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Field Guides Tour Report
Panama's Canopy Camp: Lowland Darien 2014
Jan 24, 2014 to Jan 31, 2014
John Coons & Domi Alveo

Blue-chested Hummingbird, one of 13 species of hummers we recorded, by participant Magnus Persmark

On our inaugural trip to the new Canopy Camp, 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.

In addition to birds we had nice looks at three species of monkeys around the Canopy Camp, a three-toed sloth, a great view of a hunting Neotropical River Otter, and a few Speckled Caiman. Roger found us a great number of butterflies, arachnids, and insects including those bizarre white aphids that were my favorite.

We also experienced some adventures along the way, such as driving to the very end of the Pan-American Highway in Panama where we boarded our boat for a trip on the Rio Chucunaque. The bustling of people and dugout boats loaded with bananas and plantains arriving into Yaviza really gave it a frontier town feel. We learned that a plastic bottle recycling program would help the appearance of the Rio Chucunaque, and it is impossible to get to El Real before it gets hot. We also bumped over a good stretch of a dirt road with some of us in the back of a truck to reach the large marsh in order to see that Donacobius and a few other birds before we had to head back. While we saw some birds from the truck we were able to discuss the upcoming Panama election and figured the candidate who promises to fix the potholes on the Pan-American Highway will capture the Darien vote!

Despite the relatively remote location, the Canopy Camp was a great place to stay, with quality birding right out the doors of our safari tents. The large tents were very comfortable and practically elegant. The staff was fantastic at looking after our needs, while meals were wonderful with great attention to detail. It was great to lead our first tour here with all of you, and I look forward to the next adventure.


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)
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) – We heard these calling near the Camp every morning and evening but never close enough to see.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata) – We saw two of these fly over near Las Lagunas.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
GRAY-HEADED CHACHALACA (Ortalis cinereiceps) – We only saw a few of these often shy local game birds.

The Canopy Camp tents were a great setup for sleeping as well as birding right out the door! (Photo by guide John Coons)

CRESTED GUAN (Penelope purpurascens) – One of these was calling pre-dawn on our first night at the Camp. [*]
Ciconiidae (Storks)
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana)
Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (Fregata magnificens) – It was somewhat of a surprise to see this large bird passing over the forest near the Camp.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias) – Not at all common in the area we saw one along the roadside on our first morning out of Panama City and another flying down the Chucunaque River.
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – We saw several in appropriate habitat in Darien and at Lake Bayano.
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)
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nyctanassa violacea) – We saw about five of these during our boat trip on the Chucunaque River.
BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius) – It was a bit of a surprise to see the one we flushed at the edge of the small pond at the San Francisco Reserve. It perched for nice scope views.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albus)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – We had a few sightings of adults and immatures including one by Magnus that he saw from his shower at the Camp.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis) – We had a briefly perched individual that flew out of a tall tree along the Rio Chucunaque.
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – Three were seen soaring above the river on our boat trip. This is one of the best looking raptors in the world.
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) – After hearing one over the forest at Tierra Nueva we had a pretty good view of a calling bird at the airstrip at El Real.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – On our last morning, we had a group of at least 40 individuals kettling above the Canopy Camp.
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens) – This is almost surely the raptor Brenda saw fly up to a parrot nest cavity in the forest near the Canopy Camp. The Red-lored Parrots were taking issue with the intruder.
COMMON BLACK-HAWK (MANGROVE) (Buteogallus anthracinus bangsi)
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis) – We saw at least three individuals around the pasture we birded on our first morning out of Panama City.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)

Although Mottled Owls serenaded us just about every night, it was this Black-and-white Owl that surprised us by calling right overhead one evening. (Photo by participant Roger Rittmaster)

