Darien Province in eastern Panama has long been a well-known yet remote destination for birding in Central America, as the area hosts many specialties. The biggest obstacle to birding there, the lack of acceptable accommodation, has been eliminated by the opening of the Canopy Camp. This new "camp" continues the tradition of the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge in combining a great birding site with comfortable quarters, outstanding food, and unsurpassed attention to a great birding experience. It is a wonderful spot.
Accommodations are in large, almost elegant safari-style tents slightly elevated on metal platforms with wood decking and adjacent private bathrooms. A central building houses the dining room, kitchen, library, and an open veranda (with hammocks), which is an ideal spot for scanning the surrounding forest where parrots, toucans, and puffbirds perch and raptors soar over the nearby ridges.
During our six-night stay at the Canopy Camp, we will explore the camp's trail system and drive to nearby sites in search of the local specialties including Pale-bellied Hermit, Gray-cheeked Nunlet, Dusky-backed Jacamar, Red-rumped Woodpecker, Double-banded Graytail, Black Antshrike, Bare-crowned Antbird, Golden-headed Manakin, White-headed Wren, Black-capped Donacobius, White-vented Conebill, Orange-crowned Oriole, and Black Oropendola. One day will find us near the end of the Pan-American Highway in Panama and taking a boat on to the network of rivers where we will search for perched raptors, forest-edge species, and the quite local Spectacled Parrotlet. In recent years there has been the added attraction of an active Harpy Eagle nest within birding distance of the Camp, as well as the possibility of the more rarely encountered Crested Eagle.
Even for birders with considerable experience in Middle America, the Canopy Camp holds numerous specialties and offers the most comfortable entry into the rich lowlands of Darien.
Special Note: We have opted to limit our Field Guides Panama tours to just 8 participants. In addition to the Field Guides staff leader, we will have a local Panamanian guide. We feel this provides the best overall experience, as some trails are narrow and a larger group will make it difficult for everyone to get good, satisfying looks at the birds. This has an impact on the tour fee, but we believe this intimacy and expertise are well worth a slight premium.
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