Birding Factoids

944 species
in 59 families

11 endemics
64 endemics shared
only with Costa Rica
13 of the 21 species endemic to Central America are 
represented here
9 endangered species

Checklist of Panama BirdsConservation, Biodiversity and the EnvironmentRare Bird SightingsTours and GuidesEco-LodgesSpeciality BirdsPrint ResourcesMap and General Country Information
Join Steve Nanz on his Photo Safari to Panama.
Panama Specialities
Harpy Eagle - Panama National Bird - photo by Raul Arias de Para
Photo copyright Raul Arias de Para
Orange Billed Sparrow - Courtesy of the Panama Audubon Society
Photo copyright Panama Audubon Society
Royal Flycatcher - Courtesy of Panama Audubon Society
Photo copyright Panama Audubon Society
Great Tinamou - Photo by Raul Arias de Para
Photo copyright Raul Arias de Para
Orange-chinned Parakeet - Photo copyright Jean Coronel
Photo copyright Jean Coronel
Bridled Tern - Photo copyright Stefan Tewinkel
Photo copyright Stefan Tewinkel
Snowcap - Photo copyright Greg Lasley
Photo copyright Greg Lasley
Palm Tanager - Photo copyright Larry Master
Photo copyright Larry Master
Black Guan - ENDNGERED - Photo copyright Allen Chartier
Photo copyright Allen Chartier
Red-billed Scythebill - Courtesy of the Panama Audubon Society
Photo copyright Panama Audubon Society
Red-and-green Macaws - Photo copyright James Ownby
Photo copyright James Ownby
    ....Panama's National Parks, Flora, Fauna, & Wildlife - In a country 
      where the sun rises over the Pacific and sets in the Caribbean, you shuld have unusual expectations. You are unlikely to be disappointed. Panama has some of the most accessible rainforests and high altitude cloud forest on earth. In Panama, you will find more than 10,000 varieties of plants and more than 933 species of birds - more than can be found inall of North America and Europe combined - including some of the rarest on earth. See also Panama's Birds on the same website.
    ....The Panama Canal Rainforest Canopy Tower- Semaphore Hill
      is considered one of the best areas for birdwatching in Panama and from the Canopy Tower you can easily see birds that inhabit the uppermost layer of the forest and which are normally very hard to see. This is "birding without the chiggers". See the recent news announcement on CNN.
    ....Birdwatching in Panama - by Darién Montañez, Director of 
      Publications, Panama Audubon Society. The Republic of Panama, a tropical country with a large variety of easily accessible habitats, is a great place for an introduction to the birds of the American tropics. The total number of bird species found in Panama, about 950, is surprisingly large, especially when you consider the relatively small surface of the country. Some 150 of these are neotropical migrants that only occur in the country from September till April. This variety is partly explained by the fact that Panama is a land bridge between North and South America. Therefore, our resident avifauna is composed of a mix of birds from both North and South. 
    ....The Chiriqui Highlands - Panama - Primeval rainforests bedecked 
      with clouds, noisy, chattering birds flash brilliant iridescent colors as they dart about their daily chores, flowering epiphytes bloom en masse high above the forest floor while gurgling streams glisten and tumble hurriedly over great boulders in their dance towards the sea. This enchanted land is the Chiriqui Highlands, the part of the Cordillera Central that defines the northern border of the province of Chiriqui.
    ....Birding in Cana, Darien National Park - by Hernan Arauz. The pristine
      valley of Cana in the eastern slope of Pirre mountain range in Panama’s Darien National Park is, undoubtedly, the country’s most productive birdwatching site in terms of quantity and quality of avian sightings. It can also be regarded as one of the top 10 sites on the planet.
    ....Panama Ecotourism - More than 10,000 varieties
      of plants, and more then 1,000 species of birds. More than can be found in all of North America and Europe combined, including some of the rarest on Earth. Currently almost 24 percent of the total area is protected. There are 49 parks, reserves and refuges, including five national park less than two hours from Panama City.clickable map leads to key ecotourism sites in Panama.
    ....Panama Audubon Society - Endemic Bird Areas - Of the 920+
      species of birds found in Panama 94 are restricted-range species (those with a global range of less than 50,000 sq. km.); eleven of which are found only in this country.
    ....Panama's National Parks - includes brief
      descriptions of:
      • Altos de Campana National Park
      • Amistad National Park
      • Bastimentos Island National Marine Park
      • Cerro Hoya National Park
      • Coiba Island National Park
      • Chagres National Park
      • Darien National Park
      • El Cope National Park
      • Las Cruces Trail National Park
      • Metropolitan Nature Park
      • Portobelo National Park
      • Sarigua National Park
      • Soberania National Park
      • Volcan Baru National Park
    ....Darién National Park - Located in the
      province of Darien to the east of Santa Fe and the Gulf of San Miguel.
    ....Los Katíos National Park - Los Katíos forms a transfrontier protected 
      area with Panama's Darién National Park and World Heritage Site. More than 450 species of bird (representing respectively 25% and 50% of the avifauna of Colombia and Panama) have been recorded within the park.Los Katíos is located in north-west Colombia in the north of the Department of Chocó between the frontier with Panama and the west bank of the river Atrato. It also includes the swamps of Tumaradó to the east of this river and land between the Cacarica, Perancho and Peye rivers. 
    ....Panama - Directory of Wetlands of International Importance
      includes information on all Panama's Ramsar designated sites, including:
      • Golfo de Montijo
    ....Trip Report - Panama - by Jim Danzenbaker. This trip report is a
      summary of a birding trip to Panama from March 10 through March 20, 2000. I have birded in Panama three times before and this was a chance to reacquaint myself with the myriad of species found on Pipeline Road and the surrounding area. I went down to lead a four day tour for a birding company but decided to nestle the tour between four full birding days before and several days after.
    ....Birds observed in Panama, 24-28 March 2001, Mark and Cindy
      Lockwood. Part of John Girdley's BirdRours website. Cindy and I had a very enjoyable trip to Panama.  We spent the entire trip in central Panama, mostly within the former Canal Zone.  We stayed at the Canopy Tower for this trip and were very happy with the decision
    ....Trip Report - September 4-13 2000. By Cagan Sekercioglu. Between
      September 4-13 2000, I was in the Panama Canal area to present my paper on the effects of forest fragmentation on south Costa Rican insectivorous birds (see abstract) at the Mesoamerican Conservation Biology Conference. During and after the conference, I had a few days to bird in the famous Canal area, including Achiote road, Pipeline road, Cerro Azul/Jefe, Gamboa and Smithsonian research station on Barro Colorado Island. 
    ....Panama Trip Reports - a number of Panama trip reports are available
      from Blake Maybank's "Birding the Americas: Trip Report and Trip Planning Repository". 

