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Field Guides Tour Report
Panama's Canopy Tower & Lodge 2016
Mar 7, 2016 to Mar 14, 2016
John Coons, Alexis Sanchez & Eliecer Rodriguez Madrid

The White-tipped Sicklebill is definitely one of the more bizarre hummingbirds. We enjoyed a wonderful view when this one perched for 10 minutes. Photo by participant Ed LeGrand.

This was a wonderful week of birding, mammal-watching, and laughing at the Canopy Lodge and Canopy Tower, as we experienced nice weather in a very comfortable setting. We had a great time with our local guides -- Eliecer at the Lodge and Alexis at the Tower; their ability to spot birds is amazing! The staff at both sites looked after us very well. Each day brought wonderful sightings, and each meal (except those early breakfasts) brought great conversations and humor.

We started our birding with a few hours at Metropolitan Park in Panama City before making the drive to the quaint town of El Valle, the home of the Canopy Lodge. We birded on the grounds of the lodge, and up the road at La Mesa and Cara Iguana, as well as at several stops on the way to the Pacific lowlands, where we enjoyed lunch on the beach at Santa Clara. We then headed to the old Canal Zone and the Canopy Tower atop Semaphore Hill. This was our base for four nights, and we birded near the Tower and along famed Pipeline Road in Soberania National Park, some of the best-preserved lowland forest in central Panama. We enjoyed a number of highlights during the week, including great looks at Least Bittern and Rufescent Tiger-Herons at Ammo Pond, those odd Boat-billed Herons on nests with blue eggs, a flock of Swallow-tailed Kites on La Mesa, a perched White Hawk on Semaphore Hill, a surprisingly good view of White-throated Crakes at Ammo Pond, a wonderful study of a singing Pheasant Cuckoo along Pipeline Road, an okay but definitely acceptable look at a rarely seen Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo at the Canopy Lodge, a Spectacled Owl on a day perch, that White-tipped Sicklebill that perched for us for ten minutes, six species of trogons, the small Tody Motmot in the scope at Cara Iguana, a long study of a female Green-and-rufous Kingfisher, the quite uncommon Russet Antshrike, wonderfully bright Blue Cotingas, scope views of a Speckled Mourner, a flock with Bay-headed and Silver-throated tanagers, and a nice look at the color-challenged but interesting Carmiol's Tanager as it ate a walking stick, among many others.

We also encountered a number of interesting mammals. The roars of Mantled Howler Monkeys emanating from the forest were the first sounds we heard on a few mornings, and we were entertained by the Red-naped Tamarins scurrying about in the trees. We had numerous sightings of both species of sloths on the first several days, perhaps causing some of us to consider a lifestyle change. Agoutis and coatis were also seen along the roadsides, but certainly the best mammal we saw was the Silky Anteater curled up in a small furry ball along the edge of Pipeline Road. Both American Crocodile and Speckled Caiman were seen at the ponds, along with Red-eared Sliders and several species of lizards.

It was such a joy to be on this trip with all of you. It was so much fun, with some great birds. I hope we can get together for another one.

-- John

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

We saw or heard Mantled Howler Monkeys daily. Apparently, it's exhausting trying to keep up with the pressure of being one of the loudest animals in the world! Photo by participant Lain Adkins.

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) [*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Anas discors) – There were a fair number on a pond along the Pacific Ocean on the day we visited Santa Clara.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
GRAY-HEADED CHACHALACA (Ortalis cinereiceps) – These were a regular sight at the feeders at the Canopy Lodge.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps) – One or two were on the backwater lake of Lake Gatun near the Discovery Center.
Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (Fregata magnificens) – We saw a whole bunch circling in the air above Panama City when we were at Metro Park.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
LEAST BITTERN (Ixobrychus exilis) – We had great looks at this rarely seen bird in Panama while we were at Ammo Pond.
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum) – We seemed to encounter two or three each time we passed Ammo Pond.
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – One individual seemed to have made friends with the White-faced Ibis along the shore of the Chagres River.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)
BOAT-BILLED HERON (SOUTHERN) (Cochlearius cochlearius panamensis) – We saw at least four individuals at Summit Pond including a pair with a nest that had blue eggs.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albus)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – We saw a fair number in the Juan Hombron area of the Pacific lowlands.
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi) – We saw this individual along the mouth of the Chagres River on a couple of days but not on our final day. This bird, the first record for Panama, was found on our Field Guides tour in early February.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – We saw a couple of thousand moving north through the Canal Zone on our first full day there.

