A Field Guides Birding Tours Report


March 5-12, 2023 with John Coons, Alexis Sanchez, & Danilo Rodriguez Jr. guiding

Field Guides Birding Tours
We had great close views of this American Pygmy Kingfisher at Summit Pond. This is the smallest of the six New World species of kingfishers. Photo by guide John Coons.

We enjoyed a week of birding at two quite different areas of central Panama. At the Canopy Tower, within sight of the Panama Canal, we were in lowland habitats that included rainforest, dry forest, and ponds/marshes. At the higher elevations at the Canopy Lodge we birded temperate forest, a touch of cloud forest along the Las Minas Trail, and then open lowland savanna habitat on our final day near the Pacific.

Along Pipeline Road we were fortunate to come across a site where there had likely been an antswarm the day before as several ant-following birds were present, and further out the road we found an actual antswarm. At each of these we had nice views of Spotted and Bicolored antbirds, and between the two we also saw Cocoa, Plain-brown, and Northern Barred woodcreepers, a Song Wren, a couple of nice Gray-headed Tanagers, and a nearby Streak-chested Antpitta. It is great to see the phenomenon of an antswarm with the attending birds snatching up insects, spiders, and even small lizards. And there is a lot more going on under the leaves that we are aware. That same day started with a pair of female Great Curassows crossing the road. This is a species that has declined in numbers over the years and is usually quite shy and very difficult to see throughout their range where they are hunted for food.

After the warmer temperatures of the Canal area we headed to the cooler climes of the Canopy Lodge. One of the highlights had to be a thirty-minute period on one of the trails where we watched a Black-crowned Antpitta hop across the trail, twice, right in front of us. This was followed by a fantastic view of a calling Dull-mantled Antbird right next to the trail and soon afterward a couple of Tawny-crested Tanagers.

Other highlights of the week were numerous and included a Common Potoo that Danilo spotted from the vehicle in the Pacific lowlands, daily encounters with gorgeous White-necked Jacobins at the feeders, a Purple-crowned Fairy on a nest, a female and a male Rufous-crested Coquette with one at each lodge, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Boat-billed Heron on a nest, a pair of Savanna Hawks landing in the former rice field, the Spectacled Owl looking at us along the trail, several trogon views, many nice looks at long-tailed motmots, three species of kingfishers (Amazon, Green, and American Pygmy) in succession at Summit Pond, the scoped White-necked Puffbird where we parked at Metropolitan Park, a Great Jacamar that sat nicely for us, toucans perched up each day, a surprisingly good view of a tiny Moustached Antwren, nice views of four species of manakins, male Blue Cotingas perched in treetops from the Discovery Center Tower, a quite uncommonly seen Speckled Mourner below the Canopy Tower, a Buff-rumped Warbler working from rock to rock in the stream and singing its rapids-piercing song, great views of Bay-headed and Silver-throated tanagers, Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, and displaying Blue-black Grassquits, among others.

Other than birds we had several encounters with two species of sloths, were entertained by Red-naped Tamarins at the bananas outside the dining room window, were awakened by nearby howling Mantled Howler Monkeys, a White-nosed Coati, and a Kinkajou and Central American Wooly Opossum out the Tower window after dark.

Both Alexis and Danilo Jr. looked after us well and were instrumental in making sure we saw all we could. The staff at both lodges were very accommodating with nice meals. Thanks to all of you for joining us and hope to see you again soon.


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 heard these each morning and evening at the Canopy Tower. On our longer day on Pipeline Road one was seen walking at the edge of the forest by those riding in Lorenzo's vehicle.

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)

We saw a few at Ammo Pond and more at Juan Hombron on our final day.

MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata)

There were five of these normally quite shy waterfowl at Ammo Pond.

BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors)

Several were seen at the lagoon at Juan Hombron.

Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)

GRAY-HEADED CHACHALACA (Ortalis cinereiceps)


Driving out Pipeline Road on our second visit we saw a female slowly walking across the road but it got away before we all could see it. We got out to bird and a few minutes later another female crossed the same direction. This is a very rarely seen bird in central Panama as they are quite shy.

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]

PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)

We saw these in many of the open country areas we visited.

SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa)

A good number were seen perched in treetops from both the Canopy Tower and the Discovery Center tower.

SHORT-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas nigrirostris)

We had a few nice looks at perched individuals from the Discovery Center tower.


We ended up seeing about eight individuals in the road at Juan Hombron.

RUDDY GROUND DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)

Surprisingly, we only saw this widespread species a few times.

WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)

These were common throughout the trip.

GRAY-CHESTED DOVE (Leptotila cassinii)

We scoped one that flushed off the road and landed on the ground back in the forest off Pipeline Road.

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major)

A few were seen at Ammo Pond on our first afternoon.

SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)

Only a few were encountered during the week.

GROOVE-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga sulcirostris)

We saw a small group along the roadside at Juan Hombron.

STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia)

We finally got a scope view of a singing individual in the open country of Juan Hombron.

SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)

A few were seen in the Gamboa and Pipleline Road area.

Nyctibiidae (Potoos)

GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis)

We heard one calling during our night drive but could not get it to move closer.

COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus)

On our final morning, Danilo spotted this cryptic species in a roadside tree at Juan Hombron while we drove by the laguna. We then spent some time enjoying this bizarre species.

Apodidae (Swifts)

SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura)

A few were seen in the Gamboa area.

BAND-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura spinicaudus)

We saw a good number of these on our second day.

LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis)

A single individual was encountered flying about near Summit Pond.

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora)

This species was a frequent visitor to the feeders at the Canopy Tower and the Discovery Center.

GREEN HERMIT (Phaethornis guy)

We had a brief individual along the Las Minas Trail.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Participant Jacob Plotkin captured this image of a well-camouflaged Common Potoo that Danilo Jr. amazingly spotted from the vehicle as we cruised through Juan Hombron.

LONG-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis longirostris)

We saw one or two each day in the Canopy Tower area.

STRIPE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis striigularis)

We saw a couple of these feeding on La Mesa.

PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY (Heliothryx barroti)

We first saw one on a nest near Ammo Pond then saw another at the Discovery Center that was very aggressive toward the jacobins at the feeders and then at a White-browed Gnatcatcher.

BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis)

We saw our only one at Ammo Pond on our first afternoon.

VERAGUAN MANGO (Anthracothorax veraguensis)

This Panamanian endemic showed in a flowering tree at Juan Hombron.

RUFOUS-CRESTED COQUETTE (Lophornis delattrei)

It was a surprise to see a female feeding on tiny flowers at the top of the Canopy Tower, then we had scope views of a male along the road just above the Canopy Lodge.

LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris)

GARDEN EMERALD (Chlorostilbon assimilis)

One was seen along the Las Minas Trail by some of us.


We saw two individuals near the Canopy Lodge in El Valle.

BRONZE-TAILED PLUMELETEER (Chalybura urochrysia)

We saw one showing its characteristic pink feet along the Las Minas Trail.


CROWNED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania colombica)

We had a long scope view of one along Pipeline Road.

SNOWY-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Saucerottia edward edward)

One or two were visitors to the feeders at the Canopy Lodge.


We saw this species each day of the trip.

SAPPHIRE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Chrysuronia coeruleogularis)

A female showed pretty well aong the road at Juan Hombron.


These were more frequently heard than seen.


A few males and females were seen around the Canopy Tower and at the feeders at the Discovery Center.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus)

We saw one walking about in the road on our way to La Mesa.

COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata)

One was seen at Ammo Pond.

PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica)

Up to twelve individuals were seen in the marsh at Ammo Pond.

WHITE-THROATED CRAKE (Laterallus albigularis)

We actually got a view of one that crept through the vegetation at Ammo Pond!

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)

BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus)

A few were seen at the lagoon at Juan Grande.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)

After seeing a couple near Gamboa we found many in the La Mesa area near the Canopy Lodge.

Jacanidae (Jacanas)

WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)

We saw these each time we passed Ammo Pond.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus)

We saw one on the beach at Santa Clara.

Field Guides Birding Tours
A fancily plumaged and quite uncommon Great Jacamar gave us great views right overhead along Pipeline Road. Photo by guide John Coons.

LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)

A single individual was seen at Ammo Pond.