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Rare Bird Alert

Canebreak Wren - Photo copyright Jean Coronel
Photo copyright Jean Coronel
        Check out the recent sightings on Darién Montañez's
Choose another continentAdd or change a URL

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Conservation, Biodiversity

and Environment

Slaty Spinetail - Photo copyright Jean Coronel
Photo copyright Jean Coronel
    ....El Chorogo Refuge, Panama - A conservation program for El Chorogo
      Wildlife refuge, the most significant remaining lowland forest block for bird conservation on Panama's western pacific slope. The area holds populations of the heavily-hunted Great Tinamou, Great Currasow, Crested Guan, and nine of the eleven bird species endemic to Panama's pacific lowlands. It is also an important stopover for neotropical migrants such as Golden-winged Warbler, and Baltimore Oriole. The program is being conducted by Panama Audubon Society and aims to establish the area as a formal wildlife reserve, set up a local management group, hire forest guards, develop a program of sustainable agriculture and reforestation, and run an education program for local schools. The project also aims to purchase land, and to hire a full-time coordinator. This project is also supported by the Amos Butler Audubon Society. To find out more about the Panama Audubon Society: 
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Tours and Guides

>>>>> A Birding Pal is not a paid guide, but someone who likes to help out of town visitors. You can become a Birding Pal today! Help someone to enjoy your local birding spots and find a pal to help you when you travel. Click here for Panama Birding Pals, or join to be a Birding Pal!
Agami Heron - Photo copyright Arthur Grosset
Photo copyright Arthur Grosset
Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon - Photo copyright Jean Coronel
Photo copyright Jean Coronel
Blue Cotinga - Photo by Raul Arras de Para
Photo copyright Raul Arias de Para
Steely-vented Hummingbird - Photo copyright Allen Chartier
Photo copyright Allen Chartier
    **..Birding Panama with Amazilia Tours - Panama, one of the
      most popular birding destinations in Latin America, like Costa Rica offers a great  diversity of habitats (from tropical rain forest to high altitude 'paramo').Due to its geographic location, this country is at the union of Central and South America, and thus contains the distribution limits of many different species. With a passion for birds and the experience acquired through exploring these regions for the past 15 years, Amazilia Tours offers you a trilingual guiding experience during your birding trip to the Neotropics. Good field knowledge is essential to maximize the number of observed bird species during the bird tour that you have chosen.
    **..Explore Panama with Ecocircuitos - Based in Panama City,
      EcoCircuitos Tours is the premier option for ecotourists and adventure travelers. We offer "circuit" tours- combining excursions, adventures and education program with the best nature areas and lodges in Panama. Home to over 900 recorded bird species, Panama offers exceptional opportunities in birdwatching. Discover Pipeline Road, Chagres Highland rainforest, Smithsonian's Barro Colorado Island, Chagres Lowland rainforest, and more…
    **..Panama Birding with Neotropical Journeys - The tours and programs
      offered by Neotropical Journeys are designed to visit destinations with rich avifaunas, outstanding wildlife, wilderness and cultural significance at their seasonal best. Neotropical Journeys is actively involved in regional and local conservation projects and organizes tours aimed to raise funds for bird and nature conservation. 
    **..Chiriqui Highlands with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours (VENT)
      Designed to complement the lowland birding in Central Panama, this extension to the cool highlands of Chiriqui Province in western Panama provides a chance to see a very different avifauna. Scenically attractive and pleasant in climate, the highlands of western Panama and Costa Rica are the only extensive mountains between northern Central America and the Colombian Andes. Because these highlands are so isolated, a high percentage of the birds present are endemics (species found nowhere else). 
