A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Panama's Canopy Tower & Lodge 2024

March 3-10, 2024 with John Coons, Alexis Sanchez, & Danilo Rodriguez guiding

Field Guides Birding Tours
Toucans are a signature bird of the neotropics and Gail DeLalla captured this Keel-billed Toucan in a classic pose near the Canopy Tower.

We enjoyed a week of birding in two quite varied locations and habitats in Panama. We started in the rainforest along the famous Panama Canal at the Canopy Tower and birded the forests and wetlands before heading to the foothills to the west where we birded the temperate forest and Pacific lowlands near the Canopy Lodge. Both of our sites were great places to bird and use as a base.

Beginning our birding on the top of the Canopy Tower on our first morning, we were treated to a sunrise with Keel-billed Toucans in tree tops and scoped views of Mealy Parrots. After breakfast, we walked down Semaphore Hill and found mixed-species flocks, antbirds, trogons, and a fantastic pair of Black-and-white Owls perched in the forest. We spent two days birding in the forest in the famous Pipeline Road area before heading to El Valle a couple of hours to the west. Here, at the beautiful Canopy Lodge, we found cooler temperatures and tanagers galore coming to the feeder, along the roadsides, and in the forest. Our final day found us heading to the drier (very dry) lowlands where we encountered a number of new species before heading back to Panama City.

Highlights of the trip were many, but some that stood out were the Great Tinamou walking along the edge of the trail, a group of eight Crested Bobwhites walking towards us, several Squirrel Cuckoos running along limbs, wonderful views of both Great and Common potoos on roosts, many hummingbirds (all those jacobins at the feeders) but especially the White-tipped Sicklebill that Danilo spotted perched in the forest, and the gorgeous male Rufous-crested Coquette perched on a dead twig, a Fasciated Tiger-Heron casually hunting in the stream at the Lodge, soaring Swallow-tailed Kites, seven(!) species of owls, a perched Tody Motmot again thanks to Danilo, photogenic White-whiskered Puffbirds, Cinnamon Woodpeckers, a perched Collared Forest-Falcon from the tower, great views of the tiny Moustached Antwren, a scoped Streak-chested Antpitta, Golden-collared Manakins displaying, the odd Purple-throated Fruitcrows, a handful of electric Blue Cotingas, a pair of always difficult Yellow-green Tyrannulets, the tailless and minute Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant above us, a relatively close Green Shrike-Vireo, three cooperative Song Wrens on the ground, Crested Oropendolas gurgling away at their nest, a Buff-rumped Warbler with its glowing rump in the morning shadows, as well as all those colorful tanagers (Silver-throated, Emerald, Bay-headed, Golden-hooded, Crimson-backed).

Mammals also put on a good show, with daily Howler Monkeys, White-throated Capuchins, Red-naped Tamarins, a couple of Kinkajous, a cute Central American Wooly Possum, both Two-toed and Three-toed sloths, Nine-banded Armadillo, White-nosed Coati, lots of agoutis, and perhaps the rarest mammal our Rothschild's Porcupine during the night drive.

The staff at both the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge were great, with wonderful meals and hospitality. Having a few more days at both locations would have been wonderful, especially after getting home to snow and cold temps again.

Both Alexis and Danilo were great guides to be with. They both had amazing spotting skills and were big fun.

Hope to see you all somewhere with binoculars 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 heard these calling every dawn and dusk at the Canopy Tower and were rewarded with a great look at this shy bird walking parallel to the trail at the Discovery Center.

Field Guides Birding Tours
On one of our stops on the way to the Pacific on our last morning, we came across a group of Crested Bobwhite at the edge of a pasture (photo by Glenn Long).
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors)

There were about eight individuals in the shrinking pond near the coast at Juan Hombron.

Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)

GRAY-HEADED CHACHALACA (Ortalis cinereiceps)

These were seen each day in and around the Canopy Lodge.

Odontophoridae (New World Quail)

CRESTED BOBWHITE (Colinus cristatus)

A group of eight birds responded to Danilo's whistling and walked fairly close to us in the Pacific lowands on our final day of birding.

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]

PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis)

A fair number were seen perched in the open areas we visited near the Tower and again at Juan Hombron on our final day.

SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa)

We had a number of good views of this handsomely marked pigeon from the top of the Discovery Center Tower.

SHORT-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas nigrirostris)

Several were heard calling and we had a couple perched from the Discovery Center Tower.


A couple were seen well in the Pacific Lowlands near Anton.

RUDDY GROUND DOVE (Columbina talpacoti)

WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi)

We saw a lot of these.

GRAY-CHESTED DOVE (Leptotila cassinii)

We flushed one off the side of Pipeline Road.

Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

GREATER ANI (Crotophaga major)

A handful were seen at Ammo Pond and again at Summit Pond.

SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani)

We had nice looks at this species at Ammo Pond.

GROOVE-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga sulcirostris)

A few were seen in the lowlands on our final day.

STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia)

We saw a couple on our final day, with one perching briefly on the powerline.

SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana)

This popular species was seen a few times during the week.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis)

We had one perched on the road in our headlights along Pipeline Road on our first trip in.

Nyctibiidae (Potoos)

GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis)

We had a great scope view of this well camouflaged bird right along the highway below the Canopy Tower.

COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus)

The bird we scoped along Pipeline Road on our full day there was likely perching on a nest. Another great bird!

Apodidae (Swifts)

BAND-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura spinicaudus)

We saw a couple of groups of these, with some quite low flying over Summit Pond.

SHORT-TAILED SWIFT (Chaetura brachyura)

At least a couple were encountered from the Canopy Tower on the afternoon some of us arrived.

LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis)

We had a nice look from the Canopy Tower on the day we arrived and then three individuals from the Discovery Center Tower.

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora)

There were certainly a lot of these visiting the feeders at the Canopy Tower and the Discovery Center.


We had great scope views of this unusual hummingbird along the trail at Cerro Gaital. After watching heliconia flowers for several minutes we saw a hummingbird rocket through and Danilo somehow spotted it perched in the forest.

BAND-TAILED BARBTHROAT (Threnetes ruckeri)

Alexis saw one shoot by on Pipeline Road but I think he was the only one who saw it.

GREEN HERMIT (Phaethornis guy)

We saw a couple of these perched in the forest along the trail at Cerro Gaital.

LONG-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis longirostris)

This large hummingbird made somewhat regular trips to the feeders at both the Tower and Discovery Center.

STRIPE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis striigularis)

We saw a few during the week with one visiting the Tower feeders.

BLACK-THROATED MANGO (Anthracothorax nigricollis)

A couple were seen around Ammo Pond on our first full afternoon.

RUFOUS-CRESTED COQUETTE (Lophornis delattrei)

We enjoyed great views of this tiny and sharply dressed hummingbird on a perch just up the road from the Canopy Lodge. We also watched it feeding in the flowers along the road right in front of us.

LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris)

A single individual perched for us at Las Mozas; another fancy hummingbird.

GARDEN EMERALD (Chlorostilbon assimilis)

We saw a few at Las Mozas and again in the lowlands near Anton.


These were feeding on the verbena flowers along the roadside just above the Canopy Lodge.

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Alexis spotted this Common Potoo along Pipeline Road. It was certainly sitting on an egg on the bit of ledge to the tree (photo by John Coons).

BRONZE-TAILED PLUMELETEER (Chalybura urochrysia)

This pink-footed hummer perched for us at Cerro Gaital.


We saw a few during our time at the Canopy Lodge.

SNOWY-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Saucerottia edward edward)

This sharply marked species showed well at the Tower and Lodge.


This was a regular visitor to the feeders at the Canopy Lodge.

SAPPHIRE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Chrysuronia coeruleogularis)

We saw a couple of these along the road south of Anton in the Pacific lowlands.


This species was another regular visitor to the feeders at the Tower and Discovery Center.


A quite colorful hummingbird; we saw a handful with those at the feeders being the best views.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus)

A pair showed around the Canopy Lodge several times, including coming to the feeding station.

PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica)

We saw one at Ammo Pond.

WHITE-THROATED CRAKE (Laterallus albigularis) [*]

We heard a couple calling at Ammo Pond but they were on the other side of the wetland.

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)

BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus)

A handful were at the ponds at Juan Hombron in the Pacific lowlands.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis)

We saw our first two at Ammo Pond then several at La Mesa and again at Juan Hombron.

Jacanidae (Jacanas)

WATTLED JACANA (Jacana jacana)

This unusual species showed well several times.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus)

There was one on the beach at Santa Clara with the gulls and terns.

SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)

Glenn saw one as we crossed the Rio Chagres and then we had another at Juan Hombron.

SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria)

A couple of these wintering birds were seen near the coast in the lowlands.

WILLET (Tringa semipalmata)

One was seen distantly on the beach at Santa Clara just before lunch.


A single individual was on the drying side pond at Ammo Pond.

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla)

There were lots of these along the coast at Santa Clara and again when we went past Panama City on the causeway.

ELEGANT TERN (Thalasseus elegans)

An uncommon but regularly seen bird; we had a scope view of one with the Royal Terns at Santa Clara until a wave scattered all of them.

ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus)

There were at least 29 birds on the beach at Santa Clara where we had lunch.

Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)


We saw a couple flying over the Panama Canal and then more along the Pacific Coast on our final day.

Anhingidae (Anhingas)

ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)

One was fishing at Summit Pond where we saw its snake-like neck cutting through the water.

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Nannopterum brasilianum)

We only saw a couple along the Pacific Coast.