WESTERN SANDPIPER (Calidris mauri)

Another migrant, we saw one at Ammo Pond near the other small shorebirds.

SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)

SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria)

One was seen at Ammo Pond.

WILLET (Tringa semipalmata)

A couple were on the beach at Santa Clara where we had lunch.

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla)

There were several on the beach at Santa Clara and many more loafing around the fish market we passed in Panama City.

ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus)

There were about 20 individuals on the sand in front of the beach house at Santa Clara.

Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)


Our first were seen flying over the Panama Canal then we saw a good number near Santa Clara.

Anhingidae (Anhingas)

ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)

We saw one near Summit Pond then a couple more perched near the lagoon at Juan Hombron.

Pelecanidae (Pelicans)

BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis)

These were absent for the tour until we drove by the fish market in Panama City on our way to the airport hotel.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum)

We had nice looks at a couple of individuals at Ammon Pond.

GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)

LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)

We saw one white immature.

TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor)

One was seen our last day at Juan Hombron.

CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)

Good numbers were seen in the Pacific lowlands.

GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)

We had a couple or three encounters with this species in the Ammo Pond and Summit Pond areas.

BOAT-BILLED HERON (SOUTHERN) (Cochlearius cochlearius panamensis)

Two individuals, including one on a nest, were seen at Ammo Pond. This is a quite unusual looking heron.

Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)

Seen daily.

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)


Pandionidae (Osprey)

OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)

We saw one over the Panama Canal on our first afternoon then another on the way back to Panama City.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus)

A hovering individual was seen at Juan Hombron.

GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis)

We had good views of one from the top of the Discovery Center tower.

BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus)

A calling bird was seen through the trees as it soared above us on the Las Minas trail.

SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis)

One flew by the Discovery Center tower. This species was only know in Panama from a few records until the 1990's when Apple Snails made their way into Lake Gatun and now these birds are quite common in some areas.

Field Guides Birding Tours
A pair of Black-chested Jays were frequent visitors to the fruit and rice feeder at the Canopy Lodge. Photo by participant Jacob Plotkin.

DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus)

We got a scope view of one that was moving along with a troop of capuchin monkeys along Pipeline Road. It was nice to see this species so well.

SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis)

We saw two birds flying and then perched while in the Juan Hombron area.

ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris)

Mary Lou spotted one perched right along the road at Juan Hombron.

GRAY-LINED HAWK (Buteo nitidus)

We had nice looks at Ammo Pond.

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus)

At least a couple were mixed in with the migrating Swainson's Hawks.

SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus)

We saw a couple of flying individuals near Gamboa and the Canopy Tower.

SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni)

One our first afternoon we encountered a migrating flock of about 150 individuals on their way north (actually west) over Gamboa.

Strigidae (Owls)

CHOCO SCREECH-OWL (Megascops centralis) [*]

We heard one during our night drive but it wouldn't budge from its perch.

CRESTED OWL (Lophostrix cristata) [*]

Again, another heard only during our night drive.

SPECTACLED OWL (Pulsatrix perspicillata)

We had scope views of this large owl along the trail at Las Mozas.

FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum)

We had nice looks at a close individual in the lowlands of the Pacific on our final morning of birding.

Trogonidae (Trogons)

SLATY-TAILED TROGON (Trogon massena)

We saw a few along Pipeline Road.

BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus)

Our first was along the road at Semaphore Hill on our first morning.

WHITE-TAILED TROGON (Trogon chionurus)

We finally connected with this one on our second visit to Pipeline Road.

GARTERED TROGON (Trogon caligatus)

We saw our only one at Metro Park.


One of the handsomest of the trogons we had nice views along Pipeline Road.

Momotidae (Motmots)

TODY MOTMOT (Hylomanes momotula) [*]

LESSON'S MOTMOT (Momotus lessonii lessonii)

A couple of these showed well at the Canopy Lodge.

WHOOPING MOTMOT (Momotus subrufescens)

We had good views at the Discovery Center near the visitor's center.

RUFOUS MOTMOT (Baryphthengus martii)

We saw these at the Canopy Lodge each day.

