A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Panama's Canopy Camp: Lowland Darien I 2021

December 26, 2021-January 3, 2022 with Chris Benesh & Moyo Rodriguez guiding

Field Guides Birding Tours
This colorful sign marks the gateway to Darien Province in eastern Panama and the start of many wonderful wildlife experiences. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

For many of us, the 2022 Canopy Camp Darien Tour marked a return to international travel. Aside from any hassles associated with making travel safe, it was wonderful to stretch our wings and enjoy some wonderful international birding. We were in great hands with Moyo Rodriguez and and Canopy staff that took such good care of us. Darien is a province of high regional endemism, and we saw a number of species whose ranges span from eastern Panama into adjacent parts of Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela. Several of our excursions took us to the banks of the Rio Chucunaque. And one of these excursions took us into the adjacent province of Embera, where we were taken on a muddy slog on horseback to observe an active Harpy Eagle nest. We were fortunate in having an adult fly in with food to feed the growing nestling while we watched in amazement. Another excursion on the Rio Chucunaque turned up an assortment of riverbank loving raptors (Black-collared Hawk, Common Black Hawk, and Crane Hawk), and other highlights that included a massive tree full of breeding Wood Storks. We spent a wonderful morning along the birdy El Salto Road where we encountered several trogons, and had great views of Double-banded Graytail and Gray-cheeked Nunlet. Woods near Yaviza produced a nice study of Dusky-backed Jacamar and Black Oropendola. On top of all of the terrific daytime birding, we had some wonderful night time excursions. Our owling trip featured Black-and-White Owl, Tropical Screech-Owl, and Anita’s amazing spotting of Striped Owl! And back at the lodge, our night walk featured various cool creatures including Nine-banded Armadillo, Common Opossum, and a couple species of scorpions endemic to the region. And the insect sheets at the loge had an amazing variety of life!

It was a real pleasure bringing in the New Year with all of you. Thank you for your great company and for all of the terrific images you shared from the trip. There were far too many to include in the list. I wish you all the very best in birding and in health.

—Chris Benesh

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)

GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) [*]

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Dining at the Canopy Camp. Photo by Anita Niedzeila-Majka.

LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) [*]

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)

We drove past some on our way back to Panama City at the end of the tour.

Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)

GRAY-HEADED CHACHALACA (Ortalis cinereiceps)

At least five were seen on the Penitas Road on our second afternoon. Another was near the Yaviza forest on day five.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus)

Four of these were on a large pond at the ricefields.

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]

PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)

SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa)

We had a good scope view of one along the El Salto Road.


One was seen along the La Reversa Road.

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We spent a wonderful morning watching an active Harpy Eagle nest with a four month old chick. Here the adult male has come in with a Geoffroy's Tamarin. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

RUDDY GROUND DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)

This species was really abundant at some locations with groups of up to 30 birds seen.

BLUE GROUND DOVE (Claravis pretiosa)

Mostly heard, but seen flying past us at the San Francisco Reserve.

WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major)

Quite a few close encounters with this large, pale eyed ani.

SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)

This was the other plentiful species of ani seen at various locations.

STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia)

A couple heard and Moyo called in one that showed well for us on the La Reversa Road.

SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)

A couple of these flashy cuckoos were seen early on in the tour.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis)

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This Gray-lined Hawk is sunning itself near a nest along the La Reversa Road. Photo by Jerzy Majka.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)

GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis)

Great looks at a cryptic bird roosting in a large tree.

COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus)

We caught the glowing eyes of one on our night drive.

Apodidae (Swifts)

WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris)

A few kettles of these were seen during our boat trip on the Rio Chucunaque.

SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura)

Also seen early on on the boat trip.

BAND-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura spinicaudus)

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora)


BAND-TAILED BARBTHROAT (Threnetes ruckeri) [*]

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A pair of Roadside Hawks strike a nice pose. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

PALE-BELLIED HERMIT (Phaethornis anthophilus)

This was the most common of the hermits on the tour.

STRIPE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis striigularis)

PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY (Heliothryx barroti)

We had a brief encounter with this species on the El Salto Road.

BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis)

RUFOUS-CRESTED COQUETTE (Lophornis delattrei)

One came in daily to flowers at the lodge during our time there.

LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris)


This species was common around the lodge.


Great looks at one at our lunch spot in Torti, where it was quite protective of the feeders.

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This Common Black Hawk showed well on our boat trip. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.


A beautiful example seen in Torti at the feeders.


