Latest Sightings & Conservation News
Our regular trips both in the vicinity of Panama City and farther afield in remote areas of the Republic of Panama like the Darien, Chiriqui, and Bocas del Toro, allow for numerous exciting observations.
Included are some range restricted species and specialties that are seldom recorded.
In addition, regular biological surveys conducted at our Chucanti Private Nature Reserve by researchers from all over the World have resulted in multiple increases in the reported geographical ranges of various species of wildilfe, including flora and fauna; as well as the "discovery" of previously unknown species to Science.
Such birding reports and biological news are presented here.
March 12, 2013: Eastern Panama - San Francisco
On the way back, a brief visit at the San Francisco Reserve, near Torti produced more Blue Cotingas, a pair of Barred Puffbird, Spot-crowned Barbets (Darien race), both Sooty-headed Tyrannulet and the endemic Yellow-green Tyrannulet which was missed at Metropolitan Park earlier in the birding trip.
Also recorded were Dusky-faced and Sulphur-rumped tanagers, Thrush-like Schiffornis, both Golden-headed and Red-capped manakins together, Rufous Mourner and Rufous Piha, as well as Rufous-breasted hermit, Sapphire-throated and Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, and Blue-throated Goldentail.
March 11, 2013: Rare Bird Alert, Slender-billed Kite
Departing the Rancho Frio ranger station, walking along the Peresenico River, a couple of hundred meters away from the ranger station, Guido Berguido heard something walking parallel to the group along the trail about 6 meters away. At fist glance he just noticed a large gray furry creature, and thought they had a White-lipped Peccary. But when looked trough binoculars, it turned out to be a mammal he had never seen before in the wild: Myrmecophaga tridactyla, the extremely rare "Oso Caballo" or Giant Anteater! Around the corner they were able to watch it again as it crossed the river in front of the group. What a sight!
Later along the same trail, While searching for a vocalizing Plumbeous Hawk in the middle canopy above, The group stumbled upon a dark raptor. They originally thought to be our Plumbeous Hawk. Fist glances with Swarosvski 10x42 binoculars showed the "hook" on the bird´s bill. Upon more closely examination with a compact 60mm Kowa scope revealed the light-colored eyes, this in addition to the bulky appearence made them realize they were looking at a SLENDER-BILLED KITE.
At the moment they didn't realize how special this sighting was, but their local guide Isaac Pizarro took some digiscoped photos using Julie Trott's small point-and-shoot Canon PowerShot camera. The photos are not that great but they are diagnostic.
March 10, 2013: Darien Birding at Rancho Frio
As part of a Birdwatching Expedition near the Rancho Frio ranger station a Harpy Eagle nest contained a healthy-looking eaglet.
Exploring the trails near the Ranger Station inside the Darien National Park, produced goodies such as Stripe-throated Wren, Lemon-spectacled Tanagers, both Plumbeous and Ruddy pigeons, a pair of Crimson-bellied Woodpeckers, as well as the main target for the trip an adult female Crested Eagle.
Clearings near the ranger station proved productive and the following were recorded: Double-banded Graytails, both male and female Purple Honeycreepers, Yellow-backed Tanager, and Scarlet-browed Tanagers, and Great Green, Red-and-green and Chestnut-fronted Macaws. Also, both Western Syristes and White-ringed Flycatchers were plentiful.
March 9, 2013: Birding into the Darien
While participating on an Birdwatching extension trip into the Darien, a strategic stop along the Pan-American highway, in the vicinity of the Tierra Nueva property was very productive. Among the species recorded were Yellow-breasted Flycatcher. Also noteworthy was a pair of copulating Plumbeous kites way up in a Cuipo tree.
Along the Chucunaque river en route to El Real, Black Oropendolas were seen. Late afternoon birding at El Real showcased a small flock of Blue Grosbeaks, as well as a couple of thousand migrating Turkey Vultures with both Broad-winged and Swainson's Hawks. They settled down in the trees near the airstrip for the night.
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