Monday, March 5, 2018

2018 Panama Journal - Day 2 - Part 2

2/11/18 Continued.

Our next stop was Bayano Lake (also Bayano Bridge and Bayano Road).

Bayano Lake and Bridge.

Birding on Bayano road.

Birds seen here were: Cocoi Heron, Osprey, Black-tailed Trogon, Crimson-backed Tanager, Banaquit, Common Tody-Flycatcher, Purple Gallinule, Zone-tailed Hawk, Bat Falcon, Yellow-green Vireo.

Cocoi Herons are a heron resembling our Great Blue Heron, but they are whiter and slightly larger. They are found throughout much of South America, but just barely make it into Eastern Panama.

Cocoi Heron

When you start to see Trogons you know that you are in the Tropics!

Black-tailed Trogan male

While we've seen plenty of Purple Gallinules in the coastal areas of the United States, we've never seen one feeding on bananas!!  Who knew?

Purple Gallinule in Banana Tree

Bat Falcons are about the same size as the American Kestrel which is common in the United States. While the Bat Falcon will take an occasional bat, their main food in this area is dragonflies. 

Bat Falcon

We were going to stop at the Rio Mona Bridge (Mona is monkey in Spanish) but there was another birding group there so we drove a little farther down the road.  It turned out to be a great site as we saw: Double-tooth Kite, Pied Puffbird, Bay-breasted Warbler, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Black-crowned Tityra, Great Crested Flycatcher, Rusty-margined Flycatcher, Long-billed Hermit, Orange-crowned Oriole, Chestnut-headed Oropendola, Plain-colored Tanager, Snowy-bellied Hummingbird,  Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet, Black Antshrike (H), White-tipped Dove, White-shouldered Tanager, Blue Cotinga (H), Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Blue Dacnis, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, White-eared Conebill, Blue Ground-Dove (H).  

We heard Howler Monkeys and saw many Azteca Ant nests.  Azteca Ants make their cone shaped nests in trees and have an interesting symbiosis with the trees that they colonize. The ants provide protection from other insects and herbivores, while the trees provide the ants food through nectar and food bodies that the tree produces.

 Azteca Ants.

Tityras are in the flycatcher family, and tend to sit way up in trees. The Black-crowned Tityra male has a black cap, while the female sports a brown cap.
Black-crowned Tityra male

Black-crowned Tityra female

We also saw a beautiful butterfly at this stop. We recognized it as being in the "Cracker" family, so named because the males make a cracking sounds with their wings as part of a display. It wasn't until we returned home that we identified it as a Red Cracker. Apparently the underside is red, though we never saw it. 

Red Cracker

After a light snack and refreshments we were back on the road. 

Taking a break.

Coke Sin Calorias (Diet Coke).

Next time:  Lunch at Hotel Portal Avicar.


  1. Wow. Nice pictures. What is the experience level of the other birders in your group?

    1. Highly variable. A few were very knowledgeable, a few more in the middle, and a few were not particularly familiar with the birds but were happy to be along.

  2. Great pictures. Wonderful trip. Are you in south texas?