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Field Guides Tour Report
Feb 28, 2020 to Mar 8, 2020
Jesse Fagan & Tom Johnson

Red-lored Parrots flew past Tranquilo Bay each morning and evening. The tower gave us an eye-level view on these loud, colorful birds. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

This short tour blends a diversity of habitats and elevations with two very comfortable four-night lodge stays in beautiful Western Panama. We started by driving from Davíd into the mountains near the Panama/Costa Rica border at Mount Totumas. Here we explored the forest trails around the lodge, watched hummingbirds visiting flowers and sugar feeders, and took 4WD vehicles down the valley to sample a few other forest habitat types. Jeffrey showed us his moth collection and also shared images of the local mammals from his network of camera traps. Alma and Karin's delicious food and the lovely setting here complemented the spectacular birds of Mount Totumas--Resplendent Quetzal, Three-wattled Bellbird, Chiriqui Quail-Dove, Barred Parakeet, Violet Sabrewing, Magenta-throated Woodstar, and many more. Our night-birding was fun too, with a great view of a Mottled Owl, a vocal Cacomistle, and a roosting Worm-eating Warbler. Frankly, even without these birds, I'd go back just to sit in the lodge and eat some more of Alma's crisp-edged pancakes!

After four nights at Mount Totumas, we drove over the continental divide and down into the humid lowlands of the Caribbean slope, eventually boating to Tranquilo Bay Lodge on Isla Bastimiento. This was a major contrast with Mount Totumas, and we were able to soak up lowland species around the lodge and on the adjacent islands and mainland. The tower at Tranquilo Bay was a particular highlight--from its stable top, we admired fly-by Red-lored Parrots, White-crowned Pigeons, a locally rare Cape May Warbler, and even some swifts, including the poorly known White-chinned Swift. The mammals on the lodge grounds were great too, with two-toed and three-toed sloths, cheeky capuchins, and two species of beautiful opossums just outside the dining room. On our day outings away from Tranquilo Bay, we visited the Fortuna Road and its mixed species flocks on the mainland, the lush thickets and river-edge habitat of the Chanquinola Canal, and the mangrove forest at Isla Popa (Snowy Cotingas!). A massive northbound flight of Turkey Vultures--more than 10,000 birds--gave us a fresh perspective on this oft-overlooked species. A hybrid Northern x Wattled Jacana and the hybrid swarm of "Almirante" manakins along the Chanquinola Canal allowed us to consider our place in a biogeographic contact zone between regions of tropical America, too. Our local guide, Ramón, showed us his property adjacent to the lodge, and we were able to return the favor by spotting a King Vulture overhead--a new yard bird. Following four excellent nights at Tranquilo Bay, we flew back to Panama City and dispersed northward to our homes.

Jesse and I would like to thank you for traveling in Panama with us, and we sincerely hope you are faring well during the pandemic. Until we can bird together again in the field, I hope that this trip list will bring back some good memories from this adventure.

Good birding--and be well,


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

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis) – About 90 were near the mouth of the Changuinola River.
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata) – One flew past Tranquilo Bay as we watched from the tower.

Here's a compilation of video clips from our time together. Video by guide Tom Johnson.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors) – About 75 were near the mouth of the Changuinola River.
AMERICAN WIGEON (Mareca americana) – Five were with other ducks at the Changuinola River mouth.
LESSER SCAUP (Aythya affinis) – About 95 individuals were in a nervous flock on the Changuinola River.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
GRAY-HEADED CHACHALACA (Ortalis cinereiceps) – These small, lanky Cracids were along the banks of the Changuinola Canal during our boat trip there.
CRESTED GUAN (Penelope purpurascens) – Four perched up and crashed around in the forest canopy near Santa Catalina, below Mount Totumas.
BLACK GUAN (Chamaepetes unicolor) – One of these highland beauties showed nicely in the mists of Mount Totumas.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
SPOTTED WOOD-QUAIL (Odontophorus guttatus) – We heard the loud, rollicking calls of these forest gnomes along the slopes at Mount Totumas. [*]
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – Our best views of these widespread pigeons were from the tower at Tranquilo Bay.
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa) – Our tower time at Tranquilo Bay turned up some impressive counts of these stocky, large pigeons: 49, 25, and 31 birds during different tower stints.
WHITE-CROWNED PIGEON (Patagioenas leucocephala) – This handsome species was attending fruiting trees in the Tranquilo Bay garden.
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata) – Flocks wheeled around below eye level at Mount Totumas.
SHORT-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas nigrirostris) – "Don't drop the ball," this pigeon implores. We heard and saw them regularly around Tranquilo Bay.

Resplendent Quetzals were our frequent companions in the forest at Mount Totumas. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

RUDDY GROUND DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – Because we didn't spend much time in open, lowland habitats on this tour, we actually didn't see all that many of this very common species.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – A few folks saw this one with Jesse during our transition day between Mount Totumas and Tranquilo Bay.
CHIRIQUI QUAIL-DOVE (Zentrygon chiriquensis) – Using his powers of eyesight and eye-height, Jesse spotted one of these fine doves as it walked in a dip in the road below Mount Totumas. We gingerly walked forward until we had the bird in full view, and enjoyed nice views. This one is only found in Costa Rica and western Panama.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – We studied and photographed a few in an unusual spot in a Caribbean lowland pasture near Punta Robalo.
GROOVE-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga sulcirostris) – This was the ani species that we saw in numbers along the Changuinola River and Canal.
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – These large, foxy cuckoos made a few memorable appearances along the tour route, including one individual that we scoped at Willie Mazu on the Fortuna Road.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
SHORT-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Lurocalis semitorquatus) – Wow - we whistled one in at dusk near the Tranquilo Bay tower. This is a big, seriously impressive nightjar!
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis) – One of these big, cryptic birds was on a day roost (possibly even a nest!) over the Chanquinola Canal.
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-CHINNED SWIFT (Cypseloides cryptus) – This was one of the large "waterfall swifts" that we found and photographed overhead from the tower at Tranquilo Bay. The species is poorly known in the Caribbean lowlands of Panama, and we were pretty excited to find it!
SPOT-FRONTED SWIFT (Cypseloides cherriei) – This is another of the waterfall swifts - we photographed and identified a small group of them in the morning hours overhead at Tranquilo Bay during a walk there.
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – Repeated sightings of flocks at Mount Totumas. One morning, we noted a swirling flock of about 200 of these massive swifts over the restaurant!
VAUX'S SWIFT (Chaetura vauxi) – A few sightings in the Mount Totumas area.
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris) – The best looks were at Isla Popa and the Changuinola Canal.
LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis) – This swift is generally scarce in Central America, but we saw them commonly overhead in Bocas del Toro, especially at dusk at Tranquilo Bay.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
BAND-TAILED BARBTHROAT (Threnetes ruckeri) – This hermit zipped up to us on a forest trail at Tranquilo Bay.
GREEN HERMIT (Phaethornis guy) – Two were in the forest at Santa Catalina, below Mount Totumas.
LONG-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis longirostris) – Two were along the Changuinola Canal.

