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.


January Birding Guest Trip Report

Canopy Tower Bocas del Toro

Birding Panama

Bocas Canopy Tower

In January, we had a couple of guests that came to spend 4 days at Tranquilo Bay, after they had traveled around Panama for almost 2 weeks looking for birds. During part of their time with us they wanted to do some serious bird watching, but they also wanted to see some of the different tours we offered to our non-bird watching guests. On one of the days, another couple joined us for a trip to the mainland and we all had a lot of fun.

Panama Birding

Bird Watching Panama

Tropical Birding

We had very good weather and the birds were cooperating. Some of the highlights of those days were: Snowy Cotinga, Nicaraguan Seed-Finch, Lineated Woodpeckers mating, at eye level, from our observation tower, several brown Jays, Band-backed Wren, and very good look, in more than one place of the very pretty White-crown Parrot. Those were just a few of the many wonderful birds we saw during the four days with this particular set of guests. In about three and a half days of birding this couple saw 183 of the 411 birds we had on our list at that time. You can download the list of the species we saw and heard during their visit here.

Birding Panama

Birding Panama

Bird Watching Panama