SAPPHIRE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Chrysuronia coeruleogularis)



This species appeared on a few occasions at lodge flowers.


Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus)

Great looks at one that Moyo called in for us on the Reversa Road.

PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica)

A couple seen including in the rice fields.

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Myles McNally got this great image of a Black-collared Hawk on our boat trip along the Rio Chucunaque.

WHITE-THROATED CRAKE (Laterallus albigularis) [*]

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)

We had a rather large gathering of them on a river sandbar.

Jacanidae (Jacanas)

WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)

Ciconiidae (Storks)

WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana)

A magnificent large nesting tree was seen on our river boat ride.

Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)


Anhingidae (Anhingas)

ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga anhinga)

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Nannopterum brasilianum)

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We had a wonderful encounter with a Pearl Kite. Photo by Myles McNally.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)

COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi)

A striking, large cousin to the familiar Great Blue was well seen on our boat trip.

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)

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At the end of the La Reversa Road we encountered this cooperative Laughing Falcon that was scanning for prey from this perch. Photo by Myles McNally.

CAPPED HERON (Pilherodius pileatus)

A quick flyover on the Reversa Road.

YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nyctanassa violacea)

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albus)

Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa)

A couple of decent views of soaring birds.

BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus)

The road out to the rice fields had a small number of these, allowing direct comparison with Turkey Vultures.

Pandionidae (Osprey)

OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)

One of the last new birds of the trip was one seen at Lake Bayano.

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Darien remains a great place to see Red-throated Caracara, a species that has disappeared from much of its former range. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

PEARL KITE (Gampsonyx swainsonii)

WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus)

HOOK-BILLED KITE (Chondrohierax uncinatus)

A dark morph bird flew over us in bad light on the El Salto Road.

HARPY EAGLE (Harpia harpyja)

Our day trip to see nesting Harpy Eagle was an adventure and a treat. Sadly, out of an abundance of caution, not all of us were able to make the trip.

BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) [*]

BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis)

Terrific views of this colorful species that is closely tied to lakes, rivers, and marshes.

CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens)

This lanky species is fairly common in eastern Panama and we had several sightings.

COMMON BLACK HAWK (MANGROVE) (Buteogallus anthracinus bangsi)

Great views of this species on the boat ride. In this part of their range they are generally closely tied to rivers and mangroves.

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Myles McNally got this fabulous shot of a Striped Owl that Anita spotted on a roadside fencepost as we were wrapping up our owling.

SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis)

GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga)

Seen on the Reversa Road.

ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)

A few seen and most memorable was the pair of birds perched together at the side of the road.

GRAY-LINED HAWK (Buteo nitidus)

Our best experience with this species was on the Reversa Road.

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus)

SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus)

ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus)

Strigidae (Owls)

TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba)

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A couple more highlights of our evening of owling were this Black-and-White Owl and Tropical Screech-Owl. Photos by guide Chris Benesh.

MOTTLED OWL (Ciccaba virgata) [*]

BLACK-AND-WHITE OWL (Ciccaba nigrolineata)

STRIPED OWL (Asio clamator)

Trogonidae (Trogons)

BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus)

We had a trogon sweep along the El Salto Road.

WHITE-TAILED TROGON (Trogon chionurus)


Momotidae (Motmots)

WHOOPING MOTMOT (Momotus subrufescens)

A few seen and a common early morning sound at the lodge.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)

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A young Ringed Kingfisher showed nicely for us on our boat trip. Photo by Jerzy Majka.

AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona)

Our only one was along the Rio Chucunaque.

Bucconidae (Puffbirds)

WHITE-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus hyperrhynchus)

A couple of encounters with this open country species.

BLACK-BREASTED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus pectoralis)

A pair were seen on our way back from the Harpy Eagle nest.

PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus)

We had pairs of birds on the El Salto and El Reversa Roads.

BARRED PUFFBIRD (Nystalus radiatus)

Well seen on our first full day of birding at the Reserva San Francisco.

WHITE-WHISKERED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila panamensis)

One was seen on the Harpy Eagle trek.

GRAY-CHEEKED NUNLET (Nonnula frontalis stulta)

A couple of encounters with this regional specialty.

Galbulidae (Jacamars)

DUSKY-BACKED JACAMAR (Brachygalba salmoni)

Great looks at a pair of birds near Yaviza. This species has a small range in extreme eastern Panama and adjacent Colombia.

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Also at the end of La Reversa Road was this Rufous-tailed Jacamar. Photo by Myles McNally.

RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda)

Nice studies of one in riverine forest.

Capitonidae (New World Barbets)

SPOT-CROWNED BARBET (Capito maculicoronatus rubrilateralis)

This is yet another range restricted species, occurring from central Panama east to western Colombia.

Ramphastidae (Toucans)

COLLARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus torquatus)

YELLOW-THROATED TOUCAN (CHESTNUT-MANDIBLED) (Ramphastos ambiguus swainsonii)

KEEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos sulfuratus)

Picidae (Woodpeckers)

OLIVACEOUS PICULET (Picumnus olivaceus)

A memorable sighting of this species early on in the tour.

BLACK-CHEEKED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes pucherani)

RED-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes rubricapillus)

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We had a wonderful study of this Black-breasted Puffbird, one of four puffbird species seen on the tour. Photo by Anita Niedzeila-Majka.

RED-RUMPED WOODPECKER (Dryobates kirkii)

CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos)

Several good looks at this large, crested species.

LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)

CINNAMON WOODPECKER (Celeus loricatus)

GOLDEN-GREEN WOODPECKER (Piculus chrysochloros)

SPOT-BREASTED WOODPECKER (Colaptes punctigula)

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus)

Mainly heard, but also glimpsed in flight near the Harpy Eagle nest viewing platform.

RED-THROATED CARACARA (Ibycter americanus)

It was a treat to see several of these bizarre raptors in Darien. This species has undergone steep population crashes over much of the northern portions of its range beginning in the second half of the 20th century. The reason for it is still unresolved.

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A couple of sought after regional specialties include Double-banded Graytail and Gray-cheeked Nunlet. This tour provided great opportunities for both. Photos by guide Chris Benesh.

CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara plancus)

YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima)

LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans)

A tremendous study of one at the end of the Reversa Road.

AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)

BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis)

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)

ORANGE-CHINNED PARAKEET (Brotogeris jugularis)

Including stunning views of this species coming to the feeders.

BROWN-HOODED PARROT (Pyrilia haematotis)

BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)

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We had nice studies of several species of woodcreepers. The Straight-billed Woodcreeper pictured here was one of a pair of birds in open riverine woodland. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

RED-LORED PARROT (Amazona autumnalis)

MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa)

SPECTACLED PARROTLET (Forpus conspicillatus)

Three of these tiny parrots launched out of a tree with two Orange-chinned Parakeets.

BLUE-AND-YELLOW MACAW (Ara ararauna) [*]


A few flew past us on the Salto Road as well as distant scope views.

Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)

GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major) [*]

BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus)

Well seen at Lake Bayano.

BLACK-CROWNED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus atrinucha)

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A few years back, the Thrushlike Schiffornis (Mourner, Manakin) was split into several species. This is the Russet-winged Schiffornis that we saw so well right at the Canopy Camp. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

BLACK ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus nigriceps)

CHECKER-THROATED STIPPLETHROAT (Epinecrophylla fulviventris)

WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris)

RUSTY-WINGED ANTWREN (Herpsilochmus frater)

DOT-WINGED ANTWREN (Microrhopias quixensis)

DUSKY ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides tyrannina)

JET ANTBIRD (Cercomacra nigricans) [*]

BARE-CROWNED ANTBIRD (Gymnocichla nudiceps)

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Here is the distinctive "Darien" form of Bay Wren with its heavy barred plumage. Photo by Myles McNally.

WHITE-BELLIED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza longipes)

After a lot of searching we found the right hole to peer into to see this singing bird.

CHESTNUT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Poliocrania exsul) [*]

BICOLORED ANTBIRD (Gymnopithys bicolor)

SPOTTED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax naevioides)

Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)

PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa)

NORTHERN BARRED-WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes sanctithomae)

COCOA WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus susurrans)


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Anita Niedzeila-Majka took this wonderul image of a Snowy-bellied Hummingbird in Torti.

STREAK-HEADED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii)

PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus)

DOUBLE-BANDED GRAYTAIL (Xenerpestes minlosi)

A range restricted species found in eastern Panama and western Colombia.

Pipridae (Manakins)

GOLDEN-COLLARED MANAKIN (Manacus vitellinus)

A wonderful experience watching some lekking behavior of this species at the Canopy Camp.

RED-CAPPED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra mentalis)

GOLDEN-HEADED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra erythrocephala)

Nice views of a male on the trails at the Canopy Camp.

Cotingidae (Cotingas)


BLUE COTINGA (Cotinga nattererii)

A few were seen along the Salto Road. This species really glows bright in sunlight.

