How do you see what’s going on at the top of the rainforest canopy in Panama? You climb a 130 foot tower with 174 steps, of course! Many of you know we visit Panama frequently and the rainforest along the Panama Canal is one of our favourite day trips from Panama City.
(Top of the 130 foot observation tower)
Being the early birds that we are, we were on the road around 5:30am bound for the Panama Rainforest Discovery Centre on the world renowned Pipeline Road. While driving the 40 minutes to reach the observation tower we were wondering if the day was going to be a bust. It was dark and raining – one of the first rains in five months (Panama is starting to transition from the dry season to the wet season), but just as we arrived the rain stopped and it turned out to be a beautiful morning – not too hot…that was until we had to climb the 174 steps lugging heavy camera gear!
The results were worth it!
(Purpled-throated Fruitcrow – male)
(White-necked Jacobin – male)
We have been to the tower several times before, but this was the best bird viewing day we’ve had so far. We saw between 60-70 different species (thanks in large part to Carlos Bethancourt who was guiding a group from the USA and saved us hours of time trying to ID the birds we photographed.)
Some of the birds we saw included the following:
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Gray-headed Kite, Band-rumped Swift, White-necked Puffbird, Pied Puffbird, Keel-billed Toucan, Chestnut-Mandibled Toucan, Lineated Woodpecker, Blue-headed Parrot, Red-lored Parrot, Mealy Parrot, Dusky Antbird, Paltry Tyrannulet, Southern Bentbill, Great Kiskadee, Eastern Kingbird, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Blue Cotinga, Red-eyed Vireo, Lesser Greenbelt, Southern Rough-winged Swallow, Barn Swallow, Tropical Gnatcatcher, Yellow Warbler, White-shouldered Tanager, Palm Tanager, Blue Dacnis, Shining Honeycreeper, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Scarlet-rumped Cacique, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Moustached Antwren, Dot-winged Antwren, Fasciated Antshrike, Scaled Pigeon, Black-cheeked Woodpecker, White-necked Jacobin, Slaty-tailed Trogan, Violet-bellied Hummingbird, White-vented Plumeleteer.
More to come from Panama…stay tuned!
Marcy & Ray Stader