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Field Guides Tour Report
Panama's Canopy Tower & Lodge 2020
Mar 8, 2020 to Mar 15, 2020
John Coons, Alexis Sanchez & Danilo Rodriguez

It's a rather uncommon bird throughout its range, but this Great Jacamar put on a good show for us along Pipeline Road. Photo by guide John Coons.

We enjoyed a wonderful week of birding that seemed to pass too quickly before we got on planes and faced the reality of how much things changed while we were birding tropical forests, dry scrub and coastal lowlands. From our first morning on top of the Canopy Tower to our last spot on the beach at Santa Clara, we enjoyed a plethora of birds.

Except for return visits to species-rich Pipeline Road, we birded varied habitats each day and came away with some great experiences. Highlights of our time in Panama included that very close and confiding Great Tinamou just off Pipeline Road, wild! Muscovy Ducks, a group of six Crested Bobwhite crossing the road, a close singing Pheasant Cuckoo, two well-camouflaged Common Potoos, a beautiful Purple-crowned Fairy feeding on the flowers, a male and female Veraguan Mango, a scope view of Long-billed Starthroat, Gray-cowled Wood-Rails on the feeder!?, a locally uncommon Killdeer, a fabulous view of a Sunbittern below a waterfall, Rufescent Tiger-Heron on a nest, a Boat-billed Heron also on a nest, a Snail Kite eating a snail and a Crane Hawk eating a tarantula, a hidden Tropical Screech-Owl along the road, views of all four of the bigger owls, Crested, Spectacled, Mottled, and Black-and-white, six species of colorful trogons, the small Tody Motmot in the scope, a tiny American Pygmy Kingfisher, singing Great Jacamar, two small Olivaceous Piculets, a nice view of Fasciated Antshrike, close views of both Bicolored and Spotted antbirds, displaying Golden-collared Manakins, an electric blue male Blue Cotinga, the hammer-headed look of the Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, the family of Song Wrens foraging on the ground, several great views of multi-hued euphonias, oropendolas at their hanging nests, Buff-rumped Warblers cavorting in the stream, lots of tanagers and a quite uncommon Slate-colored Seedeater in the seeding bamboo, among others. It was also fun to encounter a number of migrants that were headed north or would be soon. Good numbers of Turkey Vultures passed the Canopy Tower on a couple of days where they were accompanied by Swainson's and Broad-winged hawks and a few Plumbeous Kites. I don't see many wintering Swainson's Thrushes, so one along Semaphore Hill was interesting as was the even more uncommon Gray-cheeked Thrush we saw near the Canopy Lodge. Also, a fair number of wintering and migrating warblers were encountered, with Golden-winged, Prothonotary, Mourning, and Canada offering good views, while the more common Bay-breasteds and Chestnut-sideds showed in good numbers.

We also crossed paths with some interesting mammals such as the Central American Wooly Opossum, almost daily encounters with sloths of both three-toed and two-toed species, acrobatic Red-naped Tamarins, very loud Howler Monkeys, a little know Rufous Tree Rat in a tree cavity, a hiding Capybara, and several views of Central American Agoutis and White-nosed Coatis.

Both the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge are such wonderful and comfortable places to stay with wonderful meals everyday and a great staff of friendly people who always seem to be smiling. Alexis and Danilo were fantastic to bird with each day and were remarkable with their spotting abilities. Let's hope they can all weather the storm for the next few months and be back to work while the birds carry on their carefree lives. It was wonderful birding with all of you and I hope to see you again soon. 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

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) – We had great looks at a lone individual just off of Pipeline Road that seemed unconcerned with our presence.

One of several forest antbirds we encountered, this Black-crowned Antshrike was keeping a watchful eye for a cricket, spider, or moth. Photo by participant Susan Jarnagin.