We encountered seven species of motmots in Panama, with Rufous Motmot, one of the largest, seen regularly on the grounds of the Canopy Lodge. Photo by participant Lain Adkins.

LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – In the Pacific lowlands we had nice looks at a few flying birds and one or two that were perched in a field just off the road.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
PEARL KITE (Gampsonyx swainsonii) – We enjoyed great scope views of this tiny raptor along one of the dirt roads in the Juan Hombron area.
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus) – One or two were encountered in the Pacific lowlands on our way to lunch in Santa Clara.
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – We saw about eight of these beautiful raptors just above the Canopy Lodge on La Mesa.
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) – We saw two individuals that perched for us while we were at the Discovery Center tower.
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis) – A species that was essentially unknown in Panama into the early 90's, it is now regularly seen around the eastern end of Gatun Lake.
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) – Nice views of a perched bird were had along Semaphore Hill.
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens) – We saw a single bird perched in a tree top near the Discovery Center tower.
COMMON BLACK HAWK (MANGROVE) (Buteogallus anthracinus bangsi)
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis) – We had pretty good views of about four individuals in the Pacific lowlands.
GREAT BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus urubitinga urubitinga)
WHITE HAWK (Pseudastur albicollis) – One of the prettiest raptors, we saw these near the Lodge and the Canopy Tower.
SEMIPLUMBEOUS HAWK (Leucopternis semiplumbeus) – Ed spotted one perched over Pipeline Road.
GRAY-LINED HAWK (Buteo nitidus) [*]
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) – We saw a good number of migrants on our last full day.
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus)
SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni) – A large number were moving north with Turkey Vultures on our first couple of days at the Canopy Tower.
ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus) – We spotted one soaring overhead in the Juan Hombron area.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
WHITE-THROATED CRAKE (Laterallus albigularis) – Surprisingly, we had great looks at one of two individuals that walked out of the marsh and in to view.
GRAY-NECKED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus) – We saw our first walking down the trail at the Canopy Lodge.
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinicus)
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata)
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) [*]
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus)

The Keel-billed Toucan is the epitome of tropical birds. We saw this colorful, odd-looking species daily. Photo by participant Lain Adkins.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – These were fairly common in a couple of places on La Mesa. One field had at least 25 individuals.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – Alexis spotted one along the bank at Summit Pond that we got in the scope.
WILLET (Tringa semipalmata) – One was on the beach during lunch at Santa Clara.
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus)
STILT SANDPIPER (Calidris himantopus) – We saw one in the wet field near the coast.
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla)
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – These were pretty common in the open country areas around Gamboa and Panama City.
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa) – We had some good views of perched birds from the tops of the towers.
SHORT-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas nigrirostris) – We heard several in the forest and saw a perched bird from the Discovery Center tower.
PLAIN-BREASTED GROUND-DOVE (Columbina minuta) – Two males seemed to be vying over a female at the edge of the road at Juan Hombron.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)
BLUE GROUND-DOVE (Claravis pretiosa) [*]
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)
GRAY-CHESTED DOVE (Leptotila cassinii) – A forest species, we saw two birds on a likely nest at Metro Park.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) [*]
PHEASANT CUCKOO (Dromococcyx phasianellus) – One of the trip highlights, we had a ten minute view of a calling bird along Pipeline Road. This is a species that doesn't start vocalizing until late in the spring and can be a hard one to see.
RUFOUS-VENTED GROUND-CUCKOO (Neomorphus geoffroyi) – At the Canopy Lodge, Eliecer found one of these very rarely seen birds at an antswarm during lunch. We went back to the spot and had a pretty good view through the vegetation of this great species. Amazingly, it was the only bird at this antswarm.

Pheasant Cuckoos, which are quite impressive birds of tropical forests, had just started vocalizing for the season during our tour. We were fortunate to have one perch in the open for several minutes. Photo by participant Ed LeGrand.

GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major) – We saw one at Summit Pond.
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)
GROOVE-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga sulcirostris)
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) – We heard one calling at dawn at the Canopy Lodge that we could not find the next evening due to the wind. But, we had a wonderful view of a baby in a nest in an ornamental stump in a yard on La Mesa.
SPECTACLED OWL (Pulsatrix perspicillata) – We had great looks at this great looking owl on a day roost at Cara Iguana.
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – Eliecer got one in the scope at our lunch spot on the beach that was peering out of a nest hole.
MOTTLED OWL (Ciccaba virgata) – We had good views of two individuals along the trail at the Canopy Lodge that Eliecer found.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis) – On our last day, Charlie found this well camouflaged bird on a day roost along Pipeline Road.
Apodidae (Swifts)
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura)
BAND-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura spinicaudus) – These were the more numerous of the swifts we encountered.
LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis) – Ed and Dan saw one or two from the Tower one afternoon.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora) – By far the most common hummingbird we saw, there were many visiting the feeders at the Canopy Tower and the Discovery Center.
WHITE-TIPPED SICKLEBILL (Eutoxeres aquila) – This quite uncommon species gave us a great show in the forest above the Canopy Lodge. Watching a flowering heliconia, Eliecer somehow spotted this distinctive hummingbird perched quietly a short distance away. We ended up getting great looks through the scope for several minutes. Yip! Yip! Yip!
GREEN HERMIT (Phaethornis guy)
LONG-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis longirostris) – One or two were regular visitors to the Canopy Tower feeders.
STRIPE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis striigularis)
PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY (Heliothryx barroti)
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – We saw a male on the walk in to Summit Pond.
VERAGUAN MANGO (Anthracothorax veraguensis) – We saw two of these rather local hummingbirds in the gallery forest at Juan Hombron.
GARDEN EMERALD (Chlorostilbon assimilis) – At Cara Iguana we saw a brilliantly gleaming male.
BRONZE-TAILED PLUMELETEER (Chalybura urochrysia) – Ed spotted this pink-footed hummingbird at La Mesa near the Canopy Lodge.
CROWNED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania colombica)
BLUE-CHESTED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia amabilis) – We saw a few in the Canal Zone including one at a nest.
SNOWY-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia edward edward)
RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia tzacatl) – A few were seen around the feeders and the flowering plants at the Canopy Lodge.
SAPPHIRE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Lepidopyga coeruleogularis)
VIOLET-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Damophila julie) – This small hummingbird afforded good views on a few occasions along Pipeline Road and at the Discovery Center feeders.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
SLATY-TAILED TROGON (Trogon massena) – The most numerous trogon we saw. We had them in a number of habitats.
BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus) – On our final day on Pipeline Road we had a pair of these beautiful birds.
WHITE-TAILED TROGON (Trogon chionurus) – Both a male and female were seen during our last morning on Pipeline Road.
GARTERED TROGON (Trogon caligatus) [*]
ORANGE-BELLIED TROGON (Trogon aurantiiventris) – We had to walk into the forest along the trail on La Mesa to get a good view of this local specialty.
Momotidae (Motmots)
TODY MOTMOT (Hylomanes momotula) – Our trip to Cara Iguana paid off as we had great looks at this small motmot, one of the specialties of the area.
BLUE-CROWNED MOTMOT (LESSON'S) (Momotus coeruliceps lessonii) – This species was seen a couple of times in the foothills of the Canopy Lodge area.
WHOOPING MOTMOT (WHOOPING) (Momotus subrufescens conexus) – Formerly conspecific with the previous species, this is the species that occurs from the Canal Zone through eastern Panama. We saw a couple of them at Metro Park on our very first morning.

Lain, Dan, Holly and Allan enjoy the view -- and a "brew" -- atop the Canopy Tower. Photo by Lynne Griffith.