This male Magenta-throated Woodstar was one of several that attended feeders at Mount Totumas. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

STRIPE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis striigularis) – These small hermits were seen a few times in the forest near Tranquilo Bay.
BROWN VIOLETEAR (Colibri delphinae) – A regular feeder guest at Mount Totumas.
LESSER VIOLETEAR (Colibri cyanotus) – This was the "Green Violetear" that we saw and heard everywhere at Mount Totumas.
PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY (Heliothryx barroti) – Two were at forest edge at Santa Catalina.
GREEN-CROWNED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa jacula) – Just a few vied for the sugar water feeders at Mount Totumas.
TALAMANCA HUMMINGBIRD (Eugenes spectabilis) – Formerly part of "Magnificent Hummingbird," this is the southern species resulting from the magnificent split a few years ago (the ones in Northern Central America and the US are now called "Rivoli's Hummingbird"). We saw them regularly at the Mount Totumas feeders.
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris) – This straight-billed stunner was often seen perched near the feeders outside the restaurant at Mount Totumas.
WHITE-THROATED MOUNTAIN-GEM (Lampornis castaneoventris) – At least three individuals were regular visitors to the feeders at Mount Totumas.
MAGENTA-THROATED WOODSTAR (Philodice bryantae) – This regional endemic was delightfully common around Mount Totumas during our visit.
VOLCANO HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus flammula) – A lone female was hanging around a garden patch at Mount Totumas. This is on the low end for the elevation preference for this species, so we studied it closely, noting the whiter underparts and bold white tips to the outer tail feathers that help separate it from the more common Scintillant Hummingbird.
SCINTILLANT HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus scintilla) – This is the common tiny hummingbird around Mount Totumas. They buzz around almost bumblebee-like, trying to avoid the ire of larger hummingbirds. We even saw one on its night roost (with the aid of the thermal scope).
VIOLET SABREWING (Campylopterus hemileucurus) – These huge hummingbirds dominated at the Mount Totumas feeders.
CROWNED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania colombica) – The best views were of the roosting individuals we found just outside the dining room at Tranquilo Bay.
STRIPE-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Eupherusa eximia) – Small numbers made regular appearances outside the restaurant at Mount Totumas.
WHITE-TAILED EMERALD (Elvira chionura) – Two were at the forest edge at Santa Catalina below Mount Totumas.

Isla Popa's mangroves were home to some elegant Snowy Cotingas. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

BLUE-CHESTED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia amabilis) – A common lowland hummingbird in Bocas del Toro (extremely similar to Charming Hummingbird from the Pacific Slope).
SNOWY-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia edward niveoventer) – These were quite common around the gardens and feeders at Mount Totumas.
RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia tzacatl) – An aggressive, common hummingbird during our time in the Caribbean lowlands.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus) – These striking, large rails were in mangroves in a few spots around Bocas del Toro.
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata) – Ours were along the Changuinola Canal and near the river mouth.
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana) – Four of these wintering birds were with the duck flocks at the Changuinola River mouth.
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica) – A few nice views of these stunners in Bocas del Toro.
WHITE-THROATED CRAKE (Laterallus albigularis) – We heard this secretive marsh bird a few times in wetlands and grassy patches in Bocas del Toro. [*]
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus) – Six were at the Changuinola River mouth.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – Just a few sightings of this large, pioneering shorebird in open pastures and at the Changuinola River mouth.
COLLARED PLOVER (Charadrius collaris) – Four of these tropical plovers were on the beach at the Changuinola River mouth.
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus) – About 30 of these Arctic breeders were with other shorebirds at the Changuinola River mouth.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
NORTHERN JACANA (Jacana spinosa) – This is the common species of jacana found here in wet pastures in the lowlands.
NORTHERN X WATTLED JACANA HYBRID (Jacana spinosa x jacana ) – While studying Northern Jacanas near Punta Robalo, we found this stunning bird that showed features intermediate between Wattled and Northern jacanas. There is a hybrid zone between these two species in western Panama and southern Costa Rica.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) – Nine were on the beach at the Changuinola River mouth.
SANDERLING (Calidris alba) – Over 30 were chasing waves at the Changuinola River mouth.

Seeding bamboo in the forests of Mount Totumas attracted flocks of these super fast Barred Parakeets. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla) – 18 were mixed with other shorebirds at the Changuinola River mouth.
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – Seen a few times along the edge of water in Bocas del Toro.
Stercorariidae (Skuas and Jaegers)
PARASITIC JAEGER (Stercorarius parasiticus) – Lurking like a waiting pirate, this streamlined seabird was floating near a large flock of roosting terns near the town of Bocas del Toro.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla) – Common in inshore waters around Bocas del Toro.
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus) – The large tern with the orange bill that we saw in inshore waters at Bocas del Toro.
SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis) – Slightly smaller than Royal Tern and with a yellow-tipped black bill; these were also on inshore waters around Bocas del Toro.
Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (Fregata magnificens) – These huge seabirds floated overhead conspicuously during our time in Bocas del Toro.
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
BROWN BOOBY (Sula leucogaster) – As we boated back and forth between Tranquilo Bay and the Changuinola Canal, we saw a few of these widespread tropical seabirds flying over shallow water.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga) – Three were near the mouth of the Changuinola River.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – Seen at inland reservoirs and near the Changuinola River mouth.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis) – Regular sightings in shallow waters around Bocas del Toro.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias) – These large, familiar waders were foraging in the shallow waters around Bocas del Toro.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Common and widespread in the lowlands.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – Common in the lowlands of Bocas del Toro.
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – Regular sightings around Bocas del Toro.
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor) – Just a few around the Changuinola River mouth and canal.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Mostly seen in pastures during our driving transfers.