BROAD-BILLED MOTMOT (Electron platyrhynchum)

We saw our first quite close to a Rufous Motmot at the Discovery Center.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)

A male was at Ammo Pond on our first afternoon.

AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona)

We watched one at Summit Pond that had a big fish in its bill.


A female gave us a great view at Summit Pond.

GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)

After seeing a female at Summit Pond we saw a male along the stream at the Canopy Lodge.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We had several close encounters with Long-billed Hermits at the feeders at the Discovery Center just off of Pipeline Road. Photo by participant Jacob Plotkin.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)

WHITE-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus hyperrhynchus)

We had scope views of this large puffbird along Pipeline Road and again at Metro Park.

BLACK-BREASTED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus pectoralis) [*]

PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus)

One gave us a close view at the Discovery Center tower.

WHITE-WHISKERED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila panamensis)

We had nice looks on our walk down Semaphore Hill during our first morning.

Galbulidae (Jacamars)

GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus)

This large and great looking bird gave us a wonderful study along Pipeline Road.

Capitonidae (New World Barbets)

SPOT-CROWNED BARBET (Capito maculicoronatus)

A pair showed well for us near the Canopy Lodge.

Ramphastidae (Toucans)

NORTHERN EMERALD-TOUCANET (BLUE-THROATED) (Aulacorhynchus prasinus caeruleogularis)

We had a pair come in along the Las Minas Trail but they didn't stay long and flew off before we got much of a look.

COLLARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus torquatus)

Our best looks were those perched up in the leafless tree that we saw from the Discovery Center tower.

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

We had our best looks from the top of the Discovery Center Tower.

KEEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos sulfuratus)

We saw these iconic tropical birds daily.

Picidae (Woodpeckers)

BLACK-CHEEKED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes pucherani)

RED-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes rubricapillus)

Our first and probably best views were in Gamboa.

CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos)

A male showed pretty well along Pipeline Road on our first visit.

LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)

We had nice views at Ammo Pond.

CINNAMON WOODPECKER (Celeus loricatus)

A great looking woodpecker, we had nice looks from the Discovery Center tower after seeing one poorly on Semaphore Hill the day before.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus)

A calling bird, surprisingly, perched up for about 30 seconds and we scoped it from the top of the Discovery Center tower..

CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara plancus)

YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima)

We saw these daily and one of our first perched on our vehicle in Gamboa.

BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis)

We saw one perched atop the forest crane at Metro Park.

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)

ORANGE-CHINNED PARAKEET (Brotogeris jugularis)

A quite common species in the second growth and around towns we had nice scope views in Gamboa.

BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)

We saw several flying over but I'm not sure we ever had them perched.

RED-LORED PARROT (Amazona autumnalis)

Several were seen with scoped birds at Ammo Pond.

MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa)

BROWN-THROATED PARAKEET (Eupsittula pertinax)

On our drive to the Pacific on our final day of birding we encountered a couple of pairs of these local birds in Panama.

Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)

FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus)

We had a few nice views with our first way up in the Discovery Center tower of birds in the tall vine tangles.

BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus)

A male showed nicely at Ammo Pond on our first afternoon.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Each evening we were surprised with a differently designed, freshly baked bread from the staff at the Canopy Tower. This Great Tinamou showed better here than the real ones did for most of us in the forest. Photo by guide John Coons.

BLACK-CROWNED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus atrinucha)

This was a rather common bird in the forest by sight and sound.

SPOT-CROWNED ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus puncticeps) [*]

CHECKER-THROATED STIPPLETHROAT (Epinecrophylla fulviventris)

We saw a couple of these with mixed flocks in the forest.

MOUSTACHED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula ignota)

This tiny antwren showed well along Pipeline Road. I believe it is the smallest of the antbirds.

WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris)

A few were seen along the road on Semaphore Hill on our first morning.

DOT-WINGED ANTWREN (Microrhopias quixensis)

Several were encountered, the females are much more colorful than the males.

DUSKY ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides tyrannina)

We saw these well along Semaphore Hill then again at Metro Park.

WHITE-BELLIED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza longipes)

We ended up with a nice scope view of one singing in the thick brush near the parking area at Summit.

