A relaxing, week-long stay at the comfortable Canopy Lodge during raptor migration. Expect world class birding, excellent accommodations, and incredible views of wildlife and scenery.
Situated at the crossroads of Central and South America, Panamá’s unique shape acts as a natural funnel between the continents, concentrating migratory birds on a narrow strip of land during their long biannual journeys. Making use of thermals which form over land, migratory raptors gather in massive ‘kettles,’ numbering in the thousands, sometimes more, during peak migration. Much depends on weather conditions and wind, but when conditions are right the raptor migration can be nothing short of spectacular – over a million raptors have been recorded in a single day in this small Central American country!
Our week-long stay is planned during fall raptor migration, so we’ll take every opportunity to experience the spectacle to the fullest, and we hope to see a good diversity of both migratory and resident species. We’ll sort through hordes of southbound Broad-winged and Swainson’s Hawks for anything else we can find, from Zone-tailed and Short-tailed Hawks to Mississippi and Double-toothed Kites, and Black & Ornate Hawk-Eagles. White, Barred, and Savannah Hawks are regularly seen as well. Though a focus of our tour will certainly be on raptors, we will take full advantage of the Canopy Lodge’s convenient location and explore a number of other excellent hotspots from our base in El Valle. Here the fruit feeders attract Crimson-backed, Blue-gray, and Flame-rumped Tanagers, Rufous Motmot, and several species of warblers and tanagers, while many species of hummingbird buzz around the garden. Even a Gray-cowled Wood-Rail often makes an appearance at the feeding stations! When we are not watching the feeders, we will be exploring the nearby foothills and higher elevations for a variety of special targets including the beautiful Snowcap, Black Guan, Collared (Orange-bellied) Trogon, Brown-billed Scythebill, Black-crowned Antpitta, Rosy Thrush-tanager, Lance-tailed Manakin, the endemic Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker, and many, many more. If we are lucky, we may also see the rare and elusive Rufous-breasted Ground-Cuckoo, which is occasionally seen very near to the Lodge.
Join us and experience North America’s spectacular raptor migration in one of the best all-round birding locations in Central America!
Some of the birds we hope to see: Raptors - thousands of Broad-winged & Swainson’s Hawks and Turkey Vultures; Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Hawks (White, Zone-tailed, Roadside, Short-tailed, Gray-lined, White-tailed); Hawk-Eagles (Black and Ornate); Kites (White-tailed, Pearl, Double-toothed, Mississippi, Gray-headed); Forest-Falcons (Barred and potentially Collared); Falcons (Bat, Peregrine, Merlin, Aplomado, American Kestrel); Yellow-headed & Crested Caracaras.
Other birds we hope to see: Black Guan, Crested Bobwhite, Scaled Pigeon, Plain-breasted Ground-Dove, Purplish-backed Quail-Dove, Common Potoo, Hummingbirds (White-necked Jacobin, Rufous-breasted, Green, Long-billed, and Stripe-throated Hermits, Black-throated & Veraguan Mangos, Green Thorntail, Rufous-crested Coquette, Green-crowned Brilliant, Long-billed Starthroat, Purple-throated Mountain-Gem, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Snowcap, Snowy-bellied, Sapphire-throated, Violet-headed, Violet-bellied, and Blue-chested Hummingbirds); Gray-cowled Wood-Rail, Sunbittern, Rufous, Broad-billed, Tody, Lesson’s, and Whooping Motmots, Spot-crowned Barbet, Northern Emerald-Toucanet, Yellow-eared Toucanet, Stripe-cheeked, Crimson-crested, and Cinnamon Woodpeckers, Russet Antshrike, Spot-crowned Antvireo, Dull-mantled Antbird, Black-crowned Antpitta, Brown-billed Scythebill, Red-faced Spinetail, Lance-tailed, Velvety, White-ruffed, Rufous-browed Tyrannulet, Scale-crested and Pale-eyed Pygmy-Tyrants, Bran-colored & Tufted Flycatchers, Orange-billed Sparrow, and many tanagers (including Tawny-crested, Flame-rumped, Crimson-backed, Golden-hooded, Bay-headed, Emerald, Black-and-yellow) and many more.