RUFOUS MOTMOT (Baryphthengus martii) – A pretty stunning bird, we saw several tock-ticking in the El Valle area.
BROAD-BILLED MOTMOT (Electron platyrhynchum) – i think this was the only motmot we ended up encountering in the Canopy Tower area, but we saw a few over our four days.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – Our first perched on a wire over the creek in the Juan Hombron area, then we had another at Summit Pond.
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – Some folks saw this small kingfisher along the stream at the Canopy Lodge.
GREEN-AND-RUFOUS KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle inda) – Another highlight of the trip and the most difficult to see of the New World kingfishers, we had a ten minute study of one that Alexis found along one of the small creeks crossing Pipeline Road. This was a brilliant female with the silvery spotted breast band.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
WHITE-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus hyperrhynchus) – We had a fairly good scope view of one at the Discovery Center tower.
BLACK-BREASTED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus pectoralis) – Our first was seen from the top of the Canopy Tower but we had another in the forest on Pipeline Road.
PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus)
WHITE-WHISKERED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila panamensis) – We ended up seeing about four individuals along our walk down Semaphore Hill. This inconspicuous forest species didn't have a chance with Alexis on the job.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
SPOT-CROWNED BARBET (Capito maculicoronatus) – After seeing a female along the road above the Canopy Lodge, we had great looks the following morning of 4-5 individuals including a few males.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
EMERALD TOUCANET (BLUE-THROATED) (Aulacorhynchus prasinus caeruleogularis) – We heard one calling along the trail at Las Minas and sort of maybe had a glimpse of it as it flew through the forest.
COLLARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus torquatus)
YELLOW-THROATED TOUCAN (CHESTNUT-MANDIBLED) (Ramphastos ambiguus swainsonii) – Far outnumbered by Keel-billed this time of year, we had a nice look, at last, along Pipeline Road after hearing a few.
KEEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos sulfuratus) – Quite numerous, we saw several during our treks in the forest and from the towers. This is an incredible looking bird.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
BLACK-CHEEKED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes pucherani)
RED-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes rubricapillus) – This was the fairly common woodpecker of the open country and second growth. We also saw one peeking out of a nest hole.
CINNAMON WOODPECKER (Celeus loricatus) – A very handsome woodpecker, we saw our first from within the fence of the Canopy Tower on our first morning there.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – This large woodpecker showed for us on our first day at Metro Park.

Orange-chinned Parakeet is a common small parrot we saw around clearings and parks. You can just make out the orange chin here. Photo by participant Lain Adkins.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway)
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima)
AMERICAN KESTREL (SOUTH AMERICAN) (Falco sparverius aequatorialis) – We saw a female that appeared to be investigating a nest hole while we were in the Pacific lowlands.
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis)
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – We saw one flying-by while we birded the Pacific lowlands. It was probably hunting shorebirds in the marshy areas.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
ORANGE-CHINNED PARAKEET (Brotogeris jugularis) – This small but widespread parrot was seen flying just about everyday but we only had a couple of good views.
BROWN-HOODED PARROT (Pyrilia haematotis) – Always a tough one to see perched, we had a nice scope view of two birds perched on a hillside just above the Canopy Lodge.
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)
RED-LORED PARROT (Amazona autumnalis) – We saw more of these perched or flying past than any other parrot while we were at the Canopy Tower,
YELLOW-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona ochrocephala) – We saw a couple of pairs of this local species in the Pacific lowlands.
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa)
BROWN-THROATED PARAKEET (VERAGUAS) (Eupsittula pertinax ocularis) – Another quite local species in the areas we visited, we had a few close birds in the Juan Hombron area.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus) – One of the larger antbirds in Panama, we saw it our first afternoon at the Lodge then a couple of more times at the Tower.
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus) – We had good views of both a male and female in the Canopy Lodge area.
BLACK-CROWNED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus atrinucha)
RUSSET ANTSHRIKE (Thamnistes anabatinus) – A quite uncommon and inconspicuous species, we got great views of one individual along Pipeline Road.
PLAIN ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus mentalis) – We saw a male along the edge of the small canyon on La Mesa.
SPOT-CROWNED ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus puncticeps) – We enjoyed great looks at this local species along Pipeline Road on our full day there. We had both a male and female quite near to us.
CHECKER-THROATED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla fulviventris)
MOUSTACHED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula ignota) – Typically a species that is difficult to see in the tree tops, it was amazing to see one only five feet off the ground where it was feeding a young bird.
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris) – Another species we finally hooked up with on our last day. We had nice looks at a male showing the white flanks well.
DOT-WINGED ANTWREN (Microrhopias quixensis) – This species is with most mixed-species forest flocks. We saw a few including the more brightly colored females with the rich rufous breast.
DUSKY ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides tyrannina) – Our first were at Metro Park then we saw a couple on Semaphore Hill.
WHITE-BELLIED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza longipes) [*]

One doesn't look down at a Black-breasted Puffbird very often, but it's sometimes the case at the Canopy Tower, where we can get eye-to-eye with hard-to-see species. Photo by participant Lain Adkins.