This White-throated Capuchin was one of the banana thieves that lurked in the forests of Tranquilo Bay. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens) – The familiar small heron of the water's edge.
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nyctanassa violacea) – Plenty were hunting along the shallow water of the Changuinola River mouth.
BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius) – We found these very odd, goofy herons at the pond behind the shops at Chiriqui Grande.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis) – Sighted regularly in flight from the Tranquilo Bay tower.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – We saw one of these "Rainforest Condors" soaring over Ramón's property adjacent to Tranquilo Bay - a rare bird on the islands!
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – Common and widespread.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – Our time in Bocas del Toro coincided with the northward migration of vast flocks of these long distance movers. Along the coastal plain between Chiriqui Grande and Punta Robalo, we estimated over 10,000 individuals! Three group members even picked this as one of the highlight species of the tour - perhaps a novel event in my tour-leading career!
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Small numbers hunted the fish-rich waters of Bocas del Toro.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – Several brief sightings of soaring birds in the vicinity of Mount Totumas.
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) – A pair circled over, calling, along the Fortuna Road.
ORNATE HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus ornatus) – We heard one calling at Mount Totumas. [*]
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) – Four formed a loose kettle over Ramón's place near Tranquilo Bay.
COMMON BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus anthracinus) – Regular sightings in the vicinity of Tranquilo Bay, where the bird feasts on crabs in the mangrove forests.
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga) – A pair of these impressive raptors soared and called in the skies above the continental divide.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – Just a couple of sightings of this widespread Neotropical raptor in the vicinity of Tranquilo Bay.
WHITE HAWK (Pseudastur albicollis) – Great looks at a perched and flying bird on the Fortuna Road.
GRAY HAWK (Buteo plagiatus) – Wow! Our sighting of a perched juvenile downslope from Willie Mazu on the Fortuna Road represents the southernmost record in the world on eBird! The species is quite rare in Panama, with records accumulating slowly in the years since Gray Hawk sensu lato was split into Gray Hawk (of Central America) and Gray-lined Hawk (South America and north to southern Costa Rica).

A hybrid Northern x Wattled Jacana was a nice surprise on the mainland of Bocas del Toro. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) – We found these common wintering raptors in a variety of contexts, both hunting in forest and migrating overhead with the vast swarms of Turkey Vultures.
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus) – A few of these widespread Neotropical hawks were seen in flight over the forests of Bocas del Toro.
SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni) – We picked out these long-winged hawks in the migrating kettles of Turkey Vultures in the Bocas del Toro lowlands.
RED-TAILED HAWK (COSTARICENSIS) (Buteo jamaicensis costaricensis) – A few of these local-breeding Red-tailed Hawks decorated the skies above Mount Totumas.
Strigidae (Owls)
MOTTLED OWL (Ciccaba virgata) – Our night outing at Mount Totumas was very successful in finding this species.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
RESPLENDENT QUETZAL (Pharomachrus mocinno) – Yip yip! There's some debate about whether this is the world's most beautiful bird, but we didn't have time to debate since we were busy watching so many of them around Mount Totumas! It seemed like any time we were out on the forest trails there, we were within earshot or eyeshot of one of these amazing birds.
COLLARED TROGON (Trogon collaris) – Just a couple of sightings of this red-bellied species around Mount Totumas.
Momotidae (Motmots)
LESSON'S MOTMOT (Momotus lessonii lessonii) – A few were heard around the Mount Totumas area, but proved tough to see here.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – Small numbers of this large kingfisher around Bocas del Toro.
BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon) – We found this wintering species a few times along the waters of Bocas del Toro near Tranquilo Bay.
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – Just a couple of sightings of this mid-sized, green kingfisher in the Bocas del Toro area.
AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea) – We found two of these tiny hunters along the Changuinola Canal.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
RED-HEADED BARBET (Eubucco bourcierii) – This striking fruit-eating bird showed up a few times in the forest canopy near Mount Totumas.
Semnornithidae (Toucan-Barbets)
PRONG-BILLED BARBET (Semnornis frantzii) – We found this hooting oddity at the edge of the cloud forest near Mount Totumas. This very strange bird is in a family with the Toucan Barbet of South America.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
NORTHERN EMERALD-TOUCANET (BLUE-THROATED) (Aulacorhynchus prasinus caeruleogularis) – These small toucans skulked in the cloud forest canopy at Mount Totumas.

We spent a while studying this Volcano Hummingbird (including its white-tipped tail) at Mount Totumas in order to rule out the more expected Scintillant Hummingbird. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