SEMIPLUMBEOUS HAWK (Leucopternis semiplumbeus) – We had great looks on our final morning of a calling bird in the forest at the Camp.
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus)
GRAY-LINED HAWK (Buteo nitidus)
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
WHITE-THROATED CRAKE (Laterallus albigularis) – We had a close calling bird in the marsh near the airstrip at El Real but a couple of folks only saw a shape move through the dense vegetation.
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinicus)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – A fair number were seen in the fields on the way to the Canopy Camp and again at Las Lagunas.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – These were the most common in the Las Lagunas area.
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa) – On our second visit to El Salto there were a few perched in the tree tops in the morning.
PLAIN-BREASTED GROUND-DOVE (Columbina minuta) – One of these small doves was seen on our way to Las Lagunas.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)
BLUE GROUND-DOVE (Claravis pretiosa) – We heard a few and saw a pair fly out of the forest at San Francisco Reserve but we could have used a better view.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – This widespread tropical species was seen or heard just about every day at the Camp.
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) – We ended up with good views of one we heard calling along the highway in the early morning.
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major)
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
Strigidae (Owls)
MOTTLED OWL (Ciccaba virgata) – We had great looks at one right at the edge of the Canopy Camp. There were a pair of these calling just about every night.
BLACK-AND-WHITE OWL (Ciccaba nigrolineata) – A wonderful individual started calling just after we saw the Mottled Owl. We all had a great view in the light close to the Camp.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis)
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis) – Jen spotted one on a day perch at the Camp while we were in Yaviza and we returned the next morning to find it gone. Her persistence paid off as she spotted it some distance away. Great looks.
Apodidae (Swifts)
BAND-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura spinicaudus)
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
RUFOUS-BREASTED HERMIT (Glaucis hirsutus) – A couple of these were seen briefly including a nest that Domi had seen the week before.
PALE-BELLIED HERMIT (Phaethornis anthophilus) – A quite local species in Central America, this was one of the few hummingbirds visiting the Camp's feeders.
PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY (Heliothryx barroti) – We saw a fair number of these large and sharply marked hummingbirds in the forest.

This stunning Ruby-topaz Hummingbird, a real rarity in Central America, was an afternoon fixture at the verbena flowers at the Canopy Camp! (Photo by participant Roger Rittmaster)

RUBY-TOPAZ HUMMINGBIRD (Chrysolampis mosquitus) – Wow! After this rarity was found a few days before we arrived at the Camp, we ended up seeing this dazzling hummingbird each late-afternoon that we looked for it. This was about the fifth record of this species for Central America. Making it more special was that this male was such a gorgeous bird.
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – We saw this bird each day, with our best views at the feeders at our lunch spot in Torti.
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris) – We saw this beauty several times as it visited the feeders at Torti on our way to the Canopy Camp.
SCALY-BREASTED HUMMINGBIRD (Phaeochroa cuvierii) – There was a nest in one of the cecropia trees next to the dining area at the Camp and we also saw several birds here and there during our trip.
SNOWY-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia edward) – This sharply marked hummingbird was seen visiting the feeders at Torti.
SAPPHIRE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Lepidopyga coeruleogularis) – Our only one was coming to the flowering shrub at the house near Las Lagunas.
VIOLET-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Damophila julie) – These were commonly seen at the verbena flowers and around the clearing at the Camp.
BLUE-THROATED GOLDENTAIL (Hylocharis eliciae) – Another local species in Panama there were a few around the clearing.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus) – After some searching we found one, then another, then four, on our walk on the trails near Lake Bayano. We heard a few and saw another male in Darien.
WHITE-TAILED TROGON (Trogon chionurus)
GARTERED TROGON (Trogon caligatus)
BLACK-THROATED TROGON (Trogon rufus) – One of our last new birds, we saw a male at the San Francisco Reserve.
Momotidae (Motmots)
BROAD-BILLED MOTMOT (Electron platyrhynchum) [*]
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – There were surprisingly few of these along the Rio Chucunaque.
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)
AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea) – Amazingly, Nando spotted a male along the bank of the Rio Chucunaque as we returned to Yaviza. We turned around and ended up with great views of this tiny kingfisher.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
WHITE-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus hyperrhynchus) – We saw a couple of pairs along the El Salto Road.
PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus) – One of these small puffbirds came in to an exposed perch while we birded along Nando's Trail.
BARRED PUFFBIRD (Nystalus radiatus) – Always a good bird to see, we encountered two at the edge of the camp on our first morning.
GRAY-CHEEKED NUNLET (Nonnula frontalis stulta) – This area specialty flew in and perched close to us along the El Salto Road. It was there long enough to get the scopes on it.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)

The lovely Blue Dacnis (that's the female in the background), by participant Magnus Persmark

RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda)
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
SPOT-CROWNED BARBET (Capito maculicoronatus rubrilateralis) – We had a few encounters with this unusual species.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
COLLARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus torquatus)
BLACK-MANDIBLED TOUCAN (CHESTNUT-MANDIBLED) (Ramphastos ambiguus swainsonii) – We heard far more of these than we saw.
KEEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos sulfuratus)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
OLIVACEOUS PICULET (Picumnus olivaceus) – We had very nice views of this tiny woodpecker on our way to Las Lagunas. It was hammering away on small vines right next to the road.
BLACK-CHEEKED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes pucherani)
RED-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes rubricapillus)
RED-RUMPED WOODPECKER (Veniliornis kirkii) – Another quite local bird in eastern Panama we ended up seeing this species four or five times.
GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros) – A great looking woodpecker that is rarely seen in Central America we saw one at Tierra Nueva and again in the forest near El Real.
SPOT-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Colaptes punctigula) – Yet another very local species we saw a male along the Las Lagunas Road and another in El Real. This is a South American species that just gets in to Panama in a few places.
CINNAMON WOODPECKER (Celeus loricatus) – One of my favorite woodpeckers, we saw two on our first day then heard it a few more times during the week.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
RED-THROATED CARACARA (Ibycter americanus) – We saw these a few times around the Camp but they never performed well. They moved through the trees quickly and seemed to appear when some of us were taking siestas.
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway)
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima)
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) – We saw one perched at Tierra Nueva as well as hearing them regularly in the early morning at the Camp.
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – One flew over us during our lunch stop near Lake Bayano.
Psittacidae (Parrots)
SPECTACLED PARROTLET (Forpus conspicillatus) – Domi spotted one of these tiny parrots in a treetop during our return to Yaviza on the Rio Chucunaque. The boat was drifting too much for a good view so we landed on the opposite shore and got nice scope views across the river. Another quite local species in Central America.
ORANGE-CHINNED PARAKEET (Brotogeris jugularis)
BROWN-HOODED PARROT (Pyrilia haematotis) – We only had some fly-overs while we were in the forest. [*]
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)
RED-LORED PARROT (Amazona autumnalis) – This was the most common parrot we encountered in Darien.
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa)
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
BLACK-CROWNED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus atrinucha) – We saw a couple of these along the trails at Lake Bayano then heard several more in the forests in Darien. This species is a recent split from the Western Slaty-Antshrike.

Your trusted guides for the tour: Domi, John, and Jen! (Photo by participant Magnus Persmark)

BLACK ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus nigriceps) – Nice looks at an all black male along the El Salto Road while the more colorful female hung around nearby. This is one of the specialties of the area and rarely seen outside of Panama.
CHECKER-THROATED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla fulviventris) – It took a while to get a look at this species but we got it well along Nando's Trail. In the Canal Zone area, this species outnumbers the White-flanked Antwren but it seems to be the opposite here.
MOUSTACHED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula ignota) – Our first calling bird did not cooperate but we stuck with it and got nice looks at this tiny antbird along Nando's Trail at the Canopy Camp. A cute little guy, it seems almost tailless.
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris) – We saw a handful of these along the forest trails.
RUFOUS-WINGED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus rufimarginatus) – A calling bird near Lake Bayano just wouldn't come in close enough to see. [*]
DOT-WINGED ANTWREN (Microrhopias quixensis)
DUSKY ANTBIRD (Cercomacra tyrannina) – We saw a few of these but heard a lot more.
WHITE-BELLIED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza longipes) – We had pretty good views of a singing bird along the trail near the Rio Chucunaque then we started hearing them everywhere.
CHESTNUT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza exsul) – We had very good looks at a male along the trail at the Canopy Camp.
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
BLACK-FACED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius analis) [*]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa)
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus) – On our trek to see the Great Potoo we happened upon one along the forest trail.
COCOA WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus susurrans)
BLACK-STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus lachrymosus) [*]
STREAK-HEADED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii)
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus) – This unusual little species showed well as it worked on thin vines along the trail.
DOUBLE-BANDED GRAYTAIL (Xenerpestes minlosi) – Try as we might to see it we only heard one call above us with a mixed species flock along Nando's Trail. [*]
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
BROWN-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Ornithion brunneicapillus) – Amazingly, we got one of these treetop dwellers in the scope where it stayed for five minutes near the Rio Chucunaque.
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii) – Seen at least by someone each day, this was a pretty common voice in the forest.
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus)

The wonderful Chestnut-mandibled form of Black-mandibled Toucan, by participant Magnus Persmark