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis) – We saw a few at water sites in both the Tower and Lodge areas.
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata) – A rather uncommonly seen species in the Gamboa area; we saw this species twice.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors) – There were about 4 individuals at Ammo Pond.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
GRAY-HEADED CHACHALACA (Ortalis cinereiceps)
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
CRESTED BOBWHITE (Colinus cristatus) – It took some patience, but we saw five or six come up to the edge and then cross the road above El Valle on our way to the Pacific lowlands.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa) – We saw a few from both the Canopy Tower and the Discovery Tower when they perched up in the early morning.
SHORT-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas nigrirostris) [*]
RUDDY GROUND DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)
GRAY-CHESTED DOVE (Leptotila cassinii) – We flushed one from the road on our last morning along Pipeline Road.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – Our best views were at Juan Hombron where we also saw the following species.
GROOVE-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga sulcirostris) – This species is more local in Panama than Smooth-billed Ani but we had some nice looks right next to the road at Juan Hombron.
PHEASANT CUCKOO (Dromococcyx phasianellus) – A singing individual gave us a great look along Pipeline Road. This is a cool bird that starts singing in earnest with the onset of the rainy season but a few get going earlier. We were fortunate to find one of those.
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – We saw a handful in the forest in the Pipeline and Gamboa areas.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) – We had wonderful views of one at Metro Park and then another 40 meters up the road that might have been a young one. This great family of tropical nightbirds are all amazingly camouflaged on their perches.
Apodidae (Swifts)
SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura) – A few were seen at Summit Gardens.
BAND-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura spinicaudus) – These were a bit more common than the above species at Summit Garden and Metro Park.
LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis) – Alexis spotted two individuals flying over the Discovery Center Tower.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora) – This was the common hummingbird coming to the feeders at the Tower and at the Discovery Center.
GREEN HERMIT (Phaethornis guy)

Metro Park in Panama City offered drier habitat birding, and hence different species, than the rainforest surrounding the Canopy Tower and Pipeline Road. Photo by guide John Coons.

LONG-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis longirostris) – One or two were regular but infrequent visitors to the feeders. We also saw one of several calling in the forest near the Discovery Center.
STRIPE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis striigularis) – This smaller version of the above showed well at the Canopy feeders.
PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY (Heliothryx barroti) – After a brief scope view of one, we had a much better look along the road just above the Canopy Lodge on our first afternoon there.
BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis) – We just had a brief look or two near Ammo Pond.
VERAGUAN MANGO (Anthracothorax veraguensis) – Along the road at Juan Hombron we had a nice view of a female, then a male, feeding on the long thin pinkish flowers. This is a species that is endemic to Panama.
GREEN THORNTAIL (Discosura conversii) – We had a nice look at a female of this tiny hummingbird along the road above the Lodge.
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris) – This quite nice looking hummingbird provided good scope views along the road just outside of El Valle.
GARDEN EMERALD (Chlorostilbon assimilis) – This brilliantly colored hummer gave us our best view at Juan Hombron.
WHITE-VENTED PLUMELETEER (Chalybura buffonii) – There were one or two coming to the Canopy feeders and another few here and there.
CROWNED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania colombica) – Our only one was a nice male along the Las Minas traii near the Canopy Lodge.
SNOWCAP (Microchera albocoronata) – Danilo had one fly over but none of us got on to it. [*]
SNOWY-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia edward edward) – We saw a few at in the Canopy Lodge area.
RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia tzacatl) – This widespread hummingbird showed several times near the gardens and clearings we visited.
SAPPHIRE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Lepidopyga coeruleogularis) – We saw a couple of individuals at Juan Hombron.
VIOLET-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Juliamyia julie) – These were mostly seen in the Tower area and along Pipeline Road.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus) – We had great looks at two individuals in the forest at the Canopy Adventure then two were seen at the Canopy Lodge feeder. What's up with that?
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata) – One was in the reeds at the marina along the Chagres River.
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica) – A handful were seen at Ammo Pond.
WHITE-THROATED CRAKE (Laterallus albigularis) [*]

We found this Great Tinamou, typically a very reclusive bird of the forest, just off the edge of Pipeline Road on our first visit there. It looks like it is about to pop from over-inflation. Photo by participant Susan Jarnagin.

Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) – One at the marina along the Chagres River showed well. A quite unusual bird.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – We saw a bleacher of lapwings in the field before we got on the Candalario Trail near the Lodge.
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus) – A quite uncommon bird in most of Panama, we first heard, then spotted one in a wet field at Juan Hombron.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana) – We saw these each time we passed Ammo Pond.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla) – Two individuals were on the muddy edge of the pond at Ammo Pond.
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – We saw one at Ammo Pond cavorting with the Least Sandpipers.
WILLET (Tringa semipalmata) – We saw one on the beach at Santa Clara.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla) – We saw a few along the Chargres River then more on the beach at Santa Clara.
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) – One was with the big number of Sandwich Terns at Santa Clara Beach.
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus) – There were two with the tern flock at Santa Clara Beach.
SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis) – We saw about 100 individuals on the sand at our lunch spot at Santa Clara Beach.
ELEGANT TERN (Thalasseus elegans) – A rather uncommon species here, there was one bird with the other terns on the beach at Santa Clara.
Eurypygidae (Sunbittern)
SUNBITTERN (Eurypyga helias) – One our second or third try, Danilo found this fantastic species working the rocks below the big waterfall as we watched from along the trail and the bridge at the Canopy Adventure.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana) – Our first was at Ammo Pond then another one or two at Juan Hombron.
Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
BLUE-FOOTED BOOBY (Sula nebouxii) – A single individual was seen with the Brown Boobys on a rock piling at Santa Clara Beach.
BROWN BOOBY (Sula leucogaster) – There were nine individuals perched on the pilings off the beach at Santa Clara.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis) – There were several flying along the coastline at the beach at Santa Clara.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum) – A quite good-looking heron. We saw a couple at Ammo Pond before seeing one atop a nest there.
COCOI HERON (Ardea cocoi) – A single bird was seen at Ammo Pond on our first visit.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)

