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Field Guides Tour Report
Panama's Canopy Lodge: El Valle de Anton 2017
Dec 30, 2017 to Jan 6, 2018
Chris Benesh & Danilo Rodriguez Jr.

Andrew and Rebecca Steinmann caught a wonderful shot of the male Orange-bellied Trogon encountered along with a wonderful image of Cocoa Woodcreeper and bromeliads. Along with this is the group taking a break at Altos del Maria in familiar attire.

This year’s Canopy Lodge New Year tour brought together a terrific bunch of people and a lot of terrific wildlife experiences. Thanks to Danilo’s great job in assuring we were well looked after throughout the trip. Alas, it will undeniably be known as the tour the coincided with a massive storm system affecting weather from the eastern United States as far south as northern South America. Instead of enjoying the start of the dry season at El Valle, we were left with unsettled, wet weather hanging over the region for much of the tour. Some may have been pleased to find their wet weather gear holding up under such conditions, while at the same time it proved too much for my weathered umbrella. Not much to be done but shrug or laugh, and relish those times when things let up a bit. Thankfully, much of the wildlife in the region is adapted to wet and largely carried on as normal.

There were some great memories. Our two Spectacled Owls, both the adult at Cara Iguana and the youngster at Altos del Maria were exciting sights. The stunning Golden-collared Manakin was a hit as was the colorful Orange-bellied Trogon and the charming Tody Motmot. Thanks to all of you for keeping spirits high and laughing our way into the New Year. I look forward to seeing you all again and wish you the best in birding. — Chris

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

A Gray-headed Chachalaca preparing to leap on the lodge feeders. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
GRAY-HEADED CHACHALACA (Ortalis cinereiceps) – Some good views of this species coming to the lodge feeders.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana) – Seen in flight over the Metro Park and again at Juan Hombron.
Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
BLUE-FOOTED BOOBY (Sula nebouxii) – Five seen through the scope perched on Isla Farallon.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)

It took a good deal of searching, but we eventually connected with this Tody Motmot. Photo by participants Andrew & Rebecca Steinmann.

LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens) [*]
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albus)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – Nicely seen at Juan Hombron.

A highlight of the trip was this stunning Golden-collared Manakin. Photo by participants Andrew & Rebecca Steinmann.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus)
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) – Well seen on La Mesa with Danilo, including a copulation.
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis)
WHITE HAWK (Pseudastur albicollis) – Seen by a couple of folks driving in Danilo Sr.'s 4x4 on our way to Altos del Maria.
GRAY-LINED HAWK (Buteo nitidus blakei) [*]
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) – This was the common hawk in the El Valle area.
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus)

The recently split Gray-cowled Wood-Rail showing well at the lodge. Photo by participants Andrew & Rebecca Steinmann.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus) – Part of the recent split of Gray-necked Wood-Rail, we had some good looks around the lodge, including one that fed at lodge feeders.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (BLACK-BACKED) (Jacana jacana hypomelaena) – Seen at Juan Hombron.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)
WILLET (Tringa semipalmata)
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla)

This pair of Tropical Screech-Owls were tucked tightly together and out of the wind and rain below La Mesa. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

BROWN NODDY (Anous stolidus) – This was the strangest sighting of the tour in my mind. While we were stopped along the highway north of Tranquilla, we spotted a peculiar nighthawk-esque bird flying toward us following a roadside drainage. As it came close, we could make out its distinct shape, tern-like bill, bi-lobed tail, and overall very dark appearance. This species does occur pelagically in the area, and I suspect that high winds associated with a strong storm system had driven this bird inland.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)
PLAIN-BREASTED GROUND-DOVE (Columbina minuta elaeodes) – Good views of one along the entrance road into Juan Hombron.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)

Our two Spectacled Owls encountered on the trip. Andrew and Rebecca Steinmann photographed the adult while Chris captured the youngster.