CHESTNUT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza exsul) – This species is usually found near the forest floor. We saw one along the road on Semaphore Hill where there seemed to be a flock and perhaps the remnants of an antswarm.
BICOLORED ANTBIRD (Gymnopithys bicolor bicolor) [*]
SPOTTED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax naevioides) – One of the more colorfully marked of the antbirds, we saw a male and female along Semaphore Hill and even got the male in the scope for a wonderful view.
Conopophagidae (Gnateaters)
BLACK-CROWNED ANTPITTA (Pittasoma michleri) – Darn. We heard one singing from the thick vegetation along the trail at Las Minas but could not get it into view. Over about 30 minutes it sang about five times. [*]
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
BLACK-FACED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius analis)
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa)
COCOA WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus susurrans) – We saw a few during our time in the forest at both the Lodge and the Tower.
STRAIGHT-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Dendroplex picus) – A lowland and drier country species, we had nice looks at one in the Juan Hombron area.
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus) – This acrobatic species was seen just about every day of the trip.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
BROWN-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Ornithion brunneicapillus) – Another treetop dweller we had wonderful views of one that built a nest right in the yard of the Canopy Tower. Its song was a constant voice in the morning at the Tower.
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum) – We also saw this small flycatcher at a nest along the walk in to Summit Pond.
MOUSE-COLORED TYRANNULET (MOUSE-COLORED) (Phaeomyias murina eremonoma) – A denizen of dry, open scrub we saw two in the lowlands on our way to the coast.
YELLOW TYRANNULET (Capsiempis flaveola) [*]
YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus) – After hearing a few, we finally got a look at two birds at Ammo Pond.
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii)
GRAY ELAENIA (CHOCO) (Myiopagis caniceps absita) – A quite sought-after species in the forest along Pipeline Road, we had a great look at a male in the scope as perched a ways up over the road.
GREENISH ELAENIA (GREENISH) (Myiopagis viridicata accola) – Our best view was right next to where we parked the vehicle as we headed to Summit Pond. it was feeding in a gumbo limbo tree that was attracting several species.
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)
LESSER ELAENIA (Elaenia chiriquensis) – We encountered a few in the open country around the Canopy Lodge.
OLIVE-STRIPED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes olivaceus)
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus)
PALTRY TYRANNULET (MISTLETOE) (Zimmerius vilissimus parvus) – We saw these a few days including one that was building a nest.
NORTHERN SCRUB-FLYCATCHER (Sublegatus arenarum) – Ed and Dan saw one near the hotel along the Canal at Panama City.
BLACK-CAPPED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis atricapillus) – Virtually the smallest passerine in the world, we saw one flitting about overhead while we birded along Pipeline Road. It is essentially a ping-pong ball sized bird with almost no tail.

Green-and-rufous Kingfisher is the rarest of the New World kingfishers. Alexis spotted this female above one of the streams along Pipeline Road. Photo by participant Lain Adkins.

PALE-EYED PYGMY-TYRANT (Atalotriccus pilaris wilcoxi) – We had great looks at this small but distinctive flycatcher in the Cara Iguana area in the hills above the Lodge.
SOUTHERN BENTBILL (Oncostoma olivaceum) – Our first one at Metro Park showed quite well and the "bent bill' was quite noticeable.
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum)
BLACK-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum nigriceps)
OLIVACEOUS FLATBILL (Rhynchocyclus olivaceus) – A scope view gave us good looks at this species along Semaphore Hill.
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (YELLOW-OLIVE) (Tolmomyias sulphurescens flavoolivaceus)
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (YELLOW-MARGINED) (Tolmomyias assimilis flavotectus)
GOLDEN-CROWNED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus coronatus) [*]
RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus) – This was another small flycatcher that perched out well for us at Metro Park.
BLACK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius atricaudus) – A rather uncommon species, we saw one at our first birding stop at Metro Park. It was the smallish bird with the bright yellow rump that got away before we had a good look.
TROPICAL PEWEE (Contopus cinereus) – This short-primaried relative of the wood-pewees we know from the U.S. was seen on our first morning on our way up to La Mesa.
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax virescens) – This wintering North American species showed a few times but we heard them giving their single call note several times from the richer forests.
LONG-TAILED TYRANT (Colonia colonus)
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus)
RUFOUS MOURNER (Rhytipterna holerythra) – We had a pretty nice view of one above the Canopy Lodge.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)
PANAMA FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus panamensis)
GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus) [*]
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor) – This species is always found near the marshes or ponds of the area.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis)
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus) – We saw a few that were eating the fruits of the gumbo limbo trees along with several other species including some tanagers.
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius) [*]
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – One of the more conspicuous flycatchers all over tropical America as they perch on wires and are quite noticeable.
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana) – We saw a fair number of these striking birds as they perched on fences and power lines.