You never know how many Common Potoos you walk by in the forest before finding one. Alexis spotted this well-camouflaged individual not far off the trail at Metro Park. Photo by guide John Coons.

LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor) – More uncommon than the preceding species; we saw one at Ammo Pond.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens) – A handful were seen on our visits to Ammo Pond and the Chagres River.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – We saw one at Ammo Pond.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – We found one perched across the lagoon along the Chagres River at the marina.
BOAT-BILLED HERON (SOUTHERN) (Cochlearius cochlearius panamensis) – We saw about three of these unusual herons at Summit Pond where one was sitting on a nest.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albus) – A fair number were in the wet fields at Juan Hombron and also following the tractors.
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – We had great views of two individuals that were perched on a low dike in one of the rice fields at Juan Hombron.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – We finally saw one on our last day.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis) – Alexis spotted one flying above Pipeline Road that circled several times for good looks.
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis) – We had a couple, an adult and an immature, in the marshy vegetation at the boat marina along the Chagres River. The adult was even eating a snail. This was a very rare bird in Panama until the early 1990's when apple snails made it to Gatun Lake.
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) – We had a flying individual near the Canopy Lodge.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – A couple of these migrants were seen moving north at Summit Garden.
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens) – This unusual raptor showed well a couple of times. The first was seen at Metro Park just after it pulled a tarantula out of a hole in a tree and ate it, and the other was scoped from the Discovery Center Tower.
SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis) – We had close views of one individual at Juan Hombron.
GREAT BLACK HAWK (SOUTHERN) (Buteogallus urubitinga urubitinga) – An adult was perched above the water at Summit Pond.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) – We saw a fair number moving north towards the US and Canada.
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus) – From one of the overlooks along the Las Minas Trail, we spotted one soaring over the valley.
SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni) – A handful were spotted migrating with Turkey Vultures and Broad-winged Hawks on a couple of different days.
ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus) – We had nice looks at one passing right over the clearing at Metro Park.
Strigidae (Owls)
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) – Danilo showed us a day roost of this little guy that was perfectly camouflaged in a twisted tree limb along the road above the Canopy Lodge.
CRESTED OWL (Lophostrix cristata) – A calling bird gave us a very nice look near the Canopy Tower. This is one of the fancier looking of the tropical owls of Panama.
SPECTACLED OWL (Pulsatrix perspicillata) – We got great views of one perched along Pipeline Road from one of the other Canopy Tower guides and made a special trip for it on our first afternoon. We ended up with great looks.
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – This tiny owl was heard then spotted right near Raul's beach house at Santa Clara.
MOTTLED OWL (Ciccaba virgata) – We found one perched in a dense tangle of limbs at the Canopy Adventure near the Lodge.
BLACK-AND-WHITE OWL (Ciccaba nigrolineata) – We heard one calling, then spotted it during the night drive on Semaphore Hill. We saw four of the big owls of Panama, which doesn't happen often.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
SLATY-TAILED TROGON (Trogon massena) – This was the most common trogon by voice that we encountered during our week.
BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus) – Similar to the preceding species, this one has a yellow bill. We saw a handful along Pipeline Road.

Slate-colored Seedeaters feed almost exclusively on bamboo seeds which are only produced in an area once every several years. The birds “disappear" between these seedings. We found this individual at Summit Park where it was feeding on the large non-native Asian bamboo. Photo by guide John Coons.

