Our Budget Panama birding tour is a joy, as long travel days and arduous hikes are not necessary. We spend several days at Canopy Tower in the Canal Zone, allowing us an unrivalled opportunity to explore the rainforests of Soberanía National Park. These exquisite forest and wetland sites provide diverse birding, while mammal opportunities are excellent. Pipeline Road, Ammo Dump Ponds and the tower itself are among the most famous birding sites in Panama. The diversity and quality of birds and birding in the area very near to the Panamanian Capital makes this area perhaps the most convenient and fruitful birding anywhere in Latin America. Some 350 species can be found within a 30-mile radius of the city! We then head to the delightful hill country of El Valle de Antón where we explore cloudforest and the Caribbean slope and a new range of mouth-watering Panama birding species!
Panamanian Tyrannulet, Veraguan Mango, Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker, Rufous-vented Ground Cuckoo, Blue Cotinga, Rosy Thrush-Tanager, Great & Little Tinamous, Keel-billed and Chestnut-mandibled Toucans, Collared Aracari, Yellow-eared Toucanet, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Spot-crowned Barbet, Black-eared Wood Quail, Fasciated, Russet & Black-crowned Antshrikes, Red-capped, White-ruffed, Lance-tailed, Blue-crowned & Golden-collared Manakins, Broad-billed and Rufous Motmots, White-whiskered & White-necked Puffbird, Spotted, Dusky, Bicolored, Ocellated & White-bellied Antbird, Black-faced Antthrush, Dot-winged, White-flanked, Slaty, Moustached & Checker-throated Antwrens, Red-lored & Northern Mealy Amazons, Blue-headed & Brown-hooded Parrots, Slaty-tailed, White-tailed Trogon, Black-bellied Wren, White-breasted Wood Wren, Crimson-crested and Lineated Woodpeckers, Scaled, Black-crowned and Streak-chested Antpittas, Bay-headed, Speckled and Black-and-yellow Tanagers, Green Shrike-Vireo, Black-chested Jay, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Southern Bentbill, White-winged Becard, Northern & Russet-winged Schiffornis, Northern Barred Woodcreeper, Speckled Mourner, Spot-crowned Antvireo, Black-and-white & Ornate Hawk-Eagles, Crested Owl, Barred Forest Falcon, Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, Spotted Barbtail, Black Guan, White Hawk, Red-faced Spinetail, Ochraceous Wren, White-vented Euphonia. Hummingbird fans: Rufous-crested Coquette, White-tipped Sicklebill, Band-tailed Barbthroat, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Green Thorntail, Violet-capped, Violet-headed & Snowy-bellied Hummingbirds, Green Hermit, White-tailed Emerald, Green-crowned Brilliant, Purple-throated Mountaingem, Snowcap. Top Mammals
Mantled Howler Monkey, White-faced Capuchin, Ocelot, sloths Habitats Covered
rainforest, cloudforest, marshes, rivers Expected Climate
mostly tropical conditions; warm and humid Max Group Size
8 with 1 local birding leader Tour Pace & Walking
mostly relaxed pace with some longer hikes Accommodation
very comfortable Ease of Birding
moderate with some tricky species Number of Species Expected
260+ Other Attractions
Panama Canal, pristine rainforest Photographic Opportunities
I really enjoyed the tour. Guides were knowledgeable and helpful, the group dynamics were good and - most importantly, we saw loads of exciting birds. I would undoubtedly have missed many species without the expert guidance and knowledge of Tuomas Seimola and the team.
Rich Lindie was an excellent guide and he really tried hard to find something interesting in the poor birding areas.
Eliecer Rodriguez was a wonderful guide. Of primary concern, he knew the birds--their vocalizations, their habits, their microhabitats--extremely well. He could imitate most of their vocalizations and knew how they would appoach, and could help folks with weaker skills "get on the bird". He showed patience with the participants, the birds, and the weather etc., was consistently cheerful and helped to maintain a positive mood in the group. The more difficult species seemed to be his specialty. For example, we saw 17 species of "antbirds" (thamnophilids), plus an antthrush and two antpittas and, the " mega" of the trip, two different Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoos, miles apart on two different days. Wow! He knew the other vertebrates well too. He didn't miss a beat.
Having Rich Lindie as the Rockjumper guide was a "known commodity", as he was our guide for our Kenya & Tanzania trip in 2015. We have found Rich to be an excellent guide with undoubted birding skills, but also excellent people skills.
First let me just say that the tour was excellent, the birding sites were interesting, the pace was perfect, Rob and both local guides were amazing. Top marks.