Pelecanidae (Pelicans)

BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis)

Several were seen passing us on the beach at Santa Clara.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

RUFESCENT TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma lineatum)

We had great views of this handsome heron at Ammo Pond.

FASCIATED TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma fasciatum)

This species frequents forested streams more than the open-country Rufescent Tiger-Heron. We had great views of this quite uncommon species hunting along the flowing water at the Canopy Lodge. The first time I have seen it there.

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

There were at least three individuals tucked into the vegetation at Summit Pond.

LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)

We saw a few, with most being white immatures.

TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor)

One was seen at the wetland at Juan Hombron.

SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)

Our only sighting was from the causeway as we drove past Panama City.

STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)

We saw two with the quite similar Green Heron at Ammo Pond.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl was one of seven species of owls we saw during our week in the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge areas (photo by Gail DeLalla).

GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)


We did not see this species until we got into the Pacific lowlands, where we ended up seeing at least 240 individuals on our final day.

GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

One was seen at Ammo Pond every time we passed.

Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa)

Glenn saw one from the Canopy Tower soon after he arrived on the first day.

BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)

Quite common.

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

Also quite common, with a fair number seen migrating west on one of days at the Tower.

LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus)

We had nice looks at this open-country specialist in the Anton/Juan Hombron area. We even got to see the blue crown on a couple of individuals.

Pandionidae (Osprey)

OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)

This familiar species was seen several times during the week.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

HOOK-BILLED KITE (Chondrohierax uncinatus)

Alexis spotted this rather uncommon species flying above the canopy along Pipeline Road.

GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis)

SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus)

Three of these beautiful raptors were soaring over us as we started the trail at Cerro Gaital.

BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus)

A calling bird was spotted over the forest as we walked down Semaphore Hill.

TINY HAWK (Microspizias superciliosus)

This quite uncommon raptor was seen well at Camino de Cruces, where we were alerted to it by a scolding Scarlet-rumped Cacique.

DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) [*]

A single bird shot past us, but I think Alexis was the only one who saw it. We later heard one calling out on Pipeline Road but could not get a look at it.

PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea)

A single migrating bird was seen above Pipeline Road.

COMMON BLACK HAWK (MANGROVE) (Buteogallus anthracinus bangsi)

At Juan Hombron, we saw a perched individual.

SAVANNA HAWK (Buteogallus meridionalis)

We ended up seeing four of these open country raptors in the Pacific lowlands.

GREAT BLACK HAWK (SOUTHERN) (Buteogallus urubitinga urubitinga)

Two were seen flying from the Discovery Center Tower.

GRAY-LINED HAWK (Buteo nitidus)

BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus)

We saw about 15 individuals on their way north that we viewed from the parking area at Camino de Cruces.

SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus)

We saw a single bird on successive days from the Canopy Tower.

Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)

BARN OWL (Tyto alba)

Along the road south of Anton we flushed one from the trees and saw it fly twice. We didn't get much of a look at it.

Strigidae (Owls)

TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba)

Danilo showed us a rufous-morph individual perched right next to the road south of Anton.

CHOCO SCREECH-OWL (Megascops centralis)

This species has become more difficult in recent years but Alexis found one on a day roost at the Discovery Center.

SPECTACLED OWL (Pulsatrix perspicillata)

We scoped this handsome owl that Danilo spotted in a tall tree along the trail at Las Mozas. Were there two individuals?

FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum)

A distant calling bird came in while we were looking at the Crested Bobwhites. We ended up with dynamite views.

MOTTLED OWL (Strix virgata)

Along the trail below the waterfall at the Canopy Lodge, Danilo managed to find a perched bird up the steep slope.

BLACK-AND-WHITE OWL (Strix nigrolineata)

A pair of these great birds were well hidden along the road at Semaphore Hill but we had nice scope views.

Trogonidae (Trogons)

SLATY-TAILED TROGON (Trogon massena)

We enjoyed nice views of males and females along Semaphore Hill.

BLACK-TAILED TROGON (Trogon melanurus)

We managed to get one into view from the top of the Discovery Center Tower.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We had great views of two species of tiger-herons. The Fasciated Tiger-Heron (left) is seldom seen, as it prefers flowing forested streams, and we enjoyed it for a morning at the Canopy Lodge right next to the dining area. The Rufescent Tiger-Heron (right) is a bird of open marshes and is generally more conspicuous as it forages. We saw a few at Ammo Pond on our first afternoon of birding at the Canopy Tower. (photos by John Coons).

WHITE-TAILED TROGON (Trogon chionurus)

We saw both a male and female of this yellow bellied trogon.

GARTERED TROGON (Trogon caligatus)


One of the prettiest of the trogons; we saw one near the Discovery Center and another at Camino de Cruces.