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major) – We connected with one at Juan Hombron.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – Our best views were of some at Juan Hombron.
GROOVE-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga sulcirostris) – Seen at Juan Hombron. Interesting to see all of the anis in close proximity.
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – Always a treat to see this flashy species.
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba luctisonus) – What a sight seeing this pair tucked tightly together at their roost site.
SPECTACLED OWL (Pulsatrix perspicillata) – Danilo picked out one at a traditional site near Cara Iguana and then we stumbled into another youngster at Altos del Maria.
Apodidae (Swifts)
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura)
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-TIPPED SICKLEBILL (Eutoxeres aquila) [*]

Cara Iguana had this beautiful male Garden Emerald. Photo by participants Andrew & Rebecca Steinmann.

GREEN HERMIT (Phaethornis guy)
STRIPE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis striigularis)
BROWN VIOLETEAR (Colibri delphinae)
GREEN THORNTAIL (Discosura conversii) – Good looks at a few at the lodge and on the way to La Mesa.
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris) – Nice views of one nesting at the lodge.
GARDEN EMERALD (Chlorostilbon assimilis)
VIOLET-HEADED HUMMINGBIRD (Klais guimeti) – Seen a couple of times feeding at the lodge.

Andrew & Rebecca also captured this tiny Violet-headed Hummingbird that visited the lodge on occasion.

BRONZE-TAILED PLUMELETEER (Chalybura urochrysia)
CROWNED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania colombica)
SNOWCAP (Microchera albocoronata)
SNOWY-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia edward collata) [E]
SAPPHIRE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Lepidopyga coeruleogularis coeruleogularis) – A couple of these were seen at Juan Hombron. [E]

A Broad-billed Motmot about to swallow a giant grub at Altos del Maria. Photo by participants Andrew & Rebecca Steinmann.

VIOLET-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Juliamyia julie panamensis)
Trogonidae (Trogons)
SLATY-TAILED TROGON (MASSENA) (Trogon massena hoffmanni) – Seen at the Metro Park on our first morning.
BLACK-THROATED TROGON (Trogon rufus) – One was at Altos del Maria.
ORANGE-BELLIED TROGON (Trogon aurantiiventris) – A handsome bird seen at Altos del Maria. Sometimes lumped with the similar Collared Trogon.
Momotidae (Motmots)
TODY MOTMOT (Hylomanes momotula) – After a lot of tries we finally connected with this species at Cara Iguana.
LESSON'S MOTMOT (Momotus lessonii lessonii) – We had nice studies of this species on the road to the lowlands. We could hear its double whoop call.
WHOOPING MOTMOT (WHOOPING) (Momotus subrufescens conexus) – We saw this one well at the Metro Park in Panama City at the start of the trip.

One of the recent splits in Central America, this is the Whooping Motmot seen at the Metro Park. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

RUFOUS MOTMOT (Baryphthengus martii) – A regular visitor to the feeders at the Canopy Lodge.
BROAD-BILLED MOTMOT (Electron platyrhynchum)
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – One or two seen right in El Valle where they were tripping eBird filters.
BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon) [*]
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – Also seen briefly in El Valle.
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – This species was seen at the lodge.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
SPOT-CROWNED BARBET (Capito maculicoronatus maculicoronatus) – A real treat to see this species coming right to the feeders. This subspecies is endemic to Panama. [E]

The large Rufous Motmot that was a regular visitor to the lodge feeders. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

Ramphastidae (Toucans)
NORTHERN EMERALD-TOUCANET (BLUE-THROATED) (Aulacorhynchus prasinus caeruleogularis) – Encountered briefly at Altos del Maria.
COLLARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus torquatus) – Great views of birds at the lodge feeders!
YELLOW-EARED TOUCANET (Selenidera spectabilis) – A real treat to see this scarce species well at a stop in Altos del Maria.
KEEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos sulfuratus)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
RED-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes rubricapillus)
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – Great views of a pair of birds at Cara Iguana.
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) – Seen at the Metro Park briefly.

This Ringed Kingfisher was working a stream in El Valle where it kept tripping eBird filters. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway)
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima)
MERLIN (Falco columbarius) – Whitney spotted one.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – One hanging out on a tower along the highway.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
ORANGE-CHINNED PARAKEET (Brotogeris jugularis)
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)
YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala panamensis) – A couple pairs seen in flight on the road to Juan Hombron.