WHITE-TAILED TROGON (Trogon chionurus) – We had a great look at a male along Pipeline Road.
GARTERED TROGON (Trogon caligatus) – Formerly known as Violaceous Trogon; we only saw this species at Metro Park.
BLACK-THROATED TROGON (Trogon rufus) – I think this trogon is one of the prettiest, with its combination of yellow breast, green head and black mask and throat. We saw it our first morning along Semaphore Hill.
COLLARED TROGON (ORANGE-BELLIED) (Trogon collaris aurantiiventris) – This took some looking, but Danilo spotted a male along the Candalario Trail. This form, with a bright orange breast, was a full species until it was just recently lumped with Collared Trogon.
Momotidae (Motmots)
TODY MOTMOT (Hylomanes momotula) – One of the smallest and most sought after of the motmots. We had nice looks along the trail near the Canopy Adventure where we found one sitting quietly.
LESSON'S MOTMOT (Momotus lessonii lessonii) – This is the species that closely resembles the Whooping Motmot but is found at slightly higher elevations west of the Canal area and has a different call. We saw a couple in the El Valle area.
WHOOPING MOTMOT (Momotus subrufescens) – Named for its vocalization; we had nice views at Metro Park.
RUFOUS MOTMOT (Baryphthengus martii) – We saw a few around the Canopy Tower area and again near the Canopy Lodge, where it showed up on the fruit feeder.
BROAD-BILLED MOTMOT (Electron platyrhynchum) – A couple of individuals showed well along Semaphore Hill on our first morning, giving nice scope views.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – We found one hanging out at Summit Pond.
AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea) – Alexis spotted this tiny kingfisher perched at Ammo Pond.
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – We saw one at Summit Pond and another or two along the stream at the Canopy Lodge.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
WHITE-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus hyperrhynchus) – This is the largest of the puffbirds we encountered.
BLACK-BREASTED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus pectoralis) – A pretty loud song comes out of this puffbird, which sits conveniently on open branches.
WHITE-WHISKERED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila panamensis) – A forest species; we had nice views along Semaphore Hill where it was quite camouflaged against the trees and vines.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus) – Always a tough species to find, but we had wonderful looks at a calling bird along Pipeline Road. It posed for photos quite nicely.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
SPOT-CROWNED BARBET (Capito maculicoronatus) – A member of an unusual family of New World tropical birds; we saw a group of three along the road just above the Canopy Lodge.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
NORTHERN EMERALD-TOUCANET (BLUE-THROATED) (Aulacorhynchus prasinus caeruleogularis) – A great looking small toucan; we finally tracked one down on La Mesa.
COLLARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus torquatus)

We saw a few Green Honeycreepers during our excursions and one never tires at seeing this colorful species. Photo by participant Susan Jarnagin.

YELLOW-THROATED TOUCAN (CHESTNUT-MANDIBLED) (Ramphastos ambiguus swainsonii) – We ended up getting multiple views of this distinctly-billed species. Known better as Chestnut-mandibled Toucan; we had good looks from the Discovery Center Tower.
KEEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos sulfuratus) – We saw this magnificent looking bird daily at the Tower and during our time near the Canopy Lodge. It's hard to find a more definitive looking tropical bird than this one.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
OLIVACEOUS PICULET (Picumnus olivaceus) – A tiny woodpecker that is quite uncommon in the Canal area. We saw two along the Old Gamboa Road after getting a tip from our friend Natalia who had seen it earlier in the afternoon. This species spends most of its time feeding on small vines and branches,
BLACK-CHEEKED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes pucherani) – We heard a few, but our best look was near the Discovery Center.
RED-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes rubricapillus)
CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos) – This large woodpecker afforded good views including one on the same tree with a Lineated for a nice comparison.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – A few were encountered and we saw two individuals peeking out of nest cavities.
CINNAMON WOODPECKER (Celeus loricatus) – A quite nice looking woodpecker. The one we saw along Old Gamboa Road seemed out-of-place as they are usually more of a wetter forest species.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
SLATY-BACKED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur mirandollei) – We had a close one calling at the Canopy Tower in the early morning before we headed to Metro Park but we could not lure it out. [*]
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – We saw a few on the way to El Valle and again in the Pacific lowlands.
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima)
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
ORANGE-CHINNED PARAKEET (Brotogeris jugularis) – We had a few scope looks but most were encountered flying over in small group or pairs.
BROWN-HOODED PARROT (Pyrilia haematotis) – We saw a few fly-bys and had a nicely perched individual along the road above the Canopy Lodge.
BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)
RED-LORED PARROT (Amazona autumnalis) – This was the most commonly seen of the larger parrots. We had a few scope views from both the Canopy Tower and Discovery Tower.
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa) – We had nice looks at this large Amazon from the two towers.
BROWN-THROATED PARAKEET (VERAGUAS) (Eupsittula pertinax ocularis) – A local species in the dry country; we had a few nice views of about 15 individuals in the Juan Hombron area.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus) – This fine barred forest bird gave us a couple of good views along Semaphore Hill.
GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major) – A calling bird came in along the Old Gamboa Road and we saw it moving up inside a tangle but it bailed on us before we could get a look.
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus) – A female showed well near Ammo Pond.
BLACK-CROWNED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus atrinucha) – More commonly heard than seen; we still had a handful of views in the forest.