The smallest of Panama's motmots, Tody Motmot is one of the specialties in the forested drainages near the Canopy Lodge. Photo by participant Ed LeGrand.

Cotingidae (Cotingas)
PURPLE-THROATED FRUITCROW (Querula purpurata) – We had good views of two males showing their colorful throats at our first stop on our second day on Pipeline Road.
BLUE COTINGA (Cotinga nattererii) – A quite special bird of the area, we saw two brilliant males in the same scope view from the top of the Discovery Center tower. Then we saw a male and female feeding in a fruiting tree near the beginning of Pipeline Road.
Pipridae (Manakins)
LANCE-TAILED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia lanceolata) – We ended up with pretty good views of two males on our afternoon birding foray to Cara Iguana.
WHITE-RUFFED MANAKIN (Corapipo altera) – A nicely plumaged male showed well for us at our roadside stop on our first morning at the Canopy Lodge.
BLUE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix coronata) – I don't think we found an adult male but we saw 4-5 immature males or females.
GOLDEN-COLLARED MANAKIN (Manacus vitellinus) – After a quick view at Metro Park we had nice looks at male near the Discovery Center. This individual was moving around a lot but was still popping and snapping its wings in display to attract a female.
RED-CAPPED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra mentalis) – We saw a few of these very handsome and stunning little birds. Their call is commonly heard in the forest but the bird is seen less so.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-CROWNED TITYRA (Tityra inquisitor) – We saw one in a fruiting tree on our last full day.
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)
RUSSET-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis stenorhyncha panamensis) [*]
SPECKLED MOURNER (Laniocera rufescens) – A quite uncommon and inconspicuous species we had a very nice view along Pipeline Road on our second visit.
CINNAMON BECARD (Pachyramphus cinnamomeus)
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) – We had nice looks at a male along the road above the Canopy Lodge, then we saw a female at the Canopy Tower.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Vireo flavifrons) – A couple or three of these North American migrants were seen early in the trip.
YELLOW-GREEN VIREO (Vireo flavoviridis) – We encountered a loose group of about four individuals on the walk in to Summit Pond.
SCRUB GREENLET (Hylophilus flavipes) – Also, seen near Summit Pond we even saw the pale eye on one individual.
GOLDEN-FRONTED GREENLET (Pachysylvia aurantiifrons)
LESSER GREENLET (Pachysylvia decurtata)
GREEN SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius pulchellus) – After hearing a good number and never getting one close while we were on the towers we ended up with a nice look at two birds along Pipeline Road where we even got a scope view of a feeding individual. Then, an hour or so later we saw another pair that we happened upon.
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (NORTHERN) (Cyclarhis gujanensis perrygoi) – A rather local species in the Pacific lowlands. We ended up with a great view at a roadside stop on the way to the coast.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BLACK-CHESTED JAY (Cyanocorax affinis) – These large jays showed well near the Canopy Lodge.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis) – A couple of wintering birds were near Ammo Pond.
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis) – this was the most widespread swallow we encountered.
PURPLE MARTIN (Progne subis) – Dan and Ed saw a male from the top of the Canopy Tower during an afternoon break.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)
MANGROVE SWALLOW (Tachycineta albilinea) – These were seen each time we crossed the Chagres River bridge as well as at Summit and Ammo Ponds.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – In the Pacific lowlands we saw thousands and thousands perched on the wires as they were getting ready to head north.
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) – Ed and Dan saw these on a few afternoons from the Canopy Tower.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
SCALY-BREASTED WREN (WHISTLING) (Microcerculus marginatus luscinia) [*]
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
BLACK-BELLIED WREN (Pheugopedius fasciatoventris) – We saw these along Semaphore Hill and Pipeline Road. They never like to get out in the open much.
RUFOUS-BREASTED WREN (Pheugopedius rutilus) – I think we only heard these in the Canopy Tower area but we had good looks at Metro Park on our first morning and again near the Canopy Lodge.
RUFOUS-AND-WHITE WREN (Thryophilus rufalbus) – We had surprisingly good views of this pretty wren near the Canopy Lodge.
PLAIN WREN (Cantorchilus modestus) – This was another of these sometimes hard to see wrens that was seen well.
BAY WREN (Cantorchilus nigricapillus) – Again, we had nice looks at this fellow near the Canopy Lodge.