      • Chiriqui Highlands - January 25 - January 31, 2002 (7.0 days - Limit 12) with leaders Jeff Gordon & Robert Ridgely
      • Chiriqui Highlands - February 7 - February 13, 2002 (7.0 days - Limit 12) with leaders Jeff Gordon & Robert Ridgely
    **..Panama: Canopy Tower with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours (VENT)
      • Panama's Canopy Tower - January 19 - January 26, 2002 (8.0 days - Limit 14) with leaders Jeff Gordon & Tony Nunnery
      • Panama's Canopy Tower - February 01 - February 08, 2002 (8.0 days - Limit 14) with leaders Victor Emanuel & Barry Zimmer
      • Panama's Canopy Tower - February 12 - February 19, 2002 (8.0 days - Limit 14) with leaders Victor Emanuel & Barry Zimmer
      There are many more of these trips to the Canopy Tower each year - check the index for more dates....

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Tropical Screech-Owl - Photo copyright Alex Earnshaw
Photo copyright Alex Earnshaw

Crested Bob-white - Photo copyright Arthur Grosset

Photo copyright Arthur Grosset
    **..Panama Canal Rainforest Canopy Tower - This tree-top viewing facility 
      is developing  accomodations for serious birders who want to explore Panama's diverse birdlife. 
    **..Birder's View, Cerro Azul - Birders' View is a lodge for birders and 
      other nature enthusiasts inside Chagres National Park in the Republic of Panama. It is surrounded by 10 acres of forests and gardens near the top of Cerro Azul. From the backyard you can see much of the well-forested watershed of the Chagres River, the main source of water for the Panama Canal. Far in the distance and on a clear day, the sun can be seen shining off the Caribbean Sea. 
    **..Sierra Llorona Lodge - In the middle of the Trolpical Rain Forest 
      Jungle offering comfortable facilities with complete rooms, private bathrooms, hot water, ceiling fan, private balcony with hammock, walking paths and trails in a 200 hectare of private reserve, with the posibility of swimming at La Poza surrounded by nature. You will be 45 minutes from the city of Panamá, 15 minutes from the city of Colon, 40 minutes from Achiote Road or 45 from Pipeline. Meals, transportation and Guides for Birding, Historical and Cultural Tours are available. Contact Gonzalo Horna at   phone (507) 638-9557 or (507)442-8104
    **..Hostal Cielito Sur Bed & Breakfast - Nueva Suiza, Cerro Punta,
      Chiriqui, Panama. Hostal Cielito Sur Bed & Breakfast is a quiet, private, country estate inn on 2½ hectares at an altitude of 1,600 mts. Surrounded by trees, gardens, fruit & coffee orchards, the estate is a natural bird sanctuary nestled in the rustic landscape of the Chiriqui highlands. It’s conveniently located between the towns of Cerro Punta and Volcan, offering easy access to both the Volcan Baru National Park & the International Friendship Park. Panama is a bird watcher's haven, there's over 929 bird species in Panama, and over 500 of these can be found in the Chiriqui province! Birding is good year round. 

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Central American Specialities in Panama

White-throated Mountain-gem - Photo copyright Richard Garrigues
Photo copyright Richard Garrigues
Information on endemics and specialities is derived from Sibley & Monroe checklists and bird distribution lists in Thayer's Birder's Diary - Version 2.5. Information on endangered birds is derived from the IUCN Red List, Birdlife International, and supporting data bases developed by Ian Patton, of Merlin Species Watcher.  The endemic, endangered and speciality birds may be uncommon, extremely rare vagrants, may be extirpated in the country now or may only be present in migration. However, documented sightings of each species noted below have been made in Panama. 
Yellow-crowned Euphonia - Photo copyright Richard Garrigues
Photo copyright Richard Garrigues

Panama Endemics
Check out Darién Montañez's site for more information on Endemic Bird Areas and Endemic Birds in Panama