Tough conditions but an exciting find, a Yellow-eared Toucanet at Altos del Maria. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

BROWN-THROATED PARAKEET (VERAGUAS) (Eupsittula pertinax ocularis)
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus) – Always a crowd pleaser, we had good views of this species at El Valle.
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
BLACK-FACED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius analis) – We did catch sight of one strutting around on the ground.
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus) – One seen up on La Mesa.
COCOA WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus susurrans)
SPOTTED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus erythropygius)
BROWN-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus pusillus olivaceus) – One of the more impressive sightings of the trip was this responsive bird at Altos del Maria. What a bill!

A female Green Kingfisher spent a bit of time at the lodge. Photo by participants Andrew & Rebecca Steinmann.

PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus)
RED-FACED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca erythrops)
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
MOUSE-COLORED TYRANNULET (NORTHERN) (Phaeomyias murina eremonoma) [E*]
YELLOW TYRANNULET (Capsiempis flaveola semiflava)
GREENISH ELAENIA (GREENISH) (Myiopagis viridicata accola)

Spot-crowned Barbets, a regional specialty, were making regular visits to the lodge feeders. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)
LESSER ELAENIA (Elaenia chiriquensis)
OLIVE-STRIPED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes olivaceus)
RUFOUS-BROWED TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes superciliaris) – Some fine looks at this species in the cloud forests of Altos del Maria.
PALTRY TYRANNULET (MISTLETOE) (Zimmerius vilissimus parvus) – If the parvus form is one day split it can lose the unfortunate name of paltry.
SCALE-CRESTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus pileatus)
PALE-EYED PYGMY-TYRANT (Atalotriccus pilaris wilcoxi) – Seen pretty well at Juan Hombron. One of the smallest flycatchers out there. [E]
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum) – These little flycatchers pack a lot of charm.

An impressive Slaty-tailed Trogon seen at the Metro Park. Photo by participants Andrew & Rebecca Steinmann.

YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (YELLOW-OLIVE) (Tolmomyias sulphurescens flavoolivaceus)
TUFTED FLYCATCHER (COSTA RICAN) (Mitrephanes phaeocercus aurantiiventris)
RUFOUS MOURNER (Rhytipterna holerythra)
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)
PANAMA FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus panamensis)
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)

This kiskadee cousin is a Boat-billed Flycatcher photographed by Andrew & Rebecca Steinmann.

RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis)
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
GRAY KINGBIRD (Tyrannus dominicensis) – A nice view of this species at Juan Hombron.
Pipridae (Manakins)
LANCE-TAILED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia lanceolata)

This tiny Common Tody-Flycatcher is one of the cuter flycatchers out there. Photo by participants Andrew & Rebecca Steinmann.

WHITE-RUFFED MANAKIN (Corapipo altera) – A couple of nice studies of this dapper species.
GOLDEN-COLLARED MANAKIN (Manacus vitellinus) – A great look at this species at La Mesa.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) – A couple of these were at Cara Iguana.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (NORTHERN) (Cyclarhis gujanensis perrygoi) [E]
SCRUB GREENLET (Hylophilus flavipes)
LESSER GREENLET (Pachysylvia decurtata)

A Lineated Woodpecker seen in El Valle. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Vireo flavifrons)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BLACK-CHESTED JAY (Cyanocorax affinis)
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca)
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
SCALY-BREASTED WREN (WHISTLING) (Microcerculus marginatus luscinia) [*]
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon inquietus)

Andrew & Rebecca got a great shot of this Rufous-capped Warbler. Birds here are quite different than those further north in Mexico and parts of northern Central America.