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Jerzy Majka captured stunning images of female and male Black-throated Mangos at our lunch spot.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)

BLACK-CROWNED TITYRA (Tityra inquisitor)

MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)

RUSSET-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis stenorhyncha panamensis)

A nice encounter with this species on the trail at the camp. Thrushlike Schiffornis was split into five different species based on differences in their whistled songs and subtle differences in plumage.

CINNAMON BECARD (Pachyramphus cinnamomeus)

WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus)

Oxyruncidae (Sharpbill, Royal Flycatcher, and Allies)

ROYAL FLYCATCHER (NORTHERN) (Onychorhynchus coronatus mexicanus)

RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus)

SULPHUR-RUMPED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius sulphureipygius)

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The Black-capped Donacobious is a marsh dwelling species that has had a long, convoluted taxonomic history. It is now placed in its own family, though it was once considered a wren and a mimid, and is now believed to be most closely related to some Malagasy warblers of the family Bernieridae. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)

OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus)

YELLOW-GREEN TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes flavovirens) [E]

A couple of these were seen at Reserva San Francisco. This species is endemic to Panama.

BLACK-CAPPED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis atricapillus)

A tiny flycatcher best seen at the Canopy Camp.

SOUTHERN BENTBILL (Oncostoma olivaceum) [*]

COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum)

BLACK-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum nigriceps)

OLIVACEOUS FLATBILL (Rhynchocyclus olivaceus)

YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (YELLOW-OLIVE) (Tolmomyias sulphurescens flavoolivaceus)

Our only one was at Lake Bayano.

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The Golden-hooded Tanager is a widespread species through Central America, but always a treat to see in all of its splendor. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

YELLOW-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flaviventris)

This was the common Tolmomyias flycatcher in Darien.

BROWN-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Ornithion brunneicapillus) [*]



FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii)

YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)

SOOTY-HEADED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias griseiceps)

ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax virescens)

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We saw a lot of wonderful birds coming to feeders at the Hotel Avicar in Torti. This Blue Dacnis was a bit of eye candy. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

LONG-TAILED TYRANT (Colonia colonus)

BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus)

CHOCO SIRYSTES (Sirystes albogriseus)

A high canopy species, Moyo did a remarkable job getting one in the scope that was directly overhead 60 feet up in the trees.

DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) [*]


LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor)

Seen at Reserva San Francisco and La Reversa.

GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)

BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)

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Red-breasted Meadowlark, a species sometimes known as Red-breasted Blackbird, has bounced around both genera and common names in recent years. Photo by Jerzy Majka.

RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis)

SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)

This species is surprisingly scarce in eastern Panama, and the only ones encountered were at Lake Bayano.

WHITE-RINGED FLYCATCHER (Conopias albovittatus)

Another canopy species that we lucked into during our Harpy Eagle excursion.

STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)

PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)

We had a couple of encounters with birds of this species that were setting up territories.

TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)


Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)

LESSER GREENLET (Pachysylvia decurtata)

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Following the split of Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Gray-cowled Wood-Rail became the widespread southern species. We watched one cross the road at La Reversa. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

GOLDEN-FRONTED GREENLET (Pachysylvia aurantiifrons)

YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Vireo flavifrons)

YELLOW-GREEN VIREO (Vireo flavoviridis)

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

BLACK-CHESTED JAY (Cyanocorax affinis)

Donacobiidae (Donacobius)

BLACK-CAPPED DONACOBIUS (Donacobius atricapilla)

Great views eventually of a furtive one in some marshland near the rice fields.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)

GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)

MANGROVE SWALLOW (Tachycineta albilinea)

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This mash-up of Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth includes an active one at night and one roosting by day. Photos by Myles McNally (l) and Anita Niedzeila-Majka (r).

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)

Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)

WHITE-BROWED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila bilineata)

This is the new name given to the Middle American populations split from Tropical Gnatcatcher this past year.

Troglodytidae (Wrens)

HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)

WHITE-HEADED WREN (Campylorhynchus albobrunneus harterti)

A big, unusual cousin to the Cactus Wren.

BICOLORED WREN (Campylorhynchus griseus)

This species barely makes it into North America. We caught a quick glimpse of one before it entered its nest and disappeared for good.