DULL-MANTLED ANTBIRD (Sipia laemosticta)

We heard one calling downslope as we walked the Candalario Trail at the Canopy Lodge and managed to get it to come up the hill for a scope view. One of the best looks I have ever had of this rather uncommon species.

BICOLORED ANTBIRD (Gymnopithys bicolor bicolor)

We had a nice view of a couple in the antswarm along Pipeline Road.

SPOTTED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax naevioides)

Our first gave us fits along the road on our first visit to Pipeline Road then we had four more the next day.

Conopophagidae (Gnateaters)

BLACK-CROWNED ANTPITTA (Pittasoma michleri)

We had a couple of great views of this usually very difficult bird to see. It hopped across the Candalario Trail twice right in front of us. One of the great birds of Panama. Yip! Yip! Yip!

Grallariidae (Antpittas)

STREAK-CHESTED ANTPITTA (Hylopezus perspicillatus)

After only hearing one on our first visit to Pipeline Road we had nice looks the following day and even got it in the scope off the edge of the road.

Formicariidae (Antthrushes)

BLACK-FACED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius analis) [*]

Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)

SCALY-THROATED LEAFTOSSER (Sclerurus guatemalensis)

Jack and Alexis had a nice look at one while the rest of us were making a pitstop.

PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa)

We had good views with our antswarm in the making along Pipeline Road.

NORTHERN BARRED-WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes sanctithomae)

One individual showed very well along Pipeline Road where there had probably been an antswarm the day before.

COCOA WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus susurrans)

We saw several with our first at Ammo Pond.

BLACK-STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus lachrymosus)

One of the most strikingly marked woodcreepers, we had nice views along Pipeline Road on our first visit.

SPOTTED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus erythropygius)

We had nice views of this upper elevation species along the Las Minas Trail above the Canopy Lodge.


A nicely marked individual showed well for us in the trees near the lagoon at Juan Hombron.

STREAK-HEADED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii) [*]

PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus)

We saw one with a mixed flock along Pipeline Road.

Pipridae (Manakins)

LANCE-TAILED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia lanceolata)

A male showed pretty well at Metro Park as it came to feed in a fruiting fig tree.

VELVETY MANAKIN (Lepidothrix velutina minuscula)

Formerly known at Blue-crowned Manakin, we saw a female along Pipeline Road.

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The bird's a real skulker, but we ended up with good views of this White-bellied Antbird as it sang from a dense thicket near Summit Pond. Photo by guide John Coons.

GOLDEN-COLLARED MANAKIN (Manacus vitellinus)

We had a few nice looks during the week at this stunner as they snapped at their lek.

RED-CAPPED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra mentalis)

A male and young male were feeding in a fruiting tree along Semaphore Hill on our first morning in the field.

Cotingidae (Cotingas)


A family group came in above us for nice views.

BLUE COTINGA (Cotinga nattererii)

This stunner showed well from the Discovery Center tower where we saw at least four different males.

Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)

MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)

SPECKLED MOURNER (Laniocera rufescens)

This species is quite uncommon throughout its range but we had a nice view of one along the road at Semaphore Hill.

Oxyruncidae (Sharpbill, Royal Flycatcher, and Allies)

RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus)

We had a close individual along the road leading to the Discovery Center.

Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)

SEPIA-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon amaurocephalus)

Some folks saw this rather uncommon spescies along the Candalario Trail.

BLACK-CAPPED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis atricapillus)

This tiny bird ended up showing pretty well along Pipeline Road.

SCALE-CRESTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus pileatus)

This higher elevation species showed very well for us along the Las Minas Trail. We saw the crest and all.

PALE-EYED PYGMY-TYRANT (Atalotriccus pilaris wilcoxi)

We saw a calling bird along the road near the lagoon at Juan Hombron.

SOUTHERN BENTBILL (Oncostoma olivaceum)

A few of these odd flycatchers showed well.

COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum)

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

Our only one was at Metro Park.

YELLOW-WINGED FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias flavotectus)

Formerly a part of the Yellow-margined Flycatcher complex we saw one along the Las Minas Trail.

BROWN-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Ornithion brunneicapillus)

A calling bird gave us good views from the top of the Canopy Tower on our first morning.

SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum) [*]

NORTHERN MOUSE-COLORED TYRANNULET (Nesotriccus incomta eremonoma)

We had nice looks along the side road on our way to the Pacific. This is where we tried to see the calling Crested Bobwhites.

YELLOW TYRANNULET (Capsiempis flaveola)

We had pretty good views of one along the way to the trail at Las Mozas.

YELLOW-CROWNED TYRANNULET (Tyrannulus elatus) [*]

FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii)

This species is a common voice in the forest and we had a few nice looks at this small flycatcher.

CHOCO ELAENIA (Myiopagis parambae) [E]

Formerly known as Gray Elaenia, this species is a tree top dweller. We had a couple of these overhead along Pipeline Road.

GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata)

One was seen near Summit Pond.

YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)

Our best view of this second growth species was at the start of the Las Minas Trail.

LESSER ELAENIA (Elaenia chiriquensis)

We had a nice look at a calling bird near the rim of the caldera as we drove out of El Valle in the morning.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Real dazzlers, Red-legged Honeycreepers were seen several days of the trip in the Canopy Tower area. Photo by participant Jacob Plotkin.


Formerly known as Paltry Tyrannulet, we saw one from the Discovery Center tower then another along the Candalario Trail.

LONG-TAILED TYRANT (Colonia colonus)

This nice looking and unusual flycatcher was seen at the top pf a dead branch along the road near Mata Ahogado.

BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus)

A calling bird along Pipeline Road came in for a closer view.

RUFOUS MOURNER (Rhytipterna holerythra)

We had a nice view of two birds along Pipeline Road and another on La Mesa above El Valle.

DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)

We saw one or two but they were mostly heard birds.

PANAMA FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus panamensis)

We saw a few of these rather local birds with the first one perched on the razor wire fence at Ammo Pond.

GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus) [*]

LESSER KISKADEE (Pitangus lictor)

These were always seen near water and we saw them at Ammo and Summit ponds.

GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)

A few were seen at both the Canopy Tower area and the Canopy Tower.

BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)

We finally caught up with this bird on La Mesa.

SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)

After seeing a few at Ammo Pond we saw more in the Canopy Lodge area.

STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus) [*]

PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)

These gave us a couple of nice looks. This species had recently returned from wintering in South America.

TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)

Seen daily.


We saw a few of these long-tailed flycatchers in the open country along the road to Juan Hombron.

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)


Along the road to Juan Hombron we had nice looks at this unusual species with the loud song.

SCRUB GREENLET (Hylophilus flavipes)

We saw a couple of these rather drab vireo-like birds.

GREEN SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius pulchellus)

We saw one from the Canopy Tower on our first morning then heard them several times in the forest around Pipeline Road.

LESSER GREENLET (Pachysylvia decurtata) [*]

GOLDEN-FRONTED GREENLET (Pachysylvia aurantiifrons)

We got a good view at Metro Park but this bird is not going on anyone's Christmas cards.

YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Vireo flavifrons)

We saw only one of these wintering North American breeders at Metro Park.

YELLOW-GREEN VIREO (Vireo flavoviridis)

One popped up at our stop for the oropendola colony on the way to the Pacific.

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

BLACK-CHESTED JAY (Cyanocorax affinis)

We saw these a few times near the Canopy Lodge including coming to the fruit and rice at the feeder.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)

There were several seen around the open areas we visited near the Canopy Tower. Many were perched on the power lines near the Panama Canal.

GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)

This species was seen daily.

Field Guides Birding Tours
This cooperative Pied Puffbird perched well for us in a treetop at eye level from the top of the Discovery Center tower. Photo by guide John Coons.

MANGROVE SWALLOW (Tachycineta albilinea)

A few individuals were flying about Ammo Pond.

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)

These were migrants heading north.

Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)

LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus)

After hearing these in the forest we had a couple of views along Pipeline Road and again at Metro Park.

WHITE-BROWED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila bilineata bilineata)

We saw one on a vine tangle from the top of the Discovery Center tower.

Troglodytidae (Wrens)

HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)

At least one was frequently heard and seen near the dining area at the Canopy Lodge.

