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Field Guides Tour Report
Panama's Canopy Camp: Lowland Darien I 2019
Dec 27, 2019 to Jan 4, 2020
John Coons & Eliecer Rodriguez

One of the specialties of eastern Panama, Black Antshrike is an uncommon denizen of thick vegetation and forest edges. We had great looks at this one at Tierra Nueva. Photo by participant Robert McNab.

This was a great week of birding despite periods of rain and having to do a couple of walks through mud. The end of the rainy season had extended into December and January, but it did not deter us. Except for a few occasions, we managed to work around or miss the showers. The one exception was when we returned to Camp after our boat trip at Yaviza and found the creek too high to cross after the heavy rain and we had to wait for it to go down. That was a good excuse to go to the supermarket and get Eskimo Pies.

Our birding started as we left Panama City and headed east, picking up a few roadside birds along the way. Our first real birding was at Lake Bayano where we had nice looks at Jet Antbird, Pied Water-Tyrant. Buff-breasted Wren, Rufous-winged Antwren, Bat Falcon, and Black-tailed Trogon. Near Tortí, we tracked down Carib Grackles, a recent invader from Colombia, and saw Whooping Motmot, Yellow Tyrannulet, Barred Antshrike, Buff-rumped Warbler, and Gartered Trogon before heading to lunch and watching seven species of hummingbirds at the feeders. A Spot-breasted Woodpecker made a surprise appearance here as well. Pearl Kites, Gray Kingbird, Orange-crowned Oriole and White-headed Wren showed before we got to the Canopy Camp and got settled into our safari tents.

The next morning started our birding in earnest. We birded the clearing of the Camp in the early light before walking the trail across the small creek. We saw some of the specialties of eastern Panama, including Gray-cheeked Nunlet, Red-rumped Woodpecker, Yellow-breasted Flycatcher, and Speckled Mourner, along with great views of Golden-collared Manakins at a lek. That afternoon we drove the Pan-American highway to its terminus in Yaviza and found another rarity for Central America, a Bicolored Wren. Along the highway, Eliecer spotted a male Blue Cotinga that we scoped and soon afterwards Oscar spied a Slender-billed Kite perched up the hillside, a very rare bird for Panama. Great views of Barred Puffbird and the very local Black Oropendola ensued before we got back to Camp.

Over the next four days, we left the Canopy Camp to make short drives to various habitats. At Yaviza we boarded a boat and cruised the Chucunaque and Tuira rivers to access two very exciting sites. The first took us to a trail that led to great views of a female Harpy Eagle with a chick at a nest site, while the second was a short walk to a fully fledged Crested Eagle, one of the less commonly seen raptors in the New World tropics. Both of these sites made us glad we wore rubber boots as the trails were quite muddy.

A couple of days later, we took two smaller boats on the narrower Rio Turquesa to the Embera village of Nuevo Vigia where we birded a couple of trails and saw the intricate woven baskets and masks the locals set up for us. Just a short ways from the Camp, we birded the El Salto Road, the trails at Tierra Nueva, Lajas Blancas Road and a few roadside marshes. Highlights over these days included a scoped Agami Heron tucked into the vegetation, Capped Heron, Green Ibis along the Rio Turquesa, a singing Striped Cuckoo on a wire, wonderful perched views of King Vulture at a new "feeder", Black-collared Hawk, perched White Hawk, a singing Great Jacamar and the very local Dusky-backed Jacamar, Golden-green Woodpecker, a scope view of the small Spectacled Parrotlets, Chestnut-fronted Macaws, Black Antshrike, the tiny Moustached Antwren, Black-striped Woodcreeper, Red-billed Scythebill, Double-banded Graytail at a nest, Scaly-throated Leaftosser with mud on its bill, Black-capped Donacobius, White-eared Conebill, and all those tanagers among others.