Brown-throated Three-toed Sloths are a relatively common sight in Panama. We saw this one (or two, given the baby's arms wrapped firmly around this female's back) from the Canopy Tower. Photo by participant Lain Adkins.

WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta) – On our walk down Semaphore Hill we had a good look at this skulker along the side of the road.
SONG WREN (Cyphorhinus phaeocephalus) – A couple of these showed pretty well in the Pipeline Road area. This is an unusual species that spends a lot of time foraging in the leaf litter.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
TAWNY-FACED GNATWREN (Microbates cinereiventris) [*]
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus)
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi) – This had to be one of the most common species we encountered during the week.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – We saw, or heard chipping, a surprising number of these wintering migrants.
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Oreothlypis peregrina)
MOURNING WARBLER (Geothlypis philadelphia) – We had a nice look at this wonderful species along the roadside just above the Canopy Lodge. It was chipping loudly and came into the open a couple of times.
KENTUCKY WARBLER (Geothlypis formosa)
BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (Setophaga castanea) – This was, by far, the most common of the North American wintering warblers. Some were beginning to show some pretty good "bay" on the flanks after a dull winter.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica) – We saw these almost daily but most were still in drab winter plumage. These will be stunners on the Texas Coast in another couple of weeks.
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (CHESTNUT-CAPPED) (Basileuterus rufifrons mesochrysus) – We had some nice looks at this tropical warbler around the Canopy Lodge. One even made an appearance at the feeders.
BUFF-RUMPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis fulvicauda) – One or two were seen along the stream that runs through the Canopy Lodge.
CANADA WARBLER (Cardellina canadensis) – We had good looks at a female plumaged bird on La Mesa.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
GRAY-HEADED TANAGER (Eucometis penicillata)
WHITE-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus luctuosus) – These were fairly common with some forest flocks in the Pipeline and Semaphore Hill areas.
TAWNY-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus delatrii) – A quite striking species, we saw a flock pass by us above the Canopy Lodge.
WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus) – We saw both the black male and brown female at the Canopy Lodge.
FLAME-RUMPED TANAGER (LEMON-RUMPED) (Ramphocelus flammigerus icteronotus) – These brilliantly marked tanagers were always at the feeder at the Canopy Lodge when fresh bananas were put out.

Orange-bellied Trogon is a quite localized species in Panama; we had wonderful looks at this male near El Valle. Photo by participant Lain Adkins.