OCHRACEOUS WREN (Troglodytes ochraceus ligea) [E*]
RUFOUS-BREASTED WREN (Pheugopedius rutilus)
RUFOUS-AND-WHITE WREN (Thryophilus rufalbus)
ISTHMIAN WREN (Cantorchilus elutus) – Some decent views of this species on a couple of occasions. Formerly known as Plain Wren, this group was split into three species including this one with an unpronounceable name.
BAY WREN (Cantorchilus nigricapillus) – A large and striking wren seen near the lodge.
WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta)
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys)

Another eBird filter tripper was this Northern Parula seen in El Valle. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
TROPICAL MOCKINGBIRD (TROPICAL) (Mimus gilvus tolimensis) [I]
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia motacilla)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis)
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Oreothlypis peregrina)
MOURNING WARBLER (Geothlypis philadelphia)

We had a few good mammal sightings, including this Hoffman's Two-toed Sloth. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla)
NORTHERN PARULA (Setophaga americana) – One seen at Cara Iguana was considered a local rarity.
BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (Setophaga castanea)
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica)
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (CHESTNUT-CAPPED) (Basileuterus rufifrons mesochrysus) – Best thought of as a species distinct from northern birds.

And this tiny Western Pygmy Squirrel was a cloud forest treat. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

BUFF-RUMPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis fulvicauda) – The rump of this species is surprisingly bright even in dim light.
CANADA WARBLER (Cardellina canadensis)
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
TAWNY-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus delatrii)
WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus)
FLAME-RUMPED TANAGER (LEMON-RUMPED) (Ramphocelus flammigerus icteronotus) – The northern birds (like here) have yellow colored rumps.
CRIMSON-BACKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus dimidiatus) – The males are shockingly bright birds.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)

A large Common Basilisk lizard hanging out at the edge of a pond in El Valle. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

PLAIN-COLORED TANAGER (Tangara inornata)
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola)
SILVER-THROATED TANAGER (Tangara icterocephala)
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
BLACK-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Chrysothlypis chrysomelas)
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)

This phenomenal moth was hanging out on a window screen at the lodge. It is known as Mania lunus. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

VARIABLE SEEDEATER (VARIABLE) (Sporophila corvina hoffmanni)
YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis)
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)
BLACK-HEADED SALTATOR (Saltator atriceps)
STREAKED SALTATOR (Saltator striatipectus)
Passerellidae (New World Buntings and Sparrows)
COMMON CHLOROSPINGUS (CENTRAL PANAMA) (Chlorospingus flavopectus punctulatus) – Until recently known as bush-tanagers.

This large insect was also seen at the lodge and is known as a Peruvian Shield Mantid. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

BLACK-STRIPED SPARROW (Arremonops conirostris)
ORANGE-BILLED SPARROW (Arremon aurantiirostris)
Mitrospingidae (Mitrospingid Tanagers)
DUSKY-FACED TANAGER (Mitrospingus cassinii)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (HIGHLAND) (Piranga flava testacea) – The taxonomy of this complex is curious. Birds in Panama are some much more extensively red than northern birds and have quite different call notes.
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra)
RED-THROATED ANT-TANAGER (RED-THROATED) (Habia fuscicauda willisi) – We had some at the Metro Park on our first morning.
BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanoloxia cyanoides)

The group at Santa Clara shortly before saying goodbye to Danilo.

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna)
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus)
YELLOW-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus chrysater giraudii) – Seen at the Metro Park.
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
YELLOW-CROWNED EUPHONIA (Euphonia luteicapilla)
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris)
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria)
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Thank heavens for gas stations along the highway. [I]

CENTRAL AMERICAN WOOLY OPOSSUM (Caluromys derbianus) – Seen briefly at the lodge one evening by a few.
TOLTEC FRUIT-EATING BAT (Artibeus toltecus)
RED-NAPED TAMARIN (Saguinus geoffroyi) [*]
HOFFMANN'S TWO-TOED SLOTH (Choloepus hoffmanni) – Great look at this species on a couple occasions.
VARIEGATED SQUIRREL (Sciurus variegatoides)
RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis) – This was the common squirrel around the lodge.
WESTERN PYGMY SQUIRREL (Microsciurus mimulus) – Fun to see this tiny squirrel in the forest at Altos del Maria.
CENTRAL AMERICAN AGOUTI (Dasyprocta punctata) – A regular site around the feeders at the lodge and also at the Metro Park.


Totals for the tour: 208 bird taxa and 9 mammal taxa