Momotidae (Motmots)

TODY MOTMOT (Hylomanes momotula)

This quite uncommon species gave us a nice scope view along the trail below the waterfall at the Canopy Lodge.

LESSON'S MOTMOT (Momotus lessonii lessonii)

We spotted a calling individual near the road where we saw the nesting Crested Oropendolas. This species and the next were part of the Blue-crowned Motmot complex.

WHOOPING MOTMOT (Momotus subrufescens)

We enjoyed good views of this species along the trail at the Discovery Center.

RUFOUS MOTMOT (Baryphthengus martii)

After hearing one along Pipeline Road, we had a few good views right around the Canopy Lodge.

BROAD-BILLED MOTMOT (Electron platyrhynchum)

We ended up seeing a few of these which were calling quite a bit.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana)

We saw one at Summit Pond ,then another was observed a couple of times along the stream at the Canopy Lodge.

Bucconidae (Puffbirds)

BLACK-BREASTED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus pectoralis)

After hearing a couple, we had nice views along Pipeline Road.

PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus)

This small puffbird showed quite well in the scopes from the top of the Discovery Center tower.

WHITE-WHISKERED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila panamensis)

This species is a forest understory dweller. We saw this handsome bird in the forest around Pipeline Road.

Galbulidae (Jacamars)

GREAT JACAMAR (Jacamerops aureus)

A singing bird gave us great views at our lunch spot on Pipeline Road. This species is a real stunner.

Capitonidae (New World Barbets)

SPOT-CROWNED BARBET (Capito maculicoronatus)

There were three individuals on the banana and rice feeder on our first afternoon at the Canopy Lodge, then we never saw them again.

Ramphastidae (Toucans)

COLLARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus torquatus)

We saw several in the Canopy Tower area.

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

About 3-4 were scoped well from the Discovery Center tower.

KEEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos sulfuratus)

This quite colorful and familiar species was seen well each day of the trip.

Picidae (Woodpeckers)


A wintering individual was seen along the road on our way out of Summit Pond. This is just about as far south as this species gets.

BLACK-CHEEKED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes pucherani)

We saw a few on the forest edge.

RED-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes rubricapillus)

This woodpecker, somewhat similar to the preceding, is more of an open second growth habitat specialist.

CRIMSON-CRESTED WOODPECKER (Campephilus melanoleucos)

Nice views were obtained of this large woodpecker.

LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus)

We had a nice one along Semaphore Hill and then again our last day in the lowlands.

CINNAMON WOODPECKER (Celeus loricatus)

A great looking bird, we saw this species a couple of times.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) [*]

COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus)

This very difficult to see species was perched in a tree top in the forest that we spotted from the Discovery Center tower just after we arrived.

SLATY-BACKED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur mirandollei) [*]

CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara plancus)

We saw a few in the lowlands.

YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Daptrius chimachima)

These were rather common in the open country around the Panama Canal and again in the Pacific lowlands.

Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)

ORANGE-CHINNED PARAKEET (Brotogeris jugularis)

We scoped a few but they were seen and heard flying over each day.

BROWN-HOODED PARROT (Pyrilia haematotis)

We never had any perched but saw them flying past a couple of times.

Field Guides Birding Tours
At the Canopy Tower, Eusebio baked a fresh bread and surprised us each evening with another tasty masterpiece. We debated this one as a crocodile or a caiman until Eusebio proclaimed it a croc (photo by John Coons).

BLUE-HEADED PARROT (Pionus menstruus)

These were seen more in the Canopy Lodge area.

RED-LORED PARROT (Amazona autumnalis)

We saw and heard several during our time at the Canopy Tower.

MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa)

We saw these from the top of the Canopy Tower and had them scoped for all.

BROWN-THROATED PARAKEET (VERAGUAS) (Eupsittula pertinax ocularis)

This local species showed well along our drive to the Pacific on our final day.

Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)

FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus)

We had nice looks from the top of the Discovery Center tower.

BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus)

We saw both a male and female on our final morning at Juan Hombron.

BLACK-CROWNED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus atrinucha)

We saw this forest species on our first morning then a few times after that.

PLAIN ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus mentalis)

We saw this plainly marked species along the trail at Cerro Gaital.

SPOT-CROWNED ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus puncticeps)

A snazzy looking little antbird; we had nice views along Pipeline Road on our second visit.

CHECKER-THROATED STIPPLETHROAT (Epinecrophylla fulviventris)

We had a few nice looks at this species, formerly known as Checker-throated Antwren.

MOUSTACHED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula ignota)

One of the smallest members of the antbird family; we had remarkably good views of one from the top of the Discovery Center tower. It is rare to look down on this species.

WHITE-FLANKED ANTWREN (Myrmotherula axillaris)

We saw these most of the days in the forest.

SLATY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula schisticolor)

Somewhat uncommon, we saw our only one along the Las Minas Trail well above the Canopy Lodge.