YELLOW-THROATED TOUCAN (CHESTNUT-MANDIBLED) (Ramphastos ambiguus swainsonii) – Our best views were on the Fortuna Road at Willie Mazu.
KEEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos sulfuratus) – The bird that climbed into the treetops near the Snowy Cotingas at Isla Popa showed off beautifully in the afternoon sunlight.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus) – Sighted regularly in the oak-y cloud forest around Mount Totumas.
BLACK-CHEEKED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes pucherani) – This striking woodpecker was a regular sight around the lowlands of Bocas del Toro.
RED-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes rubricapillus) – This woodpecker was seen a few times in forest gaps around the Mount Totumas area.
HAIRY WOODPECKER (Dryobates villosus) – The same species as our northern birds in the United States and Canada, but with the underparts washed brown. We saw them regularly in montane forest around Mount Totumas.
SMOKY-BROWN WOODPECKER (Dryobates fumigatus) – We found this small woodpecker twice in middle elevations - at Santa Catalina and Willie Mazu.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – These big woodpeckers showed off nicely in the garden at Tranquilo Bay.
RUFOUS-WINGED WOODPECKER (Piculus simplex) – One was at eye-level on the edge of the Fortuna Road in an impressive mixed flock.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – Just a few of these bulky caracaras, including at the Changuinola River mouth.
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima) – We found small numbers of these small, pale caracaras in the Bocas del Toro lowlands.
MERLIN (Falco columbarius) – One perched in a bare treetop below the tower at Tranquilo Bay.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
BARRED PARAKEET (Bolborhynchus lineola) – During our time at Mount Totumas, we heard and spotted flocks of up to 41 of these small, very fast parakeets wheeling overhead in tight flocks (almost like the Neotropical version of Budgerigars). This species is apparently nomadic and feeds on seeding bamboo, which we found inside the forest on the trails at Mount Totumas.
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus) – We saw dozens of these colorful parrots as they passed by the tower at Tranquilo Bay in pairs in the evenings and mornings.
RED-LORED PARROT (Amazona autumnalis) – This stocky, short-tailed Amazon is very common in Bocas del Toro. We saw over 100 flying past the Tranquilo Bay tower each evening.
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa) – Small numbers of these large, dusty-headed parrots flew past the Tranquilo Bay tower (always outnumbered by Red-lored Parrots).
SULPHUR-WINGED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura hoffmanni) – These well-marked forest parakeets were mostly seen in rapid flight around Mount Totumas, but we were fortunate to see them perched on a couple of occasions.

The long, straight-edged wings, black plumage, small whitish chin, and lack of tail spine projections helped us identify this White-chinned Swift, a poorly known bird in the Bocas del Toro lowlands. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

OLIVE-THROATED PARAKEET (AZTEC) (Eupsittula nana astec) – Small numbers in the Bocas del Toro lowlands.
BROWN-THROATED PARAKEET (VERAGUAS) (Eupsittula pertinax ocularis) – We spotted two of these parakeets in open savannah habitats while driving from Mount Totumas toward the continental divide.
CRIMSON-FRONTED PARAKEET (Psittacara finschi) – The best views were at our pit stop in Chiriqui Grande.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
BLACK-CROWNED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus atrinucha) – A common antbird in the forest around Tranquilo Bay, including just outside the dining room.
RUSSET ANTSHRIKE (Thamnistes anabatinus) – Two of these dead-leaf-specialists were with a mixed flock in the forest along the Fortuna Road.
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris) – Two were in the forest at Tranquilo Bay.
SLATY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula schisticolor) – We found two of these small, dark antbirds in the forest of Santa Catalina.
DOT-WINGED ANTWREN (Microrhopias quixensis) – One was with the mixed flock along the Fortuna Road.
CHESTNUT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Poliocrania exsul) – With some patience, we eventually found some birds for good looks in the forest understory at Tranquilo Bay.
DULL-MANTLED ANTBIRD (Sipia laemosticta) – A responsive individual popped out onto an open perch near Willie Mazu.
OCELLATED ANTBIRD (Phaenostictus mcleannani) – We heard one sing a few times in the mixed species flock along the upper Fortuna Road, but weren't able to get close enough to see it. [*]
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
SILVERY-FRONTED TAPACULO (Scytalopus argentifrons) – We heard this forest gnome a few times around Mount Totumas and at the continental divide. [*]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
TAWNY-THROATED LEAFTOSSER (Sclerurus mexicanus) – One individual showed off (as much as leaftossers can show off) in a gully at Mount Totumas.
STREAK-HEADED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii) – The one we saw well was near the boat landing at Punta Robalo.
SPOT-CROWNED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes affinis) – This was the common small-medium woodcreeper of the cloud forest at Mount Totumas.
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus) – One was at Santa Catalina below Mount Totumas.
BUFF-FRONTED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Philydor rufum) – We found a cavity nest in an earthen bank along a forest trail at Mount Totumas, and got to see an adult at the site on a few occasions.
SCALY-THROATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabacerthia variegaticeps) – We heard a few individuals around Mount Totumas, but they were largely unresponsive.
BUFF-THROATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Automolus ochrolaemus) – One very active bird approached for some up-close views near the big mixed flock along the Fortuna Road.
RED-FACED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca erythrops) – These arboreal spinetails were hopping around epiphytes in the forest midstory near Mount Totumas and Santa Catalina.
Pipridae (Manakins)
WHITE-RUFFED MANAKIN (Corapipo altera) – Heard at Santa Catalina, and seen briefly along the Fortuna Road.
"ALMIRANTE" MANAKIN (WHITE-COLLARED X GOLDEN-COLLARED MANAKIN HYBRID) (Manacus candei x aurantiacus) – The population of Manacus manakins in the vicinity of the Changuinola Canal is comprised of a hybrid swarm of Golden-collared x White-collared manakins - we were fortunate to see several, though mostly we heard their snappy displays from the dense forest understory.

The fruiting trees of the Tranquilo Bay gardens hosted lots of pigeons, including this nice White-crowned. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