Leaving early our last morning we visited the taller forest of San Francisco Reserve on our way back to Panama City. I was surprised to encounter a few Slate-colored Seedeaters on the way in, a species that is quite irregular in its yearly distribution. We also caught up with Broad-billed Motmot, Orange-billed Sparrow, and Bay Wren, but the highlight was quite good views of a pair of Yellow-green Tyrannulets, a species that is endemic to Panama and a tough one to find.

All of the staff at the Canopy Camp were wonderful and took very good care of us with great meals, especially the New Year's Eve dinner banquet. I can't say enough about Eliecer and Oscar Fria and their skills to find, spot and get everyone onto the birds we saw. This trip was great fun and I look forward to birding with all of you again one of these days. John

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

Known as the most powerful raptor in the world, Harpy Eagles feed primarily on sloths and monkeys. We saw this female at a nest with a chick after a 2 km hike off the Chucunaque River. Photo by participant Robert McNab.

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) – We heard these several mornings and evenings of our trip. We had a close one at Tierra Nueva but it slipped away on us.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis) – A few were seen on several days around the marshes of Darien.
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata)
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors) – A group of five were seen, then flushed from the muddy riverbank on the Tuira River.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
GRAY-HEADED CHACHALACA (Ortalis cinereiceps) – A few were seen, with the best views being on the Lajas Blancas Road.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa) – We heard a few and I'm not sure we ever laid eyes on one. They often sit in tree tops in the morning, so the rains played a part in them not being spotted. [*]
RUDDY GROUND DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – Quite common around the Camp and other sites.
BLUE GROUND DOVE (Claravis pretiosa) – A few saw a fly-by at San Francisco Reserve.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)
GRAY-CHESTED DOVE (Leptotila cassinii)
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major) – We saw these on several days. They were always found near water.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) – We heard these daily and had a great view of one along the Lajas Blancas Road where it even perched on the power line.
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – A few were seen in the road on the way to the Camp each time we drove it after dark.
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – We had a few sightings, with about 30 individuals seen flying together on the day we saw the eagles.

Cinnamon Woodpecker is one of the coolest looking of Panama’s many woodpeckers. We saw several during the week including ones near a nest site. Photo by participant Robert McNab.

SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura)
BAND-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura spinicaudus) – This was the most common of the small swifts we encountered.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora) – A couple were visiting the feeders at the Camp as well as those at the restaurant in Tortí.
RUFOUS-BREASTED HERMIT (Glaucis hirsutus) – We only had a fly-by or two.
PALE-BELLIED HERMIT (Phaethornis anthophilus) – A quite local species, these were regular visitors to the feeders at the Camp.
PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY (Heliothryx barroti) – A brilliant individual was seen feeding at the large red flowers at the Camp on our first morning there.
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – Several, including males and females, were at the feeders at Tortí and a few were at the Camp as well.
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris) – A sharply marked hummingbird, there was probably no more than a single individual that showed at the Camp feeders and another at Tortí.
SCALY-BREASTED HUMMINGBIRD (Phaeochroa cuvierii) – This species seems to reach its center of abundance in this part of the world. We saw several.
WHITE-VENTED PLUMELETEER (Chalybura buffonii) – Seen daily at the feeders at the Canopy Camp.
SNOWY-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia edward) – A few were around but the ones we saw perched near the feeders at Tortí gave us the best views.
SAPPHIRE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Lepidopyga coeruleogularis) – The males are especially colorful; we saw them on several occasions.
VIOLET-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Juliamyia julie) – One of the smaller hummingbirds we saw; they were fairly common near the Camp.
BLUE-THROATED GOLDENTAIL (Hylocharis eliciae) – A quite uncommon species throughout its range; we had only a couple of sightings at the Camp.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus) – One dashed off the side of the Pan-American Highway as we headed to the Camp on our first day.
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica) – We saw a few at the marshes adjacent to the Pan-American Highway.

Slender-billed Kite is a species with only a few records in Central America, all in Panama. Oscar spotted this one as we were driving just northeast of Yaviza and we leapt out of the vehicle and had great looks. Photo by participant Robert McNab.