Are we looking at a perched Broad-billed Motmot, Black-breasted Puffbird, Black-tailed Trogon, or a sloth? Birding along Semaphore Hill was species rich and we didn’t know what was going to be around the next bend. Photo by guide John Coons.

PLAIN ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus mentalis) – A single individual was seen along the Candalario Trail not long after seeing the following species.
SPOT-CROWNED ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus puncticeps) – We ended up getting this small antbird in the scope along the Candalario Trail where we found the flock.
CHECKER-THROATED STIPPLETHROAT (Epinecrophylla fulviventris) – This redundantly named bird showed well a few times, usually in the company of Dot-winged Antwren, in both the forested areas of the Canal area and near the Canopy Lodge.
MOUSTACHED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula ignota) – One of the smallest of all the antbirds; we got looks overhead of a singing bird along Pipeline Road.
WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris)
SLATY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula schisticolor) – We found one with the mixed-flock along the Candalario Trail.
DOT-WINGED ANTWREN (Microrhopias quixensis) – Most of the insectivorous flocks we encountered had this species with them. The females are exceptionally pretty with their rufous bellies.
DUSKY ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides tyrannina)
JET ANTBIRD (Cercomacra nigricans) – A calling individual made a brief appearance in the tall vegetation along the Old Gamboa Road.
WHITE-BELLIED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza longipes) – We had great views of one just off the trail at Metro Park, then another nice view along the Candalario Trail near the Lodge.
CHESTNUT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Poliocrania exsul) – A pair were seen working along the bank then crossing the road near the Discovery Center.
BICOLORED ANTBIRD (Gymnopithys bicolor bicolor) – We thought we had the makings of an army antswarm when we had a nice view of this ant-following specialist along Pipeline Road, but the ants didn't cooperate.
SPOTTED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax naevioides) – One of the more sharply marked of the antbirds; we had good luck with seeing a few.
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
STREAK-CHESTED ANTPITTA (Hylopezus perspicillatus) [*]
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
BLACK-FACED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius analis) – We saw a pair of these walking along the forest floor. They resemble little chickens with their tails cocked up as they stroll along.
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (GRAYISH) (Sittasomus griseicapillus sylvioides)
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa) – Our best look was of one with the group of birds where the antswarm never formed.
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus) – One was with the mixed-flock along the Candalario Trail.
COCOA WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus susurrans) – This was the most widespread and commonly seen of our woodcreepers.
BLACK-STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus lachrymosus) – One of the best looking of the woodcreepers; we had nice looks along Pipeline Road.

This White-tailed Trogon was one of six species of trogons we encountered between the Canopy Tower and Lodge. The Pipeline Road area was especially rich in species of this family. Photo by participant Susan Jarnagin.

SPOTTED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus erythropygius) – This woodcreeper is found at higher elevations than the others and we had a couple of views above the Canopy Lodge.
STRAIGHT-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Dendroplex picus) – A pair showed well at Juan Hombron; this is a much drier habitat species.
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus) – We saw a few of these unusual birds with flocks in the forest.
PALE-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis albescens) – We finally got this guy to show pretty well near the coast in the Juan Hombron area.
Pipridae (Manakins)
LANCE-TAILED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia lanceolata) – We had a nice view of a colorful male feeding in the fruiting gumbo limbo tree at Metro Park.
BLUE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix coronata) – We had a female or young male in the scope on our first morning along Semaphore Hill.
GOLDEN-COLLARED MANAKIN (Manacus vitellinus) – This entertaining species, with its wing snapping males, gave us a few nice looks.
RED-CAPPED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra mentalis)
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
PURPLE-THROATED FRUITCROW (Querula purpurata) – A few individuals were spotted overhead in the Discovery Center area including a male with a red throat.
BLUE COTINGA (Cotinga nattererii) – Alexis spotted a brilliant male perched atop an open tree at Summit Garden that gave us a nice scope view. We were just in time as it flew off a minute later.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)
RUSSET-WINGED SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis stenorhyncha panamensis) – We had good views of an individual from the porch at the Discovery Center.
CINNAMON BECARD (Pachyramphus cinnamomeus) [*]
Oxyruncidae (Sharpbill, Royal Flycatcher, and Allies)
RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus) – We saw a couple with flocks.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
GOLDEN-CROWNED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus coronatus) [*]
OLIVE-STRIPED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes olivaceus)
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – This species invariably flicks up one wing at a time while perched.
BLACK-CAPPED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis atricapillus) [*]
SCALE-CRESTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus pileatus) – We had very nice views of this higher elevation species along the Candalario Trail.
PALE-EYED PYGMY-TYRANT (Atalotriccus pilaris wilcoxi)
SOUTHERN BENTBILL (Oncostoma olivaceum) – Another unusual flycatcher; we had nice looks along Semaphore Hill.