GOLDEN-COLLARED MANAKIN (Manacus vitellinus) – These manakins were fairly common in the forest around Tranquilo Bay; a few males were feeding on fruits near Ramón's place during our visit there.
RED-CAPPED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra mentalis) – Two of these moon-walking songbirds were displaying in the forest midstory at Tranquilo Bay.
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
THREE-WATTLED BELLBIRD (Procnias tricarunculatus) – Yowza - this fabulous cotinga was one of the big highlights of our stay at Mount Totumas. During daylight hours, we were almost never out of earshot of a displaying male and his ridiculously loud calls. We spent some time getting close and were afforded great views of them as they belted out their vocalizations -some of the loudest bird calls in the world (a cousin from South America, the White Bellbird, is currently thought to hold the crown).
SNOWY COTINGA (Carpodectes nitidus) – An afternoon boat trip to the mangrove forest of Isla Popa helped us find these fancy white and gray fruit-eating songbirds.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata) – The Tranquilo Bay tower brought us eye-to-eye with a few of these stocky, boldly marked songbirds.
CINNAMON BECARD (Pachyramphus cinnamomeus) – Three vocal individuals were in the vicinity of Willie Mazu.
Oxyruncidae (Sharpbill, Royal Flycatcher, and Allies)
RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus) – This tiny flycatcher vocalized and flew across the road over us near Willie Mazu on the Fortuna Road.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
WHITE-THROATED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus mystaceus) – This diminutive flycatcher was near an army ant swarm along a forest trail at Mount Totumas.
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – Fairly common in the forest understory at Tranquilo Bay, and we also saw these wing-flippers at a few other sites.
SLATY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon superciliaris) – One was with the large mixed flock along the Fortuna Road.
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum) – This flycatcher was quite common along the water's edge at the Changuinola Canal.
BLACK-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum nigriceps) – It took a bit of work, but we eventually had some nice views of these tiny boatbill-like flycatchers overhead along the Changuinola Canal.
EYE-RINGED FLATBILL (Rhynchocyclus brevirostris) – This surprised-looking flycatcher was in the forest at Mount Totumas.
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias assimilis) – One of these forest flycatchers was with the large flock along the Fortuna Road.

The food and lodging were very comfortable along the way. This was the dining room at Tranquilo Bay where we enjoyed Alma's fantastic meals. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster) – This loud flycatcher with the plaintive calls and the expressive crest was our frequent companion in many scrubby/ edge habitats.
MOUNTAIN ELAENIA (Elaenia frantzii) – This round-headed, "cute" Elaenia was common in the forest at Mount Totumas.
TORRENT TYRANNULET (Serpophaga cinerea) – We found a few of these small flycatchers along fast-flowing streams in the Mount Totumas area.
ROUGH-LEGGED TYRANNULET (Phyllomyias burmeisteri) – We detected this small flycatcher on trails just upslope from the restaurant at Mount Totumas - at 1950 meters elevation. This montane species is uncommon at this elevation and may have been blown downslope by strong winds coming over the continental divide. We called it in to confirm the identification and documented it with photos and audio recordings.
MISTLETOE TYRANNULET (Zimmerius parvus) – This tiny flycatcher, a mistletoe specialist, used to be known as the "Paltry Tyrannulet" - we saw it a few times at the edge of forest.
TUFTED FLYCATCHER (Mitrephanes phaeocercus) – We found this distinctive slim flycatcher (like a colorful Contopus pewee with a crest) at Mount Totumas.
DARK PEWEE (Contopus lugubris) – A few sightings of birds perched up high in treetops around the Mount Totumas area.
TROPICAL PEWEE (Contopus cinereus) – Heard at Santa Catalina. [*]
YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Empidonax flaviventris) – This wintering Empidonax (a breeder in the boreal forest of northern North America) was relatively common along the stream at Santa Catalina.
YELLOWISH FLYCATCHER (Empidonax flavescens) – This confiding and distinctive Empidonax reminds me of a hyper-saturated Western Flycatcher from the western US & Canada. We saw them several times in the Mount Totumas area.
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) – Though we heard these stocky forest flycatchers regularly, it wasn't until we spotted a roadside bird at Willie Mazu that we had some good looks.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) – A few individuals at Mount Totumas and in the lowlands around Bocas del Toro revealed themselves with their mournful, slurred whistles.
GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus) – REEEEEEP! One of these wintering birds called out from the forest at Tranquilo Bay.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – Common in most areas on our route once we left the highlands of Mount Totumas.
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) – Like a strange-looking kiskadee with a very different voice - we had our best views in the coffee plantation at Mount Totumas
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis) – These widespread flycatchers were common in the lowlands of Bocas del Toro.

Just outside of our rooms at Tranquilo Bay, this Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth attended to its baby. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

GOLDEN-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes hemichrysus) – We admired these big, handsome flycatchers on several occasions at the edges of pastures and along streams at Mount Totumas.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – Common and widespread.
EASTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus tyrannus) – One showed off its white-tipped tail along the Changuinola Canal.
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana) – We spotted this distinctive flycatcher while driving on the transfer day between Mount Totumas and Tranquilo Bay.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) – Good views of this stocky vireo along the stream at Santa Catalina.
LESSER GREENLET (Pachysylvia decurtata) – These were the small, inconspicuous vireos that we saw in mixed flocks on several occasions.
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Vireo flavifrons) – These striking wintering birds from the north were seen in mixed flocks on several occasions.
PHILADELPHIA VIREO (Vireo philadelphicus) – Particularly nice views of these subtle beauties in flocks at Santa Catalina and Willie Mazu.
BROWN-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo leucophrys) – This species looks like a high contrast version of Warbling Vireo - it's resident in the mountains here, and we saw and heard it regularly at Mount Totumas.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BROWN JAY (Psilorhinus morio) – We caught up to a rambling flock of these massive jays in Chiriqui Grande.
BLACK-CHESTED JAY (Cyanocorax affinis) – Heard near Punta Robalo. [*]
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca) – This was the common swallow of Mount Totumas.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – Seen just a few times around towns (including Davíd at the beginning of the trip) and airports.