GRAY-BREASTED CRAKE (Laterallus exilis) [*]
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) – A couple were perched in the vegetation at one of the marshes we visited.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – The flock of 19 that flew over us at Tortí Abajo might have been the most I have seen together in Panama.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana) – Nearly every wetland we visited had a couple or more of these.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – We saw a few, but the one perched on the roof of a building in Nuevo Vigia certainly seemed out of place.
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – One was seen in a roadside creek on our first day.
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – One individual flew down the river and landed on a sandbar at Tortí Abajo.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana) – We saw several during the week.
Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga anhinga)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum) – We had a great view of one right next to the highway near Tierra Nueva.
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias) – We saw a few here and there.
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – Both adults and white immatures were seen.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – A few were seen on the boat trip along the Turquesa River near Nuevo Vigia.
AGAMI HERON (Agamia agami) – At the lagoon along the kingfisher trail at Nuevo Vigia, the guys spotted one tucked into the vegetation. With some repositioning, we got nice scope views of this beautiful heron.
CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus) – Another quite beautiful heron; we saw two or three during our river excursions.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nyctanassa violacea) – Four individuals were perched on a stump during our river trip on the Chucunaque and Tuira rivers.
BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius) – We found one somewhat exposed at the lagoon near Nuevo Vigia.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albus)
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis) – We ended up seeing about 3-4 individuals along the river and on the trail near Nuevo Vigia.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – A few were seen flying, then we scored great looks just below the Camp where they had just started a "feeder" by putting out cattle parts that Abel got from some of the area ranchers. This could revolutionize King Vulture views for the future.

This Long-billed Starthroat was an occasional visitor to the feeders at the Canopy Camp. Photo by participant Robert McNab.

BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – We may have only seen one or two during the week in the open savanna country.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Our only sighting was at Lake Bayano on our first morning.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
PEARL KITE (Gampsonyx swainsonii) – We had a few nice looks at this small but quite handsome raptor.
GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis)
CRESTED EAGLE (Morphnus guianensis) – We had great views of a young bird near a nest that was used last year. This individual was about 11 months old and had been seen flying about. After we went up the bank of the Tuira River and walked about 300 meters through the wet forest, Oscar spotted this large raptor perched above us. We hung out watching for a while as it surveyed its surroundings. This is a very uncommonly seen species and is encountered less frequently than Harpy Eagle. Yip! Yip! Yip!
HARPY EAGLE (Harpia harpyja) – Wow! The most powerful raptor in the world. We had a great view of a female and the head of a sizable chick in the nest after walking about 2 kms along a muddy trail that we accessed from the Chucunaque River out of Yaviza. This was certainly one of the top highlights of the trip!
BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis) – We had nice looks at this good-looking raptor along the Rio Tuira.
SLENDER-BILLED KITE (Helicolestes hamatus) – A very rare bird in Panama. We had great looks at one perched up slope in the forest off the Pan-American Highway not far from Yaviza. Oscar somehow spotted it through the forest as he was driving back. Though this species had been seen a few times in this area recently, there are only a few records for Panama and it was a lifer for Eliecer.
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) – We had good views of a perched individual along the El Salto Road.
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens) – We saw a few perched and flying.
COMMON BLACK HAWK (MANGROVE) (Buteogallus anthracinus bangsi)
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis) – Surprisingly, our only ones were those we saw soaring high above Tortí at the lunch spot.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – We saw a lot of these.
WHITE HAWK (Pseudastur albicollis) – Our first sighting of this beautiful raptor was a perched individual along the Lajas Blancas Road, then we saw two at San Francisco Reserve on our last day.
SEMIPLUMBEOUS HAWK (Leucopternis semiplumbeus) – This sharply marked raptor was seen perched near the El Salto Road where we enjoyed great looks.
GRAY-LINED HAWK (Buteo nitidus)

This species is often difficult to see well since it tends to stay in the forest canopy, but this Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher was at eye level when participant Robert McNab photographed it in the clearing of the Canopy Camp.