DOT-WINGED ANTWREN (Microrhopias quixensis)

These were in the mixed-species flocks in the forest.

DUSKY ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides tyrannina)

We finally found this rather common species at Camino de Cruces.

JET ANTBIRD (Cercomacra nigricans)

Along the old Gamboa Road near Summit Pond, we got pretty good views of this usual skulker at the edge of the track.

WHITE-BELLIED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza longipes)

After trying to see this bird a couple of times, we finally connected at Las Mozas near El Valle.


We saw these a couple of times along Pipeline Road.

BICOLORED ANTBIRD (Gymnopithys bicolor bicolor)

We saw one bird that was hanging out with some other ant following species along Pipeline Road. It was as if they were waiting for an ant swarm to start.

SPOTTED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax naevioides)

This sharply marked antbird showed well a few times for us.

Grallariidae (Antpittas)

STREAK-CHESTED ANTPITTA (Hylopezus perspicillatus)

We had great looks at this secretive species, even a scope view, along Pipeline Road. Alexis whistled it in from the forest depths.

Formicariidae (Antthrushes)

BLACK-FACED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius analis) [*]

Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)

OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (GRAYISH) (Sittasomus griseicapillus sylvioides) [*]

PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa)

We had great looks at this species holding on to tree trunks right next to trail at the Discovery Center.

WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus)

We also saw this smaller woodcreeper along the trail at the Discovery Center.

NORTHERN BARRED-WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes sanctithomae)

One showed quite well for us along the road on Semaphore Hill on our first morning.

COCOA WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus susurrans)

This was the most common woodcreeper we saw and heard during the week.

SPOTTED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus erythropygius)

This higher elevation species was seen along the trail at Las Minas, then again at Cerro Gaital.


A drier country species; we saw two in the forest patch south of Anton.

PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus)

Several were encountered, usually with mixed-flocks.

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No trip to the American tropics is complete without a few trogons. This Slaty-tailed Trogon was one of five we saw in the vicinity of the Canopy Tower and nearby Canopy Lodge (photo by Gail DeLalla).
Pipridae (Manakins)

LANCE-TAILED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia lanceolata)

We finally ended up connecting with a calling male along the road south of Anton.

WHITE-RUFFED MANAKIN (Corapipo altera)

Danilo spotted one along the trail at Cerro Gaital. I'm not sure if any of us saw it.

VELVETY MANAKIN (Lepidothrix velutina velutina)

We saw a female, then a male, on successive days on Pipeline Road. This used to be known as Blue-crowned Manakin.

GOLDEN-COLLARED MANAKIN (Manacus vitellinus)

We had nice views of a few males and watched a couple of them snapping and displaying as they shot back and forth on low perches in the forest.

RED-CAPPED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra mentalis)

We saw one from the top of the Canopy Tower that was feeding on tiny berries.

Cotingidae (Cotingas)


We had some fly-overs and females perched, but we finally connected with a few males and more females on our full day on Pipeline Road.

BLUE COTINGA (Cotinga nattererii)

We had a distant view of two individuals from the Canopy Tower, then better views the following morning from the Discovery Center tower. Another dazzler!

Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)

MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata)

We saw a handful in the Canal area during our time there.

WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus)

We had nice looks at this species at the Great Potoo spot along the highway.

Oxyruncidae (Sharpbill, Royal Flycatcher, and Allies)

RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus)

We had nice views of one along the Discovery Center trail.

SULPHUR-RUMPED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius sulphureipygius)

Our sighting was along the Las Minas Trail at the lower end of the cloud forest.

BLACK-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius atricaudus)

A rather uncommon bird in the area; we saw one in the drier forest at Camino de Cruces before heading to the Canopy Lodge.

Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)

OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus)

YELLOW-GREEN TYRANNULET (Phylloscartes flavovirens)

A pair of these quite local and difficult to find birds were seen and heard working about in the tall trees at Camino de Cruces. It is always great to see this Panama endemic so well.

BLACK-CAPPED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis atricapillus)

This species is essentially tied for being the smallest passerine in the word. Mostly because it doesn't have much of a tail. We had an individual perched over Pipeline Road on our full day there.

SCALE-CRESTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus pileatus) [*]

SOUTHERN BENTBILL (Oncostoma olivaceum) [*]

COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum)

We saw a couple of these in the drier second growth we birded.

BLACK-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum nigriceps) [*]

BROWNISH TWISTWING (Cnipodectes subbrunneus) [*]

This quite uncommon species was calling in the forest off Pipeline Road and we could not get it to come closer. Even slipping into the forest could not get us a look at it.

WESTERN OLIVACEOUS FLATBILL (Rhynchocyclus aequinoctialis)

We had a nice view of a perched individual along Pipeline Road.