One of the big surprises of our night walk at Mount Totumas was this roosting Worm-eating Warbler. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

MANGROVE SWALLOW (Tachycineta albilinea) – This small swallow was common around the Changuinola Canal and river mouth.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – We saw migrants regularly over the water in Bocas del Toro.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) – This vine tangle skulker was at Tranquilo Bay and along the Changuinola Canal.
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea) – Common along forest edges at Tranquilo Bay and the Changuinola Canal.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
SCALY-BREASTED WREN (WHISTLING) (Microcerculus marginatus luscinia) – Heard regularly at Mount Totumas, and we managed a beautiful view of a singing bird in "Leaftosser Gully."
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon) – This widespread species was our frequent companion during morning choruses.
OCHRACEOUS WREN (Troglodytes ochraceus) – This colorful vine skulker was heard more often than seen, but we did eventually get some good views along a forest trail at Mount Totumas.
BLACK-THROATED WREN (Pheugopedius atrogularis) – Vocally conspicuous - visually, not so much! We had to struggle a bit to see these loud wrens in the thick vegetation along the banks of the Changuinola Canal.
CANEBRAKE WREN (Cantorchilus zeledoni) – One sat out in the open for a little while and sang along the Changuinola Canal. This species is one of the results of the three-way split of Plain Wren a few years back.
BAY WREN (Cantorchilus nigricapillus) – Common, especially by voice, in the forest at Tranquilo Bay.
WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta) – We heard this wren along lower stretches of the Fortuna Road. [*]
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys) – Heard far more often than seen, but we did manage some nice views near the continental divide.
SONG WREN (Cyphorhinus phaeocephalus) – It was exhilarating to hear the song of this expressive understory wren on the Fortuna Road. [*]
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
TROPICAL MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus gilvus) – Just a few sightings of this conspicuous mimic.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
BLACK-FACED SOLITAIRE (Myadestes melanops) – After following the song at Mount Totumas several times, we found a singing bird that sat still for us in the subcanopy. One of the great songs of the Chiriqui Highlands!
ORANGE-BILLED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus aurantiirostris) – Singing birds along the stream at Santa Catalina were tough to get a long look at, but most of us had at least short peeks.
SLATY-BACKED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus fuscater) – One sang and came out nicely at the continental divide.

Dozens of handsome Scaled Pigeons flew past the Tranquilo Bay tower on their way to roost. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

RUDDY-CAPPED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus frantzii) – A few singing birds hopped out to the forest edge at Mount Totumas.
BLACK-HEADED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus mexicanus) – The singing individual in the scope along the Fortuna Road was simply gorgeous.
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – A few of these long distance migrants were in the forest in the Mount Totumas area.
MOUNTAIN THRUSH (Turdus plebejus) – This drab thrush was seen and heard often around Mount Totumas.
WHITE-THROATED THRUSH (Turdus assimilis) – A few sightings of this secretive thrush around Mount Totumas and Santa Catalina.
CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi) – This widespread Central American thrush was fairly common at a few sites we visited including Mount Totumas and the Changuinola Canal.
Ptiliogonatidae (Silky-flycatchers)
LONG-TAILED SILKY-FLYCATCHER (Ptiliogonys caudatus) – One of the true beauties of the Chiriqui Highlands - this striking, slim songbird was at the edge of Sr. Vega's pasture.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Our struggle to see this exotic species along the tour route speaks to the amount of time we spent in high quality forest habitat. As we were departing, we found a few individuals at Bocas del Toro airport. [I]
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
GOLDEN-BROWED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia callophrys) – A few of these chunky "feathered leaves" moved with canopy flocks around Mount Totumas.
YELLOW-CROWNED EUPHONIA (Euphonia luteicapilla) – We found small numbers of this striking songbird in the Bocas del Toro lowlands.
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris) – One attended the platform feeders at Mount Totumas regularly.
ELEGANT EUPHONIA (Euphonia elegantissima) – This montane species was in the vicinity of mistletoe patches in the cloud forest around Mount Totumas and especially Santa Catalina.
OLIVE-BACKED EUPHONIA (Euphonia gouldi) – As we started to get back into the van at Willie Mazu, one started calling from down low. We got back out and found it on a strange perch - a hanging, potted plant!

Our time in the forest at Mount Totumas helped us track down such secretive birds as the Tawny-throated Leaftosser. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

WHITE-VENTED EUPHONIA (Euphonia minuta) – Our best views were from the tower at Tranquilo Bay, where they occasionally perched out in the open at eye level.
TAWNY-CAPPED EUPHONIA (Euphonia anneae) – One of these attractive forest euphonias of hill forest was hanging around the mixed flock along the Fortuna Road.
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria) – One perched up and called in treetops at Mount Totumas.
YELLOW-BELLIED SISKIN (Spinus xanthogastrus) – These noisy finches were in the tops of alders around the buildings at Mount Totumas.
Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)
COMMON CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus flavopectus) – These were abundant core members of mixed flocks in the mountains at Mount Totumas and the continental divide.
BLACK-STRIPED SPARROW (Arremonops conirostris) – We found these stout sparrows at a few locations on the Caribbean slope including Willie Mazu and the Changuinola Canal.
ORANGE-BILLED SPARROW (Arremon aurantiirostris) – One stayed in the shadows at the edge of the large mixed flock on the Fortuna Road.
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BRUSHFINCH (Arremon brunneinucha) – This very handsome bird was a regular attendee to feeding stations at the edge of the forest at Mount Totumas.
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis) – A very common bird in disturbed habitats in the Mount Totumas area.
WHITE-NAPED BRUSHFINCH (YELLOW-THROATED) (Atlapetes albinucha brunnescens) – This species was harder to see than Chestnut-capped Brushfinch, but we eventually managed some great views of a pair just below the restaurant at Mount Totumas.
YELLOW-THIGHED BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes tibialis) – Formerly callled simply "Yellow-thighed Finch." A few good looks of this big, goofy songbird in the Mount Totumas area.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
RED-BREASTED MEADOWLARK (Leistes militaris) – These stumpy blackbirds (indeed, this species has been called "Red-breasted Blackbird" in the past, and all meadowlarks ARE blackbirds) were in pastures along the road to Punta Robalo and also at the Changuinola Canal.
YELLOW-BILLED CACIQUE (Amblycercus holosericeus) – One was along the Changuinola Canal.
MONTEZUMA OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius montezuma) – A fairly common bird in the Caribbean lowlands, including right around our rooms at Tranquilo Bay. The harlequin face is really something to behold!
SCARLET-RUMPED CACIQUE (SCARLET-RUMPED) (Cacicus uropygialis microrhynchus) – The best view was the group of four that came sneaking in to check us out along the Fortuna Road just below the large flock.
BLACK-COWLED ORIOLE (Icterus prosthemelas) – Fairly common in the canopy of forest along the edge of the Changuinola Canal.
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula) – Just a few sightings between Tranquilo Bay and Willie Mazu.
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – Ours were along the road to Punta Robalo. These big nest parasites target oropendola nests for laying their eggs.
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus) – Common in human-impacted lowlands.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
WORM-EATING WARBLER (Helmitheros vermivorum) – Using an infrared scope, we were able to find a few additional animals at night that escaped detection during the day. One such bird was a Worm-eating Warbler that we found on a night roost quite low over a trail at Mount Totumas - apparently the first documented record for the property!
LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia motacilla) – These "Eastern warblers" spend most of their year in the tropics! We found a couple of individuals where they like to hang out from August-March, along swift-moving mountain streams.