RUFOUS-BREASTED WREN (Pheugopedius rutilus)

We had great views of this one at Metro Park.

RUFOUS-AND-WHITE WREN (Thryophilus rufalbus)

Again. seen well at Metro Park where one perched up nicely for a spell.

BAY WREN (Cantorchilus nigricapillus)

One was seen at a stream crossing along Pipeline Road then a couple more along the road above the Canopy Lodge.

BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis) [*]

WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta)

A pair showed pretty well as we walked down Semaphore Hill on our first morning.

SONG WREN (Cyphorhinus phaeocephalus)

One individual gave us some looks as it worked the edges of the antswarm we encountered along Pipeline Road.

Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)


These were usually seen perched on wires.

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)


We saw these daily.

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

YELLOW-CROWNED EUPHONIA (Euphonia luteicapilla)

THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris)

This was the commonly seen euphonia during the trip.

FULVOUS-VENTED EUPHONIA (Euphonia fulvicrissa)

We saw one on our first morning near the bottom of Semaphore Hill.


We had a nice looks at this handsome euphonIa at the Canopy Lodge.

Rhodinocichlidae (Thrush-Tanager)

ROSY THRUSH-TANAGER (Rhodinocichla rosea)

Some of us got a look at a male at Metro Park. This skulker is always a tough one to see well.

Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)

BLACK-STRIPED SPARROW (Arremonops conirostris) [*]

ORANGE-BILLED SPARROW (Arremon aurantiirostris)

One at Metro Park made a brief appearance.

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)

EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna)

We saw a couple and even heard them singing in the rice fields in the Juan Hombron area.

CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus)

On our way to the Pacific lowlands we stopped at a nesting colony of these unusual birds. They were coming and going to the long hanging nests and we saw one in display gurgling away.


Most of our sightings were at the Canopy Lodge where they visited the feeders.

SCARLET-RUMPED CACIQUE (SCARLET-RUMPED) (Cacicus uropygialis microrhynchus)

We saw these a few times near the Canopy Tower. One usually only sees the bright red rump when they are flying away.

Field Guides Birding Tours
A handful of Crested Oropendolas were at a nesting colony along the road to the Pacific coast. We watched them turning nearly upside down during their gurgling vocalization and display. Photo by guide John Coons.


YELLOW-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus chrysater)

We had a brief view of singing birds at Metro Park.

YELLOW-TAILED ORIOLE (Icterus mesomelas)

We managed to call one in at Ammo Pond on our first afternoon.

SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)

These seem to have become more common in some areas of the Panama Canal recently. We saw a few flying over.

GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)

This large cowbird was seen a few times with nice looks at the oropendola colony.

GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)

These were seen daily.

Parulidae (New World Warblers)

LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia motacilla)

A nicely marked individual was along the stream at the Canopy Lodge one morning.

NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis)

We had a few encounters along the ponds and streams.

GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora chrysoptera)

A male was seen on our first afternoon along the road above the Lodge.


Not many but we saw a few.

TENNESSEE WARBLER (Leiothlypis peregrina)

A few were encountered near the Tower and Lodge.

MOURNING WARBLER (Geothlypis philadelphia)

A few of us saw a chipping bird in the thick vegetation on La Mesa.

BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (Setophaga castanea)

This was the most common of the US/Canada breeding warblers that winter in the tropics. We saw a few daily.

YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)

CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica)

Only one was seen near the Lodge, these used to be quite numerous wintering birds here.

YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (Setophaga coronata)

We saw one at Ammon Pond where this species is at the southern end of its wintering range and is considered quite uncommon.

CHESTNUT-CAPPED WARBLER (Basileuterus delattrii mesochrysus)

Formerly called Rufous-capped Warbler we saw. couple of these in the Canopy Lodge area.

BUFF-RUMPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis fulvicauda)

A pair were seen each day along the stream at the Canopy Lodge. Their loud song was able to pierce the sound of the rapids in the creek.

Mitrospingidae (Mitrospingid Tanagers)

DUSKY-FACED TANAGER (Mitrospingus cassinii)

A rather noisy tanager that we saw along the stream at the Canopy Lodge.

Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)

SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra)

A few were seen, mostly females and a couple of blotchy males.