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

BROWN-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Ornithion brunneicapillus)

Another small treetop dwelling flycatcher. We had nice views from the Canopy Tower on our first morning, then again the next morning at the Discovery Center tower. We heard a lot of them in the forest along Pipeline Road.


Another drier country flycatcher; we saw a couple near Gamboa and again on our final morning in the lowlands.


YELLOW TYRANNULET (Capsiempis flaveola)

After hearing one along the trail at Las Mozas, we saw two the following day in the Pacific lowlands.

FOREST ELAENIA (Myiopagis gaimardii)

We ended up seeing a few of these in mixed-species flocks in the forest.

CHOCO ELAENIA (Myiopagis parambae)

Another quite uncommon species that likes the higher parts of tall trees. We heard one vocalizing along Pipeline Road and ended up with nice views of a male and even got it in the scope. This was formerly known as Gray Elaenia.

GREENISH ELAENIA (GREENISH) (Myiopagis viridicata accola)

YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster)

This second growth species showed well at Las Mozas and again in the lowlands.

LESSER ELAENIA (Elaenia chiriquensis)

We saw one at the top of the hill, actually the rim of the volcano, the morning we left El Valle and headed to the lowlands.


At least one showed well along the trail at Las Minas where we saw it building a nest above us.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Many puffbirds sit on open branches above the canopy of the forest but White-whiskered Puffbird is a bird of the forest interior. The great aspect of puffbirds is they generally sit still for great views once you find them (photo by John Coons).

ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax virescens) [*]

We heard several of these wintering birds calling in the forest but never laid eyes on one.


Two birds were seen pretty well along the road south of Anton in the lowlands.

BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus)

A quite vocal species; we had nice views in the scope of one at the Discovery Center.

RUFOUS MOURNER (Rhytipterna holerythra)

After only hearing a calling bird along Pipeline Road, we caught up with it for a nice view along the Cerro Gaital trail.

DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer)

We saw or heard these daily.

PANAMA FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus panamensis)

A somewhat local species; we saw a few during the week.

GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus) [*]

These birds will be heading back north soon.

LESSER KISKADEE (Philohydor lictor)

A couple of individuals showed well at Summit Pond. This species is always near water.

GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)

Another familiar voice; we saw a few around Gamboa and in the lowlands.

BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua)

We had scope views of this wide-billed species.

RUSTY-MARGINED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes cayanensis)

We had a few nice looks in the open forest areas at Ammo and Summit ponds.

SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis)

We only had a few here and there.

STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus)

One or two were visiting the fruiting tree near the start of our walk to Summit Pond.

PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius)

We saw a couple of these nest pirates with the best view near Summit Pond.

TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus)

Seen daily.


A few of these elegant flycatchers were seen in the agricultural and pastures of the Pacific lowlands.

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)

RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (NORTHERN) (Cyclarhis gujanensis perrygoi)

Several folks caught up with this odd species at our lunch spot at Santa Clara.

GREEN SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius pulchellus)

We had pretty good views along Semaphore Hill and then again at the Discovery Center. This tree top dweller is one of the signature birds of he Canopy Tower. We heard them many times in the Canal area.

LESSER GREENLET (Pachysylvia decurtata)

We had a few good views with our first from the top of the Canopy Tower.

GOLDEN-FRONTED GREENLET (Pachysylvia aurantiifrons)

RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus)

One was with the mobbing birds at our roadside stop on the way to the Pacific.

YELLOW-GREEN VIREO (Vireo flavoviridis)

We ended up seeing 2-3 individuals in the Pacific lowlands.

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

BLACK-CHESTED JAY (Cyanocorax affinis)

Rather noisy; we had good views a few times in the Canopy Lodge area.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

MANGROVE SWALLOW (Tachycineta albilinea)

We saw these flying around the Chagres River at the Panama Canal and again at Summit Pond.

GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea)

Many were perched on the lines along the Panama Canal.

SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis)

This was the most common swallow we encountered, next to the martins.

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)

We saw a handful here and there that were getting ready to migrate.

CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)

A few were seen from the Canopy Tower.

Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)

TAWNY-FACED GNATWREN (Microbates cinereiventris)

We had one that didn't show well along the trail at Cerro Gaital.

LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) [*]

Field Guides Birding Tours
White-necked Jacobins were frequent visitors to the hummingbird feeders at the Canopy Tower. In fact, it was unusual when there was not one there (photo by Gail DeLalla).

WHITE-BROWED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila bilineata bilineata)

Formerly known as Tropical Gnatcatcher. We saw a few with flocks around the Canopy Tower and Pipeline Road.

Troglodytidae (Wrens)

SCALY-BREASTED WREN (WHISTLING) (Microcerculus marginatus luscinia) [*]

HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)

RUFOUS-BREASTED WREN (Pheugopedius rutilus)

We saw this species along the road at Semaphore Hill then again near the Canopy Lodge.