___ Beautiful Treerunner
___ Brown-backed Dove
___ Coiba Spinetail
___ Glow-throated Hummingbird
___ Green-naped Tanager
___ Pirre Bush-Tanager
___ Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker
___ Tacarcuna Tapaculo
___ Veraguas Mango
___ Yellow-green Finch
___ Yellow-green Tyrannulet
Endemics Shared Only by Panama and Costa Rica

___ Baird's Trogon
___ Bare-necked Umbrellabird
___ Black Guan
___ Black-and-Yellow Silky
___ Black-and-Yellow Tanager
___ Black-bellied Hummingbird
___ Black-billed 
___ Black-breasted Wood-Quail
___ Black-capped Flycatcher
___ Black-cheeked Warbler
___ Black-faced Solitaire
___ Black-hooded Antshrike
___ Black-thighed Grosbeak
___ Blue-and-gold Tanager
___ Buff-fronted Quail-Dove
___ Charming Hummingbird
___ Chiriqui Yellowthroat
___ Collared Redstart
___ Dark Pewee
___ Dusky Nightjar
___ Fiery-billed Aracari
___ Fiery-throated Hummingbird ___ Flame-throated Warbler
___ Garden Emerald
___ Golden-bellied Flycatcher
___ Golden-browed Cholophonia
___ Grey-tailed Mountain-Gem
___ Large-footed Finch
___ Lattice-tailed Trogon
___ Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher
___ Magenta-throated Woodstar
___ Ochraceous Pewee
___ Ochraceous Wren
___ Orange-bellied Trogon
___ Peg-billed Finch
___ Prong-billed Barbet
___ Red-fronted Parrotlet
___ Riverside Wren
___ Ruddy Treerunner
___ Rufous-breasted Quail-Dove
___ Scintillant Hummingbird
___ Silvery-fronted Tapaculo
___ Silvery-throated Jay
___ Slaty Flower-piercer
___ Snowy-breasted Hummingbird
___ Sooty Thrush
___ Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager
___ Spangle-cheeked Tanager
___ Spot-crowned Euphonia
___ Streak-breasted Treehunter
___ Sulphur-rumped Tanager
___ Sulphur-winged Parakeet
___ Tawny-chested Flycatcher
___ Timberline Wren
___ Turqouise Cotinga
___ Volcano Hummingbird
___ Volcano Junco
___ White-bellied Mountain-Gem
___ White-crested Coquette
___ White-tailed Emerald
___ Wrenthrush
___ Yellow-billed Cotinga
___ Yellow-thighed Finch
___ Yellow-winged Vireo
Central American Endemic Specialities in Panama

___ Black-throated Wren
___ Crimson-fronted Parakeet
___ Nicaraguan Seed-Finch
___ Purple-throated Mountain-gem
___ Rufous-winged Woodpecker
___ Snowcap
___ Snowy Cotinga
___ Streak-crowned Antvireo
___ Stripe-breasted Wren
___ Three-wattled Bellbird
___ White-throated Mountain-gem
___ White-throated Shrike-Tanager
___ Yellow-crowned Euphonia

Endangered Birds in Panama
(endemics are printed in bold italic)

Breeding Birds

Non-breeding Birds
___ Bare-necked Umbrellabird
___ Choco Tinamou
___ Glow-throated Hummingbird
___ Military Macaw
___ Speckled Antshrike
___ Three-wattled Bellbird
___ Turquoise Cotinga
___ Yellow-billed Cotinga
___ Yellow-green Finch

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Print and Other Resources on Birds

and Birding in Panama

(logos and links take you to on-line locations where you can order/purchase these resources)
AMAZON.COM is the registered trademark of, Inc.
A small portion of your purchase price for any books purchased by following links from this site will go toward supporting the maintenance and development costs of this site.
Slaty-tailed Trogon - Photo copyright Richard Garrigues
Photo copyright Richard Garrigues
    ....A Guide to the Birds of Panama : With Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and
      Honduras - by Robert S. Ridgely, John A. Gwynne (Contributor). Paperback 2nd edition (August 1992).  Revised and expanded edition of a marvelous field guide to some 1,000 species in this rich and varied (and threatened) region. About 850 of the species are illustrated, most on 48 color plates, of which 19 were newly prepared for their edition. 
    ....Travel & Site Guide to Birds of Costa Rica With Side Trips to Panama
      by Aaron D. Sekerak, Elissa Conger (Illustrator). Paperback - 256 pages (December 1996) This is not a birding field guide, but a helpful guide to quite a few Costa Rica birding sites. Very good descriptions of sites included (including some information not available elsewhere) but many other places were not covered. The author's assessments are useful. Supplements other guides.

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Links checked October 15, 2001