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) – We saw several and I think they were all immature birds.
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus)
ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus) – Our first one was seen perched just down the road from the King Vultures near the Camp.
Strigidae (Owls)
CRESTED OWL (Lophostrix cristata) [*]
MOTTLED OWL (Ciccaba virgata) [*]
BLACK-AND-WHITE OWL (Ciccaba nigrolineata) – There was one calling at the edge of the Camp and some saw it fly just as we got the light on it.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus) – We saw a few and heard more with our first at Lake Bayano on our drive to Darien.
WHITE-TAILED TROGON (Trogon chionurus) – We saw a male along Nando's Trail at the Camp and another one or two later.
GARTERED TROGON (Trogon caligatus) – Our only sighting was at Tortí Arriba before we headed back to lunch.
Momotidae (Motmots)
WHOOPING MOTMOT (Momotus subrufescens) – Our first was at Tortí Abajo and we had a couple more later in the week.
BROAD-BILLED MOTMOT (Electron platyrhynchum) – We didn't encounter this species until we went to San Francisco Reserve.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – A handful were seen on our river trips.
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – One flew past along the Rio Tortí on our first day and we saw a few more along the Rio Turquesa.
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – We saw a couple along the Rio Turquesa during our boat trip.
GREEN-AND-RUFOUS KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle inda) – One was calling at the lagoon near Nuevo Vigia but we could not see it across the water. [*]
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
WHITE-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus hyperrhynchus) – We saw a couple along the El Salto Road.
PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus) – Our first was seen in an open section of the trail on the way to the Harpy Eagle nest.
BARRED PUFFBIRD (Nystalus radiatus) – A local specialty; we saw one soon after finding the Slender-billed Kite.

A quite rare raptor of the New World tropics, this Crested Eagle gave us great views in a remote forest area off the Rio Tuira. This immature bird was about eleven months old and flying about the area of its nest tree. Photo by participant Robert McNab.

WHITE-WHISKERED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila panamensis) – This is more of a forest species than the other puffbirds and we had good looks at one along Nando's Trail at the Camp.
GRAY-CHEEKED NUNLET (Nonnula frontalis stulta) – Another specialty of Darien. We had nice views of one near the bottom end of the Camp.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
DUSKY-BACKED JACAMAR (Brachygalba salmoni) – We took a boat trip up the Rio Turquesa especially to look for this small jacamar and were successful with great views up river from Nuevo Vigia.
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda)
GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus) – We chased a calling bird around for a bit and finally got a scope view of this forest bird in the forest near where we saw the Crested Eagle.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
SPOT-CROWNED BARBET (Capito maculicoronatus rubrilateralis) – A member of a strange family of birds; we saw a pair right in the clearing at Camp on our first morning there.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
COLLARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus torquatus) – Several were seen, with some in Camp.
YELLOW-THROATED TOUCAN (CHESTNUT-MANDIBLED) (Ramphastos ambiguus swainsonii) – We heard a lot more than we saw but we enjoyed several views of this classic tropical bird.
KEEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos sulfuratus) – These were seen and heard right in Camp on most days of our trip.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
OLIVACEOUS PICULET (Picumnus olivaceus) – A tiny woodpecker. We ended up with great views soon after starting our birding along the Lajas Blancas Road.
BLACK-CHEEKED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes pucherani) – Our best views were right in the clearing of the Camp.
RED-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes rubricapillus)
RED-RUMPED WOODPECKER (Dryobates kirkii) – This small woodpecker was seen a few times at the edge of the forest.
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos)
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)
CINNAMON WOODPECKER (Celeus loricatus) – A quite handsome woodpecker. We had a few, including one investigating a nest hole at Tierra Nueva.
GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros) – Our first sighting was right along the Pan-American Highway.
SPOT-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Colaptes punctigula) – This is an open country and savanna species but it was a bit of a surprise to see this colorful species at our lunch spot in Tortí. It even landed on the power line.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) [*]
RED-THROATED CARACARA (Ibycter americanus) [*]
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway)
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima) – This was a daily occurrence.
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) – We saw a few perched in the open country.
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis) – This was one of the early birds we saw on our trip, with one perched atop the bridge crossing Lake Bayano.