RUFOUS-AND-WHITE WREN (Thryophilus rufalbus) [*]

A beautiful songster, we had a couple of singing birds coming in to us at the Camino de Cruces trail, but we got distracted when a Yellow-green Tyrannulet started calling overhead. After seeing the tyrannulet we could not raise the wrens again.

ISTHMIAN WREN (Cantorchilus elutus)

This species is usually in thick vegetation. Some folks had a brief look near Summit Pond. This bird was formerly known as Plain Wren.

BAY WREN (Cantorchilus nigricapillus) [*]

BUFF-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus leucotis)

We saw one at the edge of the marsh at Ammo Pond.

WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta)

We had a couple of views with the best one along the Cerro Gaital trail.

SONG WREN (Cyphorhinus phaeocephalus)

This odd wren seems to have some antbird genes in it. We saw it both of our days in the Pipeline Road area, with nice looks along the road into the Discovery Center.

Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)


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)

A few showed well in the dry habitat at Las Mozas and the Pacific lowlands.

THICK-BILLED EUPHONIA (Euphonia laniirostris)

These were regular visitors to the feeders at the Canopy Lodge.

FULVOUS-VENTED EUPHONIA (Euphonia fulvicrissa)

Our first was from the Canopy Tower, then we saw them each day in the forest there.


Along the Las Minas trail we had nice views of a few feeding on the small fruits,

Rhodinocichlidae (Thrush-Tanager)

ROSY THRUSH-TANAGER (Rhodinocichla rosea) [*]

We could not lure this one in to view.

Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)

BLACK-STRIPED SPARROW (Arremonops conirostris) [*]

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)

EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna)

We saw a handful in the pastures of the Juan Hombron area.

CRESTED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius decumanus)

A pair were seen well at a nest tree on our final day, on the way to the Pacific coast.


These became common when we got to the Canopy Lodge.

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

A few were making noise and showing themselves each day we were at the Canopy Tower and again at Camino de Cruces.


We had a single bird from the Discovery Center tower.

YELLOW-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus chrysater) [*]

YELLOW-TAILED ORIOLE (Icterus mesomelas)

We had nice views of one at Ammo Pond on our first afternoon.

BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula)

A few of these wintering birds were seen at the forest edge. They will be on the coast of Texas in a few weeks.

SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis)

We saw one at Ammo Pond then a few more around the chicken farm pastures on La Mesa.

GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus)

We scoped a couple of these oropendola nest parasites.

GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)

Parulidae (New World Warblers)

LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia motacilla)

One was working the edge of the stream at the Canopy Lodge.

NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis)

This species was seen or heard at most of the wet areas we visited during the week.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Thick-billed Euphonias were regular at the feeding station at the Canopy Lodge where they particularly liked bananas (photo by Gail DeLalla).

GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora chrysoptera)

A nice male was seen above the track when we were walking the Cerro Gaital trail.


PROTHONOTARY WARBLER (Protonotaria citrea)

One was at the edge of the water at Summit Pond then another in the dry(!) habitat south of Anton.

TENNESSEE WARBLER (Leiothlypis peregrina)

We saw a few during the week with more viewed at the Canopy Lodge.

AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla)

Larry spotted this wintering bird along the trail at Las Mozas near El Valle.

BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (Setophaga castanea)

This species was the most common of the wintering North American warblers we encountered.

YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)

CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica)

We saw a couple or three in the mixed flocks we encountered.

YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (MYRTLE) (Setophaga coronata coronata)

A single bird was working along the edge of the pond near the Pacific Ocean at Juan Hombron. This is about as far south as this species gets.

CHESTNUT-CAPPED WARBLER (Basileuterus delattrii mesochrysus)

We few showed well with our first and best look at one hopping about on the trash bin cage outside the Canopy Lodge property.

BUFF-RUMPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis fulvicauda)

A denizen of fast moving streams, its bright yellow rump seemed to glow in the morning shadows along the stream at the Canopy Lodge.

CANADA WARBLER (Cardellina canadensis)

Glenn spotted a male in a mixed-flock along the Las Minas trail. There seem to be fewer of these each year.

Mitrospingidae (Mitrospingid Tanagers)

DUSKY-FACED TANAGER (Mitrospingus cassinii)

A pair showed pretty well at the Canopy Lodge.

Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)

SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra)

This wintering species was seen every day of our trip.


A single bird was seen along the trail above the Lodge.


A pair showed well on the side trail we took at Camino de Cruces.

ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus)

Our only sighting was a molting male along the road near Summit Pond.

BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanoloxia cyanoides) [*]

INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea)

A female plumaged individual was seen at Ammo Pond.

Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)

GRAY-HEADED TANAGER (Eucometis penicillata)

There was one hanging around with some other ant following birds along Pipeline Road on our second visit.