At the top of the Las Minas trail we finally spotted this Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch as it moused its way through the grass-like vegetation. Photo by guide John Coons.

COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum) – We saw a few, with the best looks near the nest just off the porch at the Canopy Lodge.
OLIVACEOUS FLATBILL (Rhynchocyclus olivaceus) – This stout, round-headed flycatcher gave us looks along Semaphore Hill.
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (YELLOW-OLIVE) (Tolmomyias sulphurescens flavoolivaceus) – We had a view of this wide-billed species at Metro Park.
YELLOW-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (YELLOW-WINGED) (Tolmomyias assimilis flavotectus)
BROWN-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Ornithion brunneicapillus) – A small flycatcher of the canopy; we had good views of this species from the top of the Canopy Tower.
MOUSE-COLORED TYRANNULET (NORTHERN) (Phaeomyias murina eremonoma) – This dry country species showed well along the side road near the coast at Juan Hombron.
YELLOW TYRANNULET (Capsiempis flaveola) – A pair were vocalizing and gave a good view at Ammo Pond.
FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii)
GRAY ELAENIA (CHOCO) (Myiopagis caniceps absita) – Another flycatcher of the canopy. We saw a male flying back and forth above us along Pipeline Road.
GREENISH ELAENIA (GREENISH) (Myiopagis viridicata accola) [*]
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)
LESSER ELAENIA (Elaenia chiriquensis) – We saw this smaller version of the above species on our way to the Pacific lowlands.
EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus virens) – We spotted this migrant on a power line along the coast at Juan Hombron.
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax virescens) [*]
NORTHERN SCRUB-FLYCATCHER (Sublegatus arenarum) – This smallish flycatcher resembles a small Myiarchus flycatcher.
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) – We had a nice view of this bird at Metro Park; it always seems to have an angry look on its face.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)
PANAMA FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus panamensis) – Our only encounter with this bird were a couple seen at Las Mosas near El Valle.
GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus) [*]
LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor) – A few were seen at Summit Pond. This species is always found near ponds or marshes.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)
RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis) – This is a widespread species in central Panama.
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus) – This is a flycatcher that tends to eat a lot of fruit; we saw them on several days of our trip.
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius) – A species that migrates north from South America to breed in Panama; we saw a few in open country habitats.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)
FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus savana) – We saw 3-4 at Juan Hombron, including one that perched briefly on a wire.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (NORTHERN) (Cyclarhis gujanensis perrygoi) – A local species in Panama; we had a nice view at Juan Hombron. This subspecies has a quite yellow belly.
GREEN SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius pulchellus) – Another canopy species. We had a brief look from the top of the Canopy Tower then did a bit better a couple of days later.

Morning visits to the top of the Canopy Tower and Discovery Center Tower are great places to view many species perched atop the tallest forest trees. These Yellow-throated Toucans, members of an iconic tropical family of birds, showed well for participant Susan Jarnagin.