Black-throated Mangos were frequent visitors to the feeders at the restaurant in Tortí and at the Canopy Camp. Photo by participant Robert McNab.

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
ORANGE-CHINNED PARAKEET (Brotogeris jugularis) – A lot of these were seen flying over and we had a few scope views, even showing the orange chin.
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus) – These were seen several times and were generally loud when they were flying over.
RED-LORED PARROT (Amazona autumnalis) – We saw these around the Camp each day.
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa) – One of the larger Amazon parrots. We had fewer of these than the Red-lored but still had several good sightings.
SPECTACLED PARROTLET (Forpus conspicillatus) – Eliecer did a great job of finding this tiny specialty. We ended up seeing a male and female feeding in a small tree in the open country along the Pan-American Highway.
CHESTNUT-FRONTED MACAW (Ara severus) – We had nice looks at those along the Lajas Blancas Road where about 15 individuals flew over.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major) [*]
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus) – A male and female showed well at Lake Bayano on our first morning.
BLACK-CROWNED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus atrinucha) – These were calling in the taller forest areas we visited and we had nice looks at Tierra Nueva and again at San Francisco Reserve.
BLACK ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus nigriceps) – A specialty of eastern Panama. We had nice looks at Tierra Nueva of an all-black male and a more colorful female.
MOUSTACHED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula ignota) – One of the smallest of the antbirds. We had nice looks at a calling bird just overhead near Nuevo Vigia.
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris) – Robert spotted a male along Nando's Trail at the Canopy Camp.
RUFOUS-WINGED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus rufimarginatus) – This small antbird is usually high in the canopy but we had a nice view of one that came lower at our stop at Lake Bayano.
DUSKY ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides tyrannina) – A female was seen briefly along the El Salto Road.
JET ANTBIRD (Cercomacra nigricans) – We had surprisingly nice views of a calling bird at Lake Bayano.
BARE-CROWNED ANTBIRD (Gymnocichla nudiceps) [*]
WHITE-BELLIED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza longipes) – We heard a few but had a pretty good view of a male at the Canopy Camp.
SPOTTED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax naevioides) – We had a couple that were difficult to see but some folks had an okay view at Tierra Nueva.

It was a bit of a surprise to see this handsome Spot-breasted Woodpecker just in front of our lunch restaurant in Tortí. This is a species that is normally seen at forest edges in savannas. Photo by participant Robert McNab.

Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
BLACK-FACED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius analis) – This was seen by a few of us along the ground along the trail to the lagoon at Tierra Nueva. [*]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
SCALY-THROATED LEAFTOSSER (Sclerurus guatemalensis) – We had great looks at this rather uncommon and unusual species in the forest at Tierra Nueva. The scope view showed that it had mud on its bill from probing in the ground.
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (Sittasomus griseicapillus)
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa) – Our best view was on the trail to the lagoon at Tierra Nueva.
NORTHERN BARRED-WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes sanctithomae) – We had a good view of a responsive individual at Tierra Nueva where we thought there had been an antswarm recently.
COCOA WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus susurrans)
BLACK-STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus lachrymosus) – One of the more sharply marked woodcreepers; we had a nice view along the muddy trail on the way to the Crested Eagle site.
RED-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus trochilirostris) – We saw this unusual woodcreeper along the Lajas Blancas Road and again near Nuevo Vigia.
STREAK-HEADED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii) – This species was seen well a few times including right in the clearing at the Camp.
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus)
DOUBLE-BANDED GRAYTAIL (Xenerpestes minlosi) – Another specialty of Darien. We had nice looks in the small coffee plantation off the Rio Turquesa. We saw it at a nest before realizing it was removing sticks from this nest and taking them to an adjacent tree where it was constructing a new nest.
Pipridae (Manakins)
GOLDEN-COLLARED MANAKIN (Manacus vitellinus) – A lek along Nando's Trail gave us good looks at a couple of males that were snapping and popping.
GOLDEN-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra erythrocephala) – A male was spotted along Nando's Trail on our first morning at the Camp.
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
PURPLE-THROATED FRUITCROW (Querula purpurata) – We saw a few including males with brightly colored throats.
BLUE COTINGA (Cotinga nattererii) – Eliecer somehow spotted a male perched atop a thick patch of trees as we drove along the highway. We jumped out and had nice scope views of this stunner. A couple of days later, along the El Salto Road we found a couple of female plumaged individuals.
RUFOUS PIHA (Lipaugus unirufus) [*]
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)
RUSSET-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis stenorhyncha panamensis) [*]