BLACK-BELLIED WREN (Pheugopedius fasciatoventris)

BAY WREN (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Cantorchilus nigricapillus schottii)

BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis)

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We managed to see four species of monkeys on the tour, including these three species: Mantled Black Howler Monkey; White-throated Capuchin; and Geoffroy's Tamarin. We also caught glimpses of several Panamanian Night Monkeys on the night drive. Photos by guide Chris Benesh.

WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta) [*]

Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)


Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)


Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

YELLOW-CROWNED EUPHONIA (Euphonia luteicapilla)

THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris)

FULVOUS-VENTED EUPHONIA (Euphonia fulvicrissa)

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)


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We didn't encounter too many reptiles, but we did see a few lizards including this Cnemidophorus duellmani at the Canopy Camp. Photo by Anita Niedzeila-Majka.

CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus)


This species was a daily visitor to the camp feeders.

BLACK OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius guatimozinus)

It took a bit of work before we really connected well with this regional endemic, but in the end we had a great study.


ORCHARD ORIOLE (Icterus spurius)

YELLOW-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus chrysater)

ORANGE-CROWNED ORIOLE (Icterus auricapillus)

A couple of nice observations of this regional specialty. It ranges across the northern tier of South America and spills across into eastern Panama.

BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula)

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There were a multitude of amazing insects seen on the tour including this Tiger Heliconian at La Reserva. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)

GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)

GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)

CARIB GRACKLE (Quiscalus lugubris)

Parulidae (New World Warblers)

NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis)


PROTHONOTARY WARBLER (Protonotaria citrea)

TENNESSEE WARBLER (Leiothlypis peregrina)

Field Guides Birding Tours
The light sheet at the camp brought in many amazing insects and some colorful moths among them. Clockwise from upper left: Idalus critheis; Idalis dares; Othorene purpurascens; Eacles imperialis. Photos by guide Chris Benesh.

BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (Setophaga castanea)

One of the more common wintering warblers seen on the tour.

YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)

Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)

SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra)

Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)


FLAME-RUMPED TANAGER (Ramphocelus flammigerus)

Birds in this region are known as Lemon-rumped Tanagers because of their bright yellow rumps.

CRIMSON-BACKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus dimidiatus)

BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)

PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)

Field Guides Birding Tours
On our night stroll down the entrance road, we did some black-lighting for scorpions as well. We came across this large Tityus festae perched on a large leaf. Chris Benesh captured the image in white light and Anita Niedzeila-Majka snapped one of it glowing under UV light.

GOLDEN-HOODED TANAGER (Stilpnia larvata)

Our best views were probably of a pair of birds on the La Reversa Road.

PLAIN-COLORED TANAGER (Tangara inornata)

BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)


Great views of a molting bird at the Avicar Restaurant.

WHITE-EARED CONEBILL (Conirostrum leucogenys)

BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)


THICK-BILLED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila funerea)

Field Guides Birding Tours
Cruising the waters of the Rio Chucunaque. Photo by Anita Niedzeila-Majka.

VARIABLE SEEDEATER (Sporophila corvina)

BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)

STREAKED SALTATOR (Saltator striatipectus)


COMMON OPOSSUM (Didelphis marsupialis)

The thermal scope picked out one at the Canopy Camp that was foraging in the tree.

RED-NAPED TAMARIN (Saguinus geoffroyi)

Better known as Geoffroy's Tamarin; we had a number of wonderful sightings of this regional endemic.


Animals here in Panama are sometimes considered a full species, Panamanian Night Monkey, Aotus zonalis. We saw a few on our nightdrive.

MANTLED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta palliata)

A few of these were seen along the river banks and also around the camp.


A few of these would come into the camp to feed on bananas that had been put out at the feeders.


A few encounters with this species both during the day and at night.

NORTHERN TAMANDUA (Tamandua mexicana)

Briefly seen by some.

NINE-BANDED ARMADILLO (Dasypus novemcinctus)

We spotted one in the thermal scope on our night walk near the lodge.

BRAZILIAN RABBIT (Sylvilagus brasiliensis)

Myles had one hanging out at his cabin.

RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis)

A few of these handsome squirrels visited feeders at the camp.

CENTRAL AMERICAN AGOUTI (Dasyprocta punctata)

We had a brief sighting of one that bounded out onto the trail in front of us and then promptly disappeared.

CRAB-EATING RACCOON (Procyon cancrivorus)

WHITE-NOSED COATI (Nasua narica)

A lone male visited the feeders at the camp on a few occasions.

KINKAJOU (Potos flavus)

One seen in the trees on the road into the Canopy Camp.

Totals for the tour: 252 bird taxa and 14 mammal taxa