LESSER GREENLET (Pachysylvia decurtata) – Our best views were the first morning while birding at the top of the Canopy Tower.
GOLDEN-FRONTED GREENLET (Pachysylvia aurantiifrons)
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Vireo flavifrons) – We saw about three or four of these wintering birds.
YELLOW-GREEN VIREO (Vireo flavoviridis) – We saw our first at Summit Gardens, then had a fair number the day we birded in the Pacific lowlands.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BLACK-CHESTED JAY (Cyanocorax affinis) – This sizeable jay showed well just above the Canopy Lodge.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – Ths was the most widespread swallow we encountered.
MANGROVE SWALLOW (Tachycineta albilinea) – We saw a few along the Chagres River then a few more at Summit Pond.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) – This little-guy with the oddly long bill provided a couple of nice views along Pipeline Road and Semaphore Hill.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon) – We saw our first at Summit Garden, but we saw and heard them each morning and evening at the Canopy Lodge.
RUFOUS-BREASTED WREN (Pheugopedius rutilus) – We had good views of a few of these skulkers both at Metro Park and at the Lodge.
RUFOUS-AND-WHITE WREN (Thryophilus rufalbus) – A quite pretty wren with a beautiful song; we had a nice look at Metro Park.
ISTHMIAN WREN (Cantorchilus elutus) – Formerly known as Plain Wren. We saw one at Ammo Pond and again in the Juan Hombron area on our final day.
BAY WREN (Cantorchilus nigricapillus) [*]
BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis) [*]
WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta) – A singing individual along Semaphore Hill showed pretty well for some.
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys) – This species is a higher elevation replacement for the preceding species. We saw one along the trail at Las Minas above the Lodge.
SONG WREN (Cyphorhinus phaeocephalus) – A rather odd wren, with its habits of staying close to and walking along the ground. We found a family group of about five individuals on the forest floor on our first morning on Pipeline Road,
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH (Catharus minimus) – Surprisingly, one was seen behind the little building at the Canopy Adventure. This is a migrant in the El Valle area and certainly on its way back north after a winter in South America. It is a fairly rare sighting in Panama in the spring.
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – We saw this wintering bird in the forest along the slopes of Semaphore Hill.
CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi) – A species we saw everyday, mostly around gardens and parks. Hard to imagine this as the national bird of Costa Rica.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
YELLOW-CROWNED EUPHONIA (Euphonia luteicapilla) – We saw several males and a few females in the Canal area and another one or two in the Canopy Lodge area.
THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris) – We saw one in the Canal area but these were much more common in the area around El Valle.
FULVOUS-VENTED EUPHONIA (Euphonia fulvicrissa)
TAWNY-CAPPED EUPHONIA (Euphonia anneae) – At least one showed well, with its rufous cap, above the Canopy Lodge on La Mesa.
Rhodinocichlidae (Thrush-Tanager)
ROSY THRUSH-TANAGER (Rhodinocichla rosea) – We just couldn't get one of the two or three we heard calling to come into view. This can be a real skulker. [*]
Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)
BLACK-STRIPED SPARROW (Arremonops conirostris) – We heard a singing bird at Ammo Pond and were having all kinds of trouble finding it until Richard spotted it on a branch right above us.
ORANGE-BILLED SPARROW (Arremon aurantiirostris) – One of these handsome ground foragers was seen along the trails at the Canopy Adventure.

We encountered several sloths which both Alexis and Danilo had an uncanny ability to spot. This Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth seemed just as interested in us as we were with it. Photo by participant Susan Jarnagin.

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
YELLOW-BILLED CACIQUE (Amblycercus holosericeus) – One slipped off the trail soon after we started down the Candalario Trail but we could not lure it back out.
CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus) – A quite local species in the areas we visit on this trip, but we found a few building their distinctive nests in a group of pine trees along the road on our way to the Pacific lowlands.
CHESTNUT-HEADED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius wagleri) – We saw a couple of areas with nests and these visited the feeders at the Canopy Lodge.
SCARLET-RUMPED CACIQUE (SCARLET-RUMPED) (Cacicus uropygialis microrhynchus) – There were a handful of sightings in the Canal area with a pair building a nest right over the road on Semaphore Hill where the female made a few visits to build the nest while the male perched nearby supervising.
YELLOW-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus chrysater) – We saw a few, including ones at Summit Garden and then from the Discovery Center Tower.
YELLOW-TAILED ORIOLE (Icterus mesomelas) – We had nice looks at a male and female at Ammo Pond.
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula) – A few of these wintering birds were seen.
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – After seeing one at Summit Garden, we saw another in the Chestnut-headed Oropendola nest tree along the road above the Canopy Lodge.
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – We saw a few along the edges of the streams and ponds.
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora chrysoptera) – A male was seen in the forest along Pipleine Road.
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER (Protonotaria citrea) – Our only sighting was at Metro Park, where we found one in a fruiting gumbo limbo tree; it seemed out of place since we are used to seeing these along the edges of ponds and marshes.
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Leiothlypis peregrina) – A few were seen in the Canopy Lodge area including one or two sightings at the feeder.
MOURNING WARBLER (Geothlypis philadelphia) – This is where most of the Mourning Warblers spend the winter. We saw a couple along the road edges near the Lodge.
BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (Setophaga castanea) – These were the most common of the wintering warblers we encountered.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica) – We saw this handsome wintering bird on most days in the Canal area.
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (CHESTNUT-CAPPED) (Basileuterus rufifrons mesochrysus) – A pair were along the trail at Las Minas on our first morning at the Lodge.
BUFF-RUMPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis fulvicauda) – Our first sightings were those at the compost area at the Lodge then we saw them working along the stream near the dining area.
CANADA WARBLER (Cardellina canadensis) – We saw a couple of these in the Lodge area.
Mitrospingidae (Mitrospingid Tanagers)
DUSKY-FACED TANAGER (Mitrospingus cassinii) – This somewhat unusual tanager, now separated taxonomically from the other tanagers, showed well at the Canopy Lodge, where they were near the fruit feeder and the compost birding site.

