME-RUMPED TANAGER (Ramphocelus flammigerus)
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
PLAIN-COLORED TANAGER (Tangara inornata)
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza)
VARIABLE SEEDEATER (Sporophila corvina hoffmannii)
YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis)
STREAKED SALTATOR (Saltator striatipectus)
SLATE-COLORED GROSBEAK (Saltator grossus) – Great looks along Semaphore Hill. Their call is really cardinal-like.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
BLACK-STRIPED SPARROW (Arremonops conirostris)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra)

Elvis has returned to the building! (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanocompsa cyanoides) [*]
INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea)
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)
YELLOW-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus chrysater)
YELLOW-TAILED ORIOLE (Icterus mesomelas)
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula)
SCARLET-RUMPED CACIQUE (SCARLET-RUMPED) (Cacicus uropygialis microrhynchus)
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
YELLOW-CROWNED EUPHONIA (Euphonia luteicapilla) [*]
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris)
FULVOUS-VENTED EUPHONIA (Euphonia fulvicrissa)
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria)

COMMON OPOSSUM (Didelphis marsupialis)
CENTRAL AMERICAN WOOLY OPOSSUM (Caluromys derbianus) – Our first night mammal while we were still in the tower compound.
COMMON TENT-MAKING BAT (Uroderma bilobatum)
RED-NAPED TAMARIN (Saguinus geoffroyi) – Commonly called Geoffrey's Tamarin, we had some wonderful views on several occasions.
MANTLED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta palliata)
HOFFMANN'S TWO-TOED SLOTH (Choloepus hoffmanni)
BROWN-THROATED THREE-TOED SLOTH (Bradypus variegatus) – Close encounter with one crossing the road on our way to the Summit Road ponds.
NINE-BANDED ARMADILLO (Dasypus novemcinctus)
VARIEGATED SQUIRREL (Sciurus variegatoides)
RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis)
ROTHSCHILD'S PORCUPINE (Coendou rothschildi) – Great looks at this scarce species on our night drive below the tower.
CAPYBARA (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris) – One hanging out at the Ammo Ponds next to the giant crocodile.
CENTRAL AMERICAN AGOUTI (Dasyprocta punctata)
CRAB-EATING RACCOON (Procyon cancrivorus) – No one will soon forget our frisky friend Elvis, who first introduced himself to us at the Discovery Center. We were briefly reunited on Pipeline Road.
WHITE-NOSED COATI (Nasua narica)


Totals for the tour: 226 bird taxa and 17 mammal taxa