We usually see King Vultures soaring over the forest or savanna but a brand new “feeder” that the staff had just tried out proved fruitful after only two days. Photo by participant Robert McNab.

SPECKLED MOURNER (Laniocera rufescens) – A pair of these rather uncommon birds were seen along Nando's Trail.
CINNAMON BECARD (Pachyramphus cinnamomeus) – A pair were around Camp each day.
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) – We scoped a male near Nuevo Vigia.
Oxyruncidae (Sharpbill, Royal Flycatcher, and Allies)
RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus)
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – We spotted one at Tortí Arriba doing its distinctive one-wing at a time flip.
YELLOW-GREEN TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes flavovirens) – One of the few birds endemic to Panama. We had a nice view of two individuals above us at San Francisco Reserve. We even had one of them in the scope for awhile.
SOUTHERN BENTBILL (Oncostoma olivaceum) – This unusual flycatcher showed pretty well at Tierra Nueva.
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum)
BLACK-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum nigriceps) – We had a great look at one just above eye-level at the Camp on our first day there. This is often a species that is only seen high in the canopy.
OLIVACEOUS FLATBILL (Rhynchocyclus olivaceus) [*]
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (YELLOW-WINGED) (Tolmomyias assimilis flavotectus) [*]
YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris) – A South American species that only occurs in Central America in a limited area. We had our first right in the clearing of the Camp.
BROWN-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Ornithion brunneicapillus) – We saw two at the end of the clearing at the Camp.
YELLOW TYRANNULET (Capsiempis flaveola) – We saw a couple of individuals at Tortí Abajo before we headed back for lunch.
YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus) [*]
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii) – A common voice of the forest; we saw a couple of these along the El Salto Road.
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)
SOOTY-HEADED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias griseiceps) – We had a nice look at a singing individual in a little patch of trees along the Lajas Blancas Road.
EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus virens) – Oscar found one along the trail to the lagoon at Nuevo Vigia.
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax virescens) – This part of Panama is where the majority of these eastern North American breeders spend the winter. We heard several and a couple were spotted.
WILLOW FLYCATCHER (Empidonax traillii) – We found three singing individuals at the marshy spot along the Pan-American Highway east of the Camp.
PIED WATER-TYRANT (Fluvicola pica) – Our first sighting was at Lake Bayano where we saw one going to a nest site.
LONG-TAILED TYRANT (Colonia colonus) – This distinctive flycatcher was seen a few times perched atop broken tree trunks.
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) – Another commonly heard voice in the forest, and we had a nice view at the Camp on our first morning there.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)
GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus) – Many were heard and a few were seen.
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor) – A pair were seen quite well at the lagoon near Nuevo Vigia.

Although found from Guatemala to Colombia, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird doesn’t seem to be common anywhere except for areas in eastern Panama. We saw several, including great looks at feeders at Tortí and the Canopy Camp. Photo by participant Robert McNab.

GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – Quite common.
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis) – We had these daily.
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis) – I believe our only sighting was at Lake Bayano.
GRAY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes granadensis) – We found a calling individual at the coffee plantation where we saw the small jacamar.
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius) – One was calling each day at the Camp.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – We saw lots of these.
GRAY KINGBIRD (Tyrannus dominicensis) – One was spotted on a powerline on the day we drove to Darien.
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana) – A great looking flycatcher; we saw a couple in the open country on the first two days in eastern Panama.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
SCRUB GREENLET (Hylophilus flavipes) – We had nice views of a calling bird at Lake Bayano.
LESSER GREENLET (Pachysylvia decurtata) – A widespread tropical species. We finally found these at San Francisco Reserve.
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Vireo flavifrons) – Our only sighting was one along the Lajas Blancas Road.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BLACK-CHESTED JAY (Cyanocorax affinis) – We had several good views of this large nice looking jay.
Donacobiidae (Donacobius)
BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla) – A rather strange species and the only member of its family; we had a scope view of a perched individual at a roadside marsh.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – These were common everyday.
MANGROVE SWALLOW (Tachycineta albilinea) – We saw a handful during our river trips.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – We only saw a couple of these wintering birds in the open savannas.

The Moustached Antwren is one of the smallest of the antbirds and usually difficult to see well in the canopy, but we found this cooperative individual along the trail near Nuevo Vigia. Photo by participant Robert McNab.

Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea) – We had a few, some mixed with forest flocks.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
SCALY-BREASTED WREN (Microcerculus marginatus) [*]
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon) – We at least heard this widespread species each day.
WHITE-HEADED WREN (Campylorhynchus albobrunneus harterti) – A quite large wren, they put on a pretty good show on a few occasions and especially right in Camp.
BICOLORED WREN (Campylorhynchus griseus) – A recent invader to Panama from Colombia, we had a nice look at one at the cemetery in Yaviza.
BLACK-BELLIED WREN (Pheugopedius fasciatoventris) – This species with the conspicuous white throat was a skulker but we had a couple of views.
ISTHMIAN WREN (Cantorchilus elutus) – Formerly called Plain Wren; we saw two individuals at Lake Bayano on our first morning.
BAY WREN (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Cantorchilus nigricapillus schottii) – Another skulker, we ended up with a nice look at one moving along the hillside at San Francisco Reserve.
BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis) – Our best view was at Lake Bayano.
WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta) [*]
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi) – Not many but there were a few here and there.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
YELLOW-CROWNED EUPHONIA (Euphonia luteicapilla) – Most of the ones we saw were away from the Camp.
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris) – This was the euphonia most likely to be seen at Camp.
FULVOUS-VENTED EUPHONIA (Euphonia fulvicrissa)
WHITE-VENTED EUPHONIA (Euphonia minuta) – One of the more uncommonly seen euphonias in Central America. We saw three individuals in a tree in the coffee plantation near Nuevo Vigia. They slipped away before everyone got them well.
Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)
ORANGE-BILLED SPARROW (Arremon aurantiirostris) – We had one on the uphill slope in the forest along the road at San Francisco Reserve.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus) – The ones we saw just west of Yaviza were doing their display of bending over, spreading their wings and gurgling away.
CHESTNUT-HEADED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius wagleri) – These were never not present around the Camp.
BLACK OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius guatimozinus) – Another specialty of Darien. We saw a few flyovers then had a great scope view of a rather close one right along the highway.
YELLOW-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus chrysater) – We saw a few along the forest edges.
ORANGE-CROWNED ORIOLE (Icterus auricapillus) – On our first morning we saw a couple at Altos de Cristo.
YELLOW-TAILED ORIOLE (Icterus mesomelas) – Oscar spotted one from the boat as we cruised the Rio Turquesa and we went back and had a nice view.
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula) – A handful of these wintering birds were seen during the week.
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)

We spotted this Semiplumbeous Hawk, a very handsome forest raptor, perched right over the track along the El Salto Road. Photo by participant Robert McNab.

GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus) – These were mostly encountered near the villages along the road.
CARIB GRACKLE (Quiscalus lugubris) – A recent invader to Panama from South America. We had nice looks at one amongst the homes in Tortí.
YELLOW-HOODED BLACKBIRD (Chrysomus icterocephalus) – We only had a fly-over at one of the marshes along the Pan-America Highway.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – One or two were working the ravine at the Canopy Camp and we had a few more in appropriate habitat here and there.
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER (Protonotaria citrea) – Always a great bird to see. We had our best views along the Rio Turquesa from the boats.
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Leiothlypis peregrina)
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla) – Robert spotted one near Yaviza.
BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (Setophaga castanea) – This was the most commonly seen wintering forest warbler we encountered.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) – We saw these in a variety of habitats.
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica) – Robert found one at San Francisco Reserve when we were busy with a few other birds.
BUFF-RUMPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis fulvicauda) – A loud singer to get its voice to carry over the sound of rushing water. We had nice looks at a pair at Tortí Arriba then another at San Francisco Reserve on our last day.
Mitrospingidae (Mitrospingid Tanagers)
DUSKY-FACED TANAGER (Mitrospingus cassinii) – A couple were calling at the edge of the clearing at San Francisco Reserve and flew across the opening.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra)
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – The only ones we found were along the Lajas Blancas Road and we saw about eight individuals.
BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanoloxia cyanoides) – A female sat up well at the far end of the Camp on our first morning.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
GRAY-HEADED TANAGER (Eucometis penicillata) [*]
WHITE-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus luctuosus) – A few were seen with the forest flocks.

Mantled Howler Monkeys were often heard pre-dawn from our tents at the Canopy Camp. Photo by participant Robert McNab.

FLAME-RUMPED TANAGER (Ramphocelus flammigerus)
CRIMSON-BACKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus dimidiatus) – These were common in second growth habitat.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
GOLDEN-HOODED TANAGER (Stilpnia larvata)
PLAIN-COLORED TANAGER (Tangara inornata) – This small tanager is properly named.
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes cyaneus) – Surprisingly, we only saw this species on our first day.
WHITE-EARED CONEBILL (Conirostrum leucogenys) – Another eastern Panama specialty. We had a few encounters with individuals at the forest edge.
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)
RUDDY-BREASTED SEEDEATER (Sporophila minuta) – One of the sharper looking seedeaters; we saw a few.
THICK-BILLED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila funerea) – One perched up and was vocalizing near the beginning of our walk to the Harpy nest.
VARIABLE SEEDEATER (Sporophila corvina)
SLATE-COLORED SEEDEATER (Sporophila schistacea) – A quite irregularly seen species. We had nice looks in the trees near the agricultural fields at San Francisco Reserve.
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) – These have discovered the hummingbird feeders since my last visit to the Camp and were waiting in line to get sugar water.
STREAKED SALTATOR (Saltator striatipectus) – We had a brief look at Lake Bayano.

CENTRAL AMERICAN WOOLY OPOSSUM (Caluromys derbianus) – Eliecer spotted one near the "creek" after dark when we were waiting for the "river" to go down.
RED-NAPED TAMARIN (Saguinus geoffroyi) – We saw these several times and they were never far away at the Canopy Camp where they hit the bananas at the bird feeders regularly.
MANTLED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta palliata) – We had good views of a few and watched a few calling just after one of the rains stopped.
WHITE-THROATED CAPUCHIN (Cebus capucinus) – These were frequent visitors to the bird feeders at Camp where they hauled off a lot of bananas. We may have gotten to know some of them on a first name basis if we had stayed a few more days.
HOFFMANN'S TWO-TOED SLOTH (Choloepus hoffmanni) – We saw one at Camp on our first morning.
BROWN-THROATED THREE-TOED SLOTH (Bradypus variegatus) – We also had this one at Camp but on the opposite side.
RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis) – A fair number were seen, with most of them around the Camp.
WHITE-NOSED COATI (Nasua narica) – One came up on the side of the highway before running off.


Totals for the tour: 271 bird taxa and 8 mammal taxa