We saw two along the road above the Canopy Lodge not long after we arrived.


A pair showed well at Metro Park.

ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus)

We saw three individuals in the second growth trees as we walked to Summit Pond.

Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)

GRAY-HEADED TANAGER (GRAY-CRESTED) (Eucometis penicillata cristata)

A couple of individuals were seen at the antswarm we encountered along Pipeline Road.



Field Guides Birding Tours
Brown-throated Parakeet is locally distributed on the Pacific side of Panama, and we saw a few pairs in the lowlands on our way to the coast. Photo by participant Jacob Plotkin.

TAWNY-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus delatrii)

We saw a couple or three along the road above the Canopy Lodge.

WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus)

Both male and female were seen on La Mesa.

FLAME-RUMPED TANAGER (LEMON-RUMPED) (Ramphocelus flammigerus icteronotus)

Our only sighting was a female near the Lodge.

CRIMSON-BACKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus dimidiatus)

These were quite common in the second growth areas we visited.

BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)

Seen daily.

PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)

Seen more often than daily.

GOLDEN-HOODED TANAGER (Stilpnia larvata)

Another regularly seen tanager that showed on most days.

PLAIN-COLORED TANAGER (Tangara inornata)

Many were encountered.

BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola)

This is another higher elevation species that we only saw above the Canopy Lodge. We saw a few in mixed-flocks.

SILVER-THROATED TANAGER (Tangara icterocephala)

This higher elevation species showed very well, both right above the Canopy Lodge and along the Las Minas Trail.


A couple of individuals showed well including one at the start of the Las Minas Trail where we could even see the red thighs.

BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)

These were encountered most days of the trip.

SHINING HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes lucidus)

A few folks saw one in the late afternoon on the day we arrived at the Canopy Tower.


A good number were seen throughout the week. The males are quite brilliant in color.

GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza)

A sharp looking species we saw the first one from the top of the Canopy Tower.

WEDGE-TAILED GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides herbicola)

Two birds were singing in the grasslands well above El Valle in the morning when we were headed to the Pacific lowlands. We had scope views as the wind begin to pick up.

BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)

We saw a few doing their display of jumping up off their perch and giving a buzzy call.


One was seen near Ammo Pond on our first afternoon.

VARIABLE SEEDEATER (VARIABLE) (Sporophila corvina hoffmanni)

Good numbers were encountered in the second growth areas.

YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis)

We saw one or two in the grassy roadside near Ammo Pond.

BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola)


A few of these sharply marked species were perched on the fence wires near the start of the Las Minas Trail.


We saw a couple in the open country near the Canopy Lodge.

STREAKED SALTATOR (Saltator striatipectus)

We saw one right where we parked on our way to Summit Pond, then another on our final day.

Field Guides Birding Tours
It wasn't one of the fancier hummingbirds we encountered during the week, but this female Crowned Woodnymph still showed quite well along Pipeline Road. Photo by guide John Coons.


We had scope views of one along Pipeline Road.



We had a couple of sightings on this unusual guy at dinner time from the Canopy Tower dining room.

RED-NAPED TAMARIN (Saguinus geoffroyi)

These were regular visitors to the bananas at the Canopy Tower.

MANTLED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta palliata)

We saw several of these well-known monkeys and heard even more. They were our alarm clock some days at the Canopy Tower.


We had a few good looks at these curious monkeys.

HOFFMANN'S TWO-TOED SLOTH (Choloepus hoffmanni)

This larger species was seen each day we were in the wetter forest at the Canopy Tower.


Several ended up being seen during the week.

VARIEGATED SQUIRREL (Sciurus variegatoides)

Mary Lou saw one near Santa Clara on our last day.

RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis)

We had a few views with our first from the Discovery Center tower.

CENTRAL AMERICAN AGOUTI (Dasyprocta punctata)

These were commonly seen daily in the Canal area and at Metro Park.

WHITE-NOSED COATI (Nasua narica)

We saw a couple of these with our first near Summit Pond.

KINKAJOU (Potos flavus)

This great little mammal was seen in the light during our first dinner at the Canopy Tower.

Totals for the tour: 277 bird taxa and 11 mammal taxa