SOOTY-HEADED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias griseiceps) – Another local species in Panama, we had nice looks at one at the edge clearing on our first morning at the Camp. There seemed to be three or four individuals in the vicinity of the Camp.
SOUTHERN BENTBILL (Oncostoma olivaceum) – Good views of this odd flycatcher near Lake Bayano.
BLACK-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum nigriceps) – Another canopy dweller that gave us good views. These seemed to be fairly numerous in the areas we visited.
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (YELLOW-MARGINED) (Tolmomyias assimilis flavotectus)
YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris) – This flycatcher has an odd range in Panama. The only place it occurs is in an isolated range right near the Canopy Camp. It is more widespread in South America but this is the only place to see it in Central America. We had a very nice view on our first morning at the Camp.
ROYAL FLYCATCHER (NORTHERN) (Onychorhynchus coronatus mexicanus) – This well-adorned flycatcher was seen just at the start of the trail at the Canopy Camp. It showed well but once again, did not raise its crest.
RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus)
TROPICAL PEWEE (Contopus cinereus) – We saw one near where we parked at the San Francisco Reserve.
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax virescens) – We saw a couple but heard a few every time we went into the forest. This is the major wintering area for this migrant from North America.
PIED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola pica) – This is another South American species that has an isolated range in Panama. We had good views of one working through the vegetation along the shore of Lake Bayano.
LONG-TAILED TYRANT (Colonia colonus)
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) – A common voice, we saw a couple of these along the forest trails.
SIRYSTES (Sirystes sibilator) – We had a brief encounter with one at the San Francisco Reserve where I was a bit surprised to see it. It got away before we all had a view.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor) – Our best view was at the small marsh-like area on the outskirts of El Real.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) [*]
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis) – This was the most common of the larger stripe-headed yellow-bellied flycatchers types that we saw.
GRAY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes granadensis) – We had good views near the airstrip at El Real.

Spot-breasted Woodpeckers occur in open country in only a few localities in eastern Panama. (Photo by participant Roger Rittmaster)

STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius) – One or two were calling around the Canopy Camp clearing most of the time. This is a species that migrates to South America and probably returned about a month before.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana) – We saw a few along the roadsides during our travels
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
PURPLE-THROATED FRUITCROW (Querula purpurata) – This unusual species was first seen at Tierra Nueva where we saw a male and female. Then we had another pair at the Canopy Camp.
BLUE COTINGA (Cotinga nattererii) – After encountering a couple of females, usually the harder gender to see, we saw three adult males and an oddly marked immature male in one tree along the road at El Salto. The males are stunningly blue. Al finally got his male.
Pipridae (Manakins)
RED-CAPPED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra mentalis) – We had nice views of three birds at a lek along the trails at Lake Bayano.
GOLDEN-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra erythrocephala) – The trails at the Canopy Camp are the best place to see this species of any place I have been. We saw a few males and at least one female.
GOLDEN-COLLARED MANAKIN (Manacus vitellinus) – There were several leks along the trails that we walked throughout the trip. We saw a couple of females, immature males and brightly colored adult males.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-CROWNED TITYRA (Tityra inquisitor) – We had a few sightings around the clearing at the Camp.
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)
RUSSET-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis stenorhyncha panamensis) – We went into the forest and finally got rather close views of this odd species. Formerly known as Thrush-like Schiffornis this bird has been put with the manakins in the past.
CINEREOUS BECARD (Pachyramphus rufus) – We saw one right overhead at Tierra Nueva with a mixed-species flock. This is another species that is only found in Central America in eastern Panama.
CINNAMON BECARD (Pachyramphus cinnamomeus)
Vireonidae (Vireos)
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Vireo flavifrons) [*]
YELLOW-GREEN VIREO (Vireo flavoviridis) – We tracked down a singing bird on our first morning near Lake Bayano.
LESSER GREENLET (Hylophilus decurtatus)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BLACK-CHESTED JAY (Cyanocorax affinis)
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
MANGROVE SWALLOW (Tachycineta albilinea) – We saw several flying about over the Rio Chucunaque.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)

We saw a couple of blue-eyed Golden-green Woodpeckers in the taller forests of Darien. (Photo by participant Roger Rittmaster)

