Another jewel in the list of Bocas del Toro Jewelry

Birding PanamaSome time ago I wrote a post about a very pretty jewel or bird found in Bocas del Toro, the Olive-backed Euphonia (Euphonia gouldi). Today I´m talking about another bird that is one of the favorite specialties for birders visiting Panama.  The Nicaraguan Seed-finch (Oryzoborus nuttingi), because it is found in a very small area of the Bocas del Toro province.

It has a range of distribution, that goes from the Caribbean lowland of Nicaragua, the North and East of Costa Rica and a small part of the Western Caribbean side of Panama.  The male has a distinctive big and light pink color beak that contrast on his black body, the female has a black beak with a reddish-brown plumage.

Cheepers Spring 2014 Trip Report

Last month we had a nice birding trip with Jim and Cindy from Cheepers. It was their 17th trip to Panama, and for the first time they got to see a good part of the Western Caribbean Slope. We made 3 trips to the mainland, birded about a half-day at Tranquilo Bay and one day on Soropta Canal. In addition to the birding, we did some snorkeling.

Some of the highlights were the 4 lifers Cindy and Jim saw, within the less than 5 days we spent birding and snorkeling together: Nicaraguan Seed-Finch, Snowy Cotinga, a beautiful and very unusual group of Masked Ducks and Black-thighed Grosbeak. in addition to their lifers, some nice birds were two Ornate Hawk-Eagles, a juvenile and an adult, both perched and then flying. What amazing birds!


Masked Ducks

Panama Birding

Ornated Hawk-Eagle adult (Spizaetus ornatus)

Birdwatching Panama

Juvenile of Ornated Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus) in flight

The incredible migration of Turkey Vultures: there were thousands of them gaining altitude in front of us, after spending the night on Bastimentos and Popa Islands. In association with this migration we saw some other raptors such as Broad-wing Hawks, Peregrine Falcons and Plumbeous Kites. All those things were great, but for me, the best thing was to see (in person) the display and mating of the Golden-collared Manakins, just like the video Ramon captured months ago with a Go-Pro camera.

Panama Wildlife

Adult male Golden-collared Manakin (Manacus cerritus)

At the end of their trip we had a total of 220 species (seen and heard).  You can download the list below.