Sitting atop Semaphore Hill, the Canopy Tower glows at dawn before we head out for early morning birding. Photo by guide John Coons.

Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) – We saw about equal numbers of males and females.
RED-CROWNED ANT-TANAGER (Habia rubica) – At Metro Park, we saw both this species and the following. We also had a couple of sightings of these near the Canopy Lodge.
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – A nice looking male was feeding in a fruiting gumbo limbo tree along Old Gamboa Road. This bird would be heading north soon.
BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanoloxia cyanoides) [*]
BLUE GROSBEAK (Passerina caerulea) – Some of us saw a male as we birded along the trail at Metro Park.
INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea) – We saw a nicely colored male at Summit Garden amongst the seeding bamboo.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
GRAY-HEADED TANAGER (Eucometis penicillata) – We had one that mostly got away from us along the road near the Discovery Center where we had a few ant-things working as well.
WHITE-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus luctuosus)
TAWNY-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus delatrii)
FLAME-RUMPED TANAGER (LEMON-RUMPED) (Ramphocelus flammigerus icteronotus) – A handful visited the feeders at the Lodge.
CRIMSON-BACKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus dimidiatus)
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)
GOLDEN-HOODED TANAGER (Stilpnia larvata) – This was a favorite of many, a brightly-colored tanager. Who wouldn't like that?
PLAIN-COLORED TANAGER (Tangara inornata)
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola) – This is a slightly higher elevation species so we only saw them near the Canopy Lodge.
SILVER-THROATED TANAGER (Tangara icterocephala) – Another beauty, we saw a few with mixed-flocks above the Lodge.
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana) – Many of the mixed-flocks had a male and female.
SHINING HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes lucidus) – We saw one of these yellow-legged males in the Pipeline Road area.
RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes cyaneus) – Another dazzler, we had several nice views.
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza) – The bright green males with black masks and yellow bills are especially nice looking.
WEDGE-TAILED GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides herbicola) – This one took some looking, but we eventually got nice looks of a close individual in the grass along the Las Minas Trail.
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina) – A few were seen around Ammo Pond.
THICK-BILLED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila funerea) – We saw one at the edge of the marsh at Ammo Pond.
VARIABLE SEEDEATER (VARIABLE) (Sporophila corvina hoffmanni)
YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis) – A few were feeding on the road edge near Ammo Pond.
SLATE-COLORED SEEDEATER (Sporophila schistacea) – A quite uncommon and irruptive species that follows seeding bamboo. We had a lengthy view of one at Summit Garden where the bamboo was indeed in high seed.
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)
YELLOW-FACED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris olivaceus) – These were seen well above the Lodge on La Mesa.
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus) – Our first was right near the dining area at the Canopy Lodge.
BLACK-HEADED SALTATOR (Saltator atriceps) – This specialty of the Canopy Lodge area finally showed well along the road above the Lodge.
STREAKED SALTATOR (Saltator striatipectus)

CENTRAL AMERICAN WOOLY OPOSSUM (Caluromys derbianus) – We had a pretty good view of one on our night drive.
GREATER WHITE-LINED BAT (Saccopteryx bilineata) – This was the roosting bat that some saw on the Discovery Center Tower.
RED-NAPED TAMARIN (Saguinus geoffroyi) – We had great looks at these several times with some of the best looks at the bananas at the Canopy Tower.
MANTLED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta palliata) – We saw these impressively jowled primates a few times and heard them even more.
HOFFMANN'S TWO-TOED SLOTH (Choloepus hoffmanni) – This species is a bit larger than the following. We saw this one along Pipeline Road and near the Lodge.
BROWN-THROATED THREE-TOED SLOTH (Bradypus variegatus) – We saw a rather small individual on our first morning on Semaphore Hill then a couple more before seeing a mother and baby near the Canopy Lodge.
VARIEGATED SQUIRREL (Sciurus variegatoides) – This was the gray-colored squirrel we saw in the Las Mosas area.
RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis)
CAPYBARA (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris) – One medium-sized individual was seen in the marsh vegetation near the marina along the Chagres River. It was staying low and didn't afford a good view.
CENTRAL AMERICAN AGOUTI (Dasyprocta punctata) – We saw these each day, except for the Pacific lowlands day.
RUFOUS TREE RAT (Diplomys labilis) – Alexis spotted this uncommon and little known species peering out of a tree cavity along Pipeline Road.
WHITE-NOSED COATI (Nasua narica) – We saw a few with a group at Metro Park being the best look.


Totals for the tour: 300 bird taxa and 12 mammal taxa