This was seen a handful of times in flocks in the Pipeline Road area.

CRIMSON-BACKED TANAGER (Ramphocelus dimidiatus)

Seen several days and the males are always a dazzler.

BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus)

PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum)


GOLDEN-HOODED TANAGER (Stilpnia larvata)

A quite common and nicely colored tanager.

PLAIN-COLORED TANAGER (Tangara inornata)

This is not one of the more beautiful of the tanagers.

BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola)

We saw a few along the road above the Canopy Lodge after arriving, then again higher up on La Mesa the following day.

EMERALD TANAGER (Tangara florida)

A real beauty, we had nice views on the Las Minas trail. This is another species that becomes more common the higher in elevation you go.

SILVER-THROATED TANAGER (Tangara icterocephala)

A few were seen along the Las Minas trail. This is usually seen in the cloud forest.


A nicely colored male was seen along the Las Minas trail on La Mesa.

BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana)

These were seen each day in the forest in the Canal area.

SHINING HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes lucidus)

We saw a couple of these with the bright yellow legs along Pipeline Road.


A fancy bird with its nearly iridescent blue crown and red legs; we saw several during the week.

GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza)

Our first was seen from the top of the Canopy Tower, then a few more each day of our time in the Canal area.

WEDGE-TAILED GRASS-FINCH (Emberizoides herbicola)

We ended up with a close view of this sparrow-like species in the tall grass above El Valle after we drove out of the volcano.

BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina)

We watched at least one male in display, jumping up, calling, and returning to the same perch.


One or two were seen on the fence near Ammo Pond on our first afternoon.

VARIABLE SEEDEATER (VARIABLE) (Sporophila corvina hoffmanni)

Several were encountered in the whacked over habitat.

Field Guides Birding Tours
It is always special to get a good view of a Streak-chested Antpitta and this one sat still for a few minutes just off Pipeline Road (photo by John Coons).

YELLOW-BELLIED SEEDEATER (Sporophila nigricollis)

Another second growth species, we saw these at Ammo Pond.

SLATE-COLORED SEEDEATER (Sporophila schistacea)

A very irregularly seen species; we saw about three along the road above the Canopy Lodge and then again on the Canopy Adventure trail. This bird feeds on the seeds of bamboo which only flowers every few years.

BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) [*]


A handful were right along the road edge and fence line as we prepared to walk up the Las Minas trail.


Our first and best looks were near Summit Pond.

STREAKED SALTATOR (Saltator striatipectus)

At least two were seen in the agricultural areas of the Pacific lowlands.


We scoped a singing bird from the top of the Canopy Tower on our first morning then saw another on Pipeline Road.



We enjoyed nice views of one after dark that was coming to the bananas outside the dining room at the Canopy Tower.

LITTLE MASTIFF BAT (Molossus molossus)

These were the bats we saw flying around and through the open windows at the Canopy Tower.

RED-NAPED TAMARIN (Saguinus geoffroyi)

This entertaining, small and colorful monkey showed well in the Canal area.

MANTLED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta palliata)

We saw and heard these familiar guys daily at the Canopy Tower.


We saw a pair along the trail at the Discovery Center.

HOFFMANN'S TWO-TOED SLOTH (Choloepus hoffmanni)

We ended up seeing a few of these. This is the larger of the two species of sloths that we encountered in both the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge areas.


Alexis is amazing at spotting sloths nestled up in trees. We had nice views our first morning on the Canopy Tower of one in a bombax tree and then a few more.

NORTHERN TAMANDUA (Tamandua mexicana)

During our night drive, Eric spotted one with his light that got away before we could get a look.

NINE-BANDED ARMADILLO (Dasypus novemcinctus)

We had a view of one on the roadside during our night drive on Semaphore Hill. This is the same species that occurs in the southern US.

BRAZILIAN RABBIT (Sylvilagus brasiliensis)

Glenn initially spotted this rabbit at the edge of the stream at the Canopy Lodge. Surprisingly, it hopped on rocks across the flowing water.

RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis)

These were regularly seen at the Canopy Lodge where they visited the feeder.

ROTHSCHILD'S PORCUPINE (Coendou rothschildi)

During our night drive, Eric spotted one of these uncommon porcupines from our open vehicle. This species is little-known and has a prehensile tail.

CENTRAL AMERICAN AGOUTI (Dasyprocta punctata)

These were daily sightings throughout the trip.

WHITE-NOSED COATI (Nasua narica)

We saw one along Pipeline Road and another at the Canopy Tower.

KINKAJOU (Potos flavus)

This cute species showed up a couple of times to grab a banana from the tree outside the dining room at the Canopy Tower. A female was there with a smaller kid on one of the visits.

Totals for the tour: 295 bird taxa and 15 mammal taxa