This Parasitic Jaeger was waiting to exploit the hunting prowess of the Royal and Sandwich terns at Bocas del Toro. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – This widespread wintering wood-warbler (apologies for all of the Ws) is particularly fond of mangroves - and that's where we saw them at Tranquilo Bay.
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora chrysoptera) – These declining wood-warblers were spotted a few times in mixed flocks at Mount Totumas and along the Fortuna Road.
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – This "nuthatch warbler" was pretty common in forest in the montane stretches of our trip.
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER (Protonotaria citrea) – Wow - these are quite common around Tranquilo Bay! It was entertaining to see them battling for dominance at the hanging fruit feeders below the tower - an unusual context for most birders from the US!
FLAME-THROATED WARBLER (Oreothlypis gutturalis) – It would have been nice to see this one better, but we had a few encounters in flocks at Mount Totumas.
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Leiothlypis peregrina) – Regular sightings at Mount Totumas, but the best was the one that came in just a few feet away on the veranda at Tranquilo Bay to eat fruit.
GRAY-CROWNED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis poliocephala) – This is historically quite a rare bird in the Caribbean lowlands of Panama, but it seems that a few might be expanding here out of Costa Rica. We were very surprised to find a pair in the shrubby grasses at the mouth of the Changuinola River, and made sure to document them with photos.
MOURNING WARBLER (Geothlypis philadelphia) – A snazzy male was chipping (a distinctive up-slurred "swish"!) and popped up for a few nice looks along a steep bank at Willie Mazu.
OLIVE-CROWNED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis semiflava) – We saw this species both on the continental divide and along the Changuinola Canal. All individuals we saw looked like normal Olive-crowned Yellowthroats, even in the highlands (where a population of "Chiriqui Yellowthroat" has recently been transferred from Masked Yellowthroat to Olive-crowned Yellowthroat - a confusing situation!).
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla) – One was at Tranquilo Bay.
NORTHERN PARULA (Setophaga americana) – A female was a surprising find in the canopy at the Tranquilo Bay tower. This is basically the southern edge of the wintering range for this familiar migrant from the US and Canada.
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi) – We spent some time enjoying nice views at Santa Catalina, below Mount Totumas.
BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (Setophaga castanea) – Brief views of one in winter plumage overhead in a flock at Willie Mazu.
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (Setophaga fusca) – One of our most stunning wood-warblers. This lovely bird impressed us repeatedly with its orange throat and crisp markings in montane mixed flocks, especially at Mount Totumas and along the Fortuna Road.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) – Common in the Bocas del Toro lowlands.
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica) – We didn't find this tail-cocking warbler until we dropped down a bit in elevation from Mount Totumas to the Fortuna Road and Bocas del Toro lowlands.

Ramón showed us this waist-high Rufous-tailed Hummingbird on the grounds at Tranquilo Bay. Photo by guide Jesse Fagan.

BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER (Setophaga virens) – The sharp metallic chip note of this montane winterer gave away its presence in mixed canopy flocks around the Mount Totumas area.
BLACK-CHEEKED WARBLER (Basileuterus melanogenys) – It took quite a bit of searching, but we eventually found a pair of birds that seemed to be defending a small territory at the edge of pasture near Mount Totumas.
GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus) – A fairly common understory warbler in the mountain forests we explored around Mount Totumas.
COSTA RICAN WARBLER (Basileuterus melanotis) – Michael spotted one on the day we visited Santa Catalina below Mount Totumas, but it proved elusive for most.
BUFF-RUMPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis fulvicauda) – The loud, chanting songs of this waterside specialist warbler rang out from the forests at Mount Totumas - and when we spotted the songster, it was quite charming to see it sashay-ing its way along the forest floor with exaggerated swings of the tail.
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla) – A common wintering species around Mount Totumas.
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus) – Because of their habit of spreading the wings and tail and tumbling to catch the insects they flush, these striking warblers are often the most conspicuous members of mixed flocks in montane forests. We saw them quite commonly around Mount Totumas.
Mitrospingidae (Mitrospingid Tanagers)
DUSKY-FACED TANAGER (Mitrospingus cassinii) – This strange tanager with the pale eye gave us a few nice shows along the Fortuna Road.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) – The sharp "pitty tuck" calls usually gave this one away before we spotted it - mostly at Mount Totumas but once at Tranquilo Bay, too.
FLAME-COLORED TANAGER (Piranga bidentata) – Gratifyingly common around the forests of Mount Totumas, and it was even a regular visitor to the feeders! The males in southern Central America have more of a cherry red coloration than the orange birds of Mexico (and occasionally into the SW United States).
WHITE-WINGED TANAGER (Piranga leucoptera) – A pair, including a bright red male, were wayyyyyyy up in the forest canopy at Santa Catalina.
RED-THROATED ANT-TANAGER (Habia fuscicauda) – We mostly heard and barely saw this understory bird in the forest at Tranquilo Bay.
BLACK-FACED GROSBEAK (Caryothraustes poliogaster) – Amazing - we saw over 20 of these stout-billed songbirds in various noisy flocks along the Fortuna Road, mostly around Willie Mazu.
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – Surprisingly, we never saw this species during the day. Our only encounter was of the night-roosting flock of 8 birds that was in a viburnum over the Mount Totumas driveway, found with the thermal scope.
BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanoloxia cyanoides) – Heard singing that sweet song regularly and seen a few times around Tranquilo Bay and the Changuinola Canal.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
WHITE-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus luctuosus) – We saw a pair with the big mixed flock along the Fortuna Road.
TAWNY-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus delatrii) – Reasonably common around Tranquilo Bay and the Fortuna Road.
WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus) – We saw a few of these common forest tanagers along the Fortuna Road and at the Changuinola Canal.
SCARLET-RUMPED TANAGER (Ramphocelus passerinii) – We found a few on the Pacific side of the continental divide below Mount Totumas, and many more on the Caribbean slope, especially along the Changuinola Canal.