WHITE-HEADED WREN (Campylorhynchus albobrunneus harterti) – Quite visible around the Canopy Camp, these large wrens were hopping about on the ground and seen on top of the dining room building.
BLACK-BELLIED WREN (Pheugopedius fasciatoventris)
BAY WREN (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Cantorchilus nigricapillus schottii) [*]
BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis) – The only ones we saw were near El Real.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) [*]
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea)
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – In Central America, this unusual species is found only in Darien. Formerly placed with the wrens it is a denizen of vegetated marshes in much of South America. We had nice views of a couple of pairs singing at Las Lagunas after the long drive to the marsh.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) [*]
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora chrysoptera) – We found a female along the trail near the Rio Chucunaque.
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla)
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi)
BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (Setophaga castanea) – This was the most common wintering warbler we encountered in the forests.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
WHITE-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus luctuosus) – We saw a handful of males and the quite different females with mixed-species flocks in the forest.
CRIMSON-BACKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus dimidiatus)
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
GOLDEN-HOODED TANAGER (Tangara larvata) – A quite colorful tanager, these were fairly common around the Canopy Camp.
PLAIN-COLORED TANAGER (Tangara inornata) – This aptly named tanager was also well-represented around the Camp.
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)

Chestnut-headed Oropendola was one of three species of oropendolas we saw in Darien. This individual was one of a handful building their distinctive nests right in the clearing of the Canopy Camp. (Photo by participant Roger Rittmaster)

WHITE-EARED CONEBILL (Conirostrum leucogenys) – Another local specialty, we had quite good views near the Rio Mono near Lake Bayano.
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)
VARIABLE SEEDEATER (Sporophila corvina)
THICK-BILLED SEED-FINCH (Oryzoborus funereus) – Our only sighting was along one of the trails near Lake Bayano on our first morning.
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) – The calls of these were nearly constant at the Canopy Camp.
DUSKY-FACED TANAGER (Mitrospingus cassinii) – We had a small group fly through the ravine we were birding at the San Francisco Reserve but we never got on to them. [*]
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra)
BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanocompsa cyanoides) [*]
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
RED-BREASTED BLACKBIRD (Sturnella militaris) – This sharp bird showed well near Las Lagunas after our first ones in the large pasture we birded on our first morning out of Panama City.
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
BRONZED COWBIRD (Molothrus aeneus) – This species has greatly spread its range in Panama in the last couple of decades. We saw one at the edge of the pasture near Chepo.
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – Our best view was one on a sandbar in the Rio Chucunaque during our boat trip.
ORCHARD ORIOLE (Icterus spurius) – Just before dusk at Las Lagunas we saw a flock of at least 200 individuals. These will be headed north to the Texas Coast in a few weeks.
YELLOW-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus chrysater)
ORANGE-CROWNED ORIOLE (Icterus auricapillus) – A quite colorful oriole, we had a few sightings. These are only found in Central America in eastern Panama
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula)
SCARLET-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus uropygialis) [*]
YELLOW-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus cela) – Not common where we went but there were a few around.
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus)
CHESTNUT-HEADED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius wagleri) – These were a daily sight in the clearing of the Camp where there were a number of nests in the large tree. and we constantly heard them gurgling.
BLACK OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius guatimozinus) – A very local species we had great scope views of a few individuals near Yaviza. This is a rarely seen species that has always been quite difficult to get into the range of.
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
YELLOW-CROWNED EUPHONIA (Euphonia luteicapilla)
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris) – This was the most common euphonia we encountered.
FULVOUS-VENTED EUPHONIA (Euphonia fulvicrissa) – One of the prettier of the euphonias we saw a few here and there.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]


The dining area at the Camp, by guide John Coons

RED-NAPED TAMARIN (Saguinus geoffroyi) – A quite handsome and colorful small monkey we saw a few groups of them.
MANTLED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta palliata) – Good views of a few and these were sometimes our early morning alarm clocks at the Canopy Camp.
BROWN-THROATED THREE-TOED SLOTH (Bradypus variegatus) – Domi spotted one climbing down, then back up, a cecropia while we were along the trails near Lake Bayano.
RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis)
WHITE-NOSED COATI (Nasua narica) – We saw one cross the Pan-American Highway on our drive back to Panama City on our last day.
NEOTROPICAL OTTER (Lontra longicaudis) – We watched one of these playful mammals in a backwater of Lake Bayano as it swam about hunting fish and climbed out on logs a few times.


Totals for the tour: 223 bird taxa and 7 mammal taxa