CRIMSON-BACKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus dimidiatus)
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
PLAIN-COLORED TANAGER (Tangara inornata) – This is an aptly named tanager.
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola)
SILVER-THROATED TANAGER (Tangara icterocephala) – We saw a couple of these well. They are usually found a little higher up than the Lodge grounds.
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)
SHINING HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes lucidus)
RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes cyaneus) – We had a great view of this colorful species on our last day with the light really highlighting the red legs and blue crown.
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza) – Another well-marked species that we saw most days.
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)
VARIABLE SEEDEATER (VARIABLE) (Sporophila corvina hoffmannii)
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) – This species tends to be more of an Atlantic slope bird in the part of Panama that we visited. We saw these around the Canopy Lodge where some of the Atlantic birds slip through the passes in the foothills.
DUSKY-FACED TANAGER (Mitrospingus cassinii) – A few came in to the feeders at the Canopy Lodge. This is not one of the more colorful tanagers.
STREAKED SALTATOR (Saltator striatipectus)
SLATE-COLORED GROSBEAK (Saltator grossus) – We had a scope view of this oddly-colored species along Semaphore Hill where we saw the fairly bright red bill.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
BLACK-STRIPED SPARROW (Arremonops conirostris)
ORANGE-BILLED SPARROW (Arremon aurantiirostris) – Ed saw this one on the grounds of the Canopy Lodge during an afternoon break.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra)
RED-CROWNED ANT-TANAGER (Habia rubica) – We had a nice look at Metro Park on our first morning and again at the Lodge.
RED-THROATED ANT-TANAGER (Habia fuscicauda) – Similar to the preceding species, we saw a pair along Pipeline Road on our last day.
CARMIOL'S TANAGER (Chlorothraupis carmioli) – Although no one would call this dull brown tanager a beautiful bird, we had a wonderful scope view of it as it was eating a walking stick, the insect not the hiking apparatus, as we birded way out on Pipeline Road.
BLACK-FACED GROSBEAK (Caryothraustes poliogaster) – We got nice looks at this uncommon species when we walked up the steep side trail off the road above the Canopy Lodge. A group of about four individuals came in overhead.
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus)
BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanocompsa cyanoides) – There was a female plumaged individual along Semaphore Hill on our first morning at the Tower.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna)
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – During our first morning of birding at the Lodge we found this nest parasite in a Chestnut-headed Oropendola colony on the drive up to La Mesa.
YELLOW-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus chrysater) – After seeing a pair at Metro Park on our first morning we saw another near the tree tops as we were birding from the Discovery Center tower.
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula)
CHESTNUT-HEADED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius wagleri) – There were a few starting to build their characteristic long pendulum nests in a colonial nest tree on La Mesa.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
YELLOW-CROWNED EUPHONIA (Euphonia luteicapilla)
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris) – A fair number seemed to always be around the feeders at the Lodge.
FULVOUS-VENTED EUPHONIA (Euphonia fulvicrissa)
TAWNY-CAPPED EUPHONIA (Euphonia anneae) – A couple were seen above the Lodge along the road.
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria)
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Unfortunately, we saw one of these at the gas station pit stop on the drive from the Lodge to the Tower.

Our driver, Charlie, spotted this Great Potoo perched in the forest along Pipeline Road while he was shuttling the vehicles for us. Photo by participant Lain Adkins.

MILLER'S MASTIFF BAT (Molossus pretiosus) – This was the bat that was flying in and out of the windows at the Canopy Tower on an evening or two.
RED-NAPED TAMARIN (Saguinus geoffroyi) – These colorful and acrobatic monkeys put on a good show a couple of times as family groups scampered and jumped through the trees above us.
MANTLED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta palliata) – We certainly heard more than we saw, but we saw several including some big males in the trees near the Canopy Tower.
WHITE-THROATED CAPUCHIN (Cebus capucinus) – We caught up with this forest species amongst the bigger trees of the Canal Zone.
HOFFMANN'S TWO-TOED SLOTH (Choloepus hoffmanni) – We only had one sighting of this inconspicuous creature. The following species had this one outnumbered by individuals and toes.
BROWN-THROATED THREE-TOED SLOTH (Bradypus variegatus) – A good number were seen in the first few day of the trip. I believe we counted seven individuals at Metro Park, Canopy Lodge and near the Tower.
SILKY ANTEATER (Cyclopes didactylus) – This was a great sighting of an uncommonly seen species. Alexis investigated after hearing one of the women at the Discovery Center said there was a cat in a tree. He found this small anteater curled up in a furry ball at the edge of the road. We watched it stretching and turning around for several minutes.
NINE-BANDED ARMADILLO (Dasypus novemcinctus) – One was digging in the leaf litter right along the edge of the road up Semaphore Hill.
VARIEGATED SQUIRREL (Sciurus variegatoides)
RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis)
CAPYBARA (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris) – Alexis spotted this largest of rodents as it sat motionless in the tall vegetation at the edge of the Ammo Pond marsh.
CENTRAL AMERICAN AGOUTI (Dasyprocta punctata) – We saw these almost daily in clearings and at the edge of the forest.
WHITE-NOSED COATI (Nasua narica) – A few of these interesting arboreal mammals were encountered.


Totals for the tour: 302 bird taxa and 13 mammal taxa