Montezuma Oropendolas were commonly seen around the Tranquilo Bay tower. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – Very common and widespread.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum) – Common in the Caribbean lowlands.
SPECKLED TANAGER (Ixothraupis guttata) – We found three with canopy flocks along the Fortuna Road.
GOLDEN-HOODED TANAGER (Stilpnia larvata) – Scattered sightings of this stunning tanager in the Bocas del Toro lowlands.
SPANGLE-CHEEKED TANAGER (Tangara dowii) – Just one poor look in a clump of bamboo on the trails at Mount Totumas.
PLAIN-COLORED TANAGER (Tangara inornata) – Regularly seen along the edge of the garden at Tranquilo Bay, and we even found and documented a nest over the Changuinola Canal.
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola) – Ours were at Santa Catalina and along the Fortuna Road, mixed with canopy flocks.
EMERALD TANAGER (Tangara florida) – This fabulous green songbird with black accents was in canopy flocks along the Fortuna Road.
SILVER-THROATED TANAGER (Tangara icterocephala) – This lovely tanager was in several mixed flocks in the mountains.
SCARLET-THIGHED DACNIS (Dacnis venusta) – A few brief sightings in canopy along the Fortuna Road and at Santa Catalina.
SHINING HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes lucidus) – The best view we had was of a deep blue-purple male at eye level from the top of the Tranquilo Bay tower.
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza) – Most of ours were at the edge of the forest in the Tranquilo Bay gardens.
SLATY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa plumbea) – It was really interesting to watch the classic flower-piercing behavior up close as these small, hook-billed songbirds punctured the bases of tubular flowers and then sipped the nectar from them.
THICK-BILLED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila funerea) – We perused the grassy margins along the road to Punta Robalo and found these seed crackers pretty easily. The next species made their stout bills look puny, though!
NICARAGUAN SEED-FINCH (Sporophila nuttingi) – Also called Pink-billed Seed-finch. This one has a bill that seems too large to fit on the bird's face. We found this strange-looking regional specialty singing while we were floating in our boats along the Changuinola Canal.

Jesse leads the way across the waters of Bocas del Toro. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

VARIABLE SEEDEATER (Sporophila corvina) – Fairly common in the Bocas del Toro lowlands.
MORELET'S SEEDEATER (Sporophila morelleti) – Two of these wing-barred Sporophila were along the road to Punta Robalo.
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) – These tiny tanagers were especially common in the Tranquilo Bay lowlands, including the Changuinola Canal.
YELLOW-FACED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris olivaceus) – We found these tiny songbirds regularly in the seeding grasses along the edge of the Mount Totumas driveway.
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus) – Present both in the mountains and in the Caribbean lowlands.
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens) – One sang to us from the edge of the Changuinola Canal.
STREAKED SALTATOR (Saltator striatipectus) – A conspicuous member of the Mount Totumas dawn chorus; in edge habitats.

GRAY FOUR-EYED OPOSSUM (Philander opossum) – We saw this well-marked gray opossum a few times at the Tranquilo Bay fruit feeders.
DERBY'S WOOLLY OPOSSUM (Caluromys derbianus) – Also called "Central American Woolly Opossum" - we saw this very cute mammal attending the Tranquilo Bay fruit feeders during dinnertime.
WHITE-LINED SAC-WINGED BAT SP. (Saccopteryx sp.) – These small bats were roosting on the outer wall of one of the buildings at Tranquilo Bay - we are not sure which species of white-lined bat they belong to.
MANTLED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta palliata) – On a few occasions, the group enjoyed eye level views of groups of these large herbivores in the canopy at Mount Totumas.
WHITE-THROATED CAPUCHIN (Cebus capucinus) – From the top of the Tranquilo Bay tower, we watched one of these banana thieves gather up bunches of bananas in its "arms" before running off into the forest. Hilarious!
CENTRAL AMERICAN SPIDER MONKEY (Ateles geoffroyi) – A few groups squealed and yelped from the forest canopy along the trails at Mount Totumas. They seemed a bit annoyed that we had stopped to admire them - and they came over to shake branches at us.
HOFFMANN'S TWO-TOED SLOTH (Choloepus hoffmanni) – This was the shaggy, buff-brown sloth that we saw moving around an isolated tree along the road to Punta Robalo.
BROWN-THROATED THREE-TOED SLOTH (Bradypus variegatus) – Quite common around the Bocas del Toro lowlands - a female with a youngster was hanging out in an isolated cecropia tree just outside our rooms at Tranquilo Bay.

Our group enjoyed the view and the birding from the tower at Tranquilo Bay. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis) – Occasional sightings of these forest squirrels around Mount Totumas.
ALFARO'S PYGMY SQUIRREL (Microsciurus alfari) – Near the mixed bird flock along the upper Fortuna Road, we enjoyed this hyperactive squirrel as it paused in the forest canopy.
BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN (Tursiops truncatus) – Between Tranquilo Bay and Isla Popa, we saw a group of five of these inshore cetaceans.
CACOMISTLE (Bassariscus sumichrasti) – During our nightbirding walk at Mount Totumas, we heard the "yow!" calls of one of these carnivorous mammals. This is like the southern version of the more familiar Ringtail that ranges north through the western United States. "Cacomistle" derives from a Nahuatl word meaning "half cat." [*]


Totals for the tour: 301 bird taxa and 12 mammal taxa