Monday, March 12, 2018

2018 Panama Journal - Day 3 - Part 1

Monday 2/12/18

We had a hot, restless night.  No air conditioning and high humidity made it rather uncomfortable.  We were glad when morning finally arrived!  

We awoke to Howler Monkeys roaring in the distance.  It’s really a great sound when you’re in the jungle.  Along with the monkeys, it seems that squawking parrots will be our wake-up call!

Red-lored Parrots

While Mark was getting ready I heard a lot of crashing trees and limbs outside.  I grabbed my camera and walked out on our deck.  There were Geoffroy’s Tamarin Monkeys jumping through the banana trees right at the edge of our deck.

 Tamarin sitting on a very large banana leaf.

The jungle comes up to the edge of our raised deck.  There are different kinds of trees and lots of banana plants.  This one hangs over the corner of the deck.

We could reach up and pick a banana right off our deck!

After breakfast at 6:30 the plan for the morning was to bird around the camp.  Considering we had been riding in a van for 8 hours yesterday, I thought that walking around this morning sounded like a great idea.

 Our group of 14.

I did not find any information that indicated how many acres the Camp is on but I did find that it’s next to the protected forest of the Filo del Tallo Hydrological Reserve (65,000 acres).

The Camp is powered by solar and we walked to the area of the solar panels.

Solar panels in the jungle.

We walked around the grounds and down the road coming into the camp.  

Colorful birds called Thick-billed Euphonia are common around the camp. We also saw a couple of Yellow-crowned Euphonia. Can you tell the difference?

Thick-billed Euphonia

Yellow-crowned Euphonia

One of the "target birds" for our trip was the Spot-breasted Woodpecker. While fairly common in parts of South America, they barely make it into Central America, and only in the Darien region of Panama. 

 Spot-breasted Woodpecker

Spot-breasted Woodpecker

Speaking of woodpeckers, we also got great looks at Cinnamon and Lineated Woodpeckers.

Cinnamon Woodpecker

Lineated Woodpecker

Far overhead we watched a huge King Vulture soaring.  Someday one will come down low enough for a decent picture.  Until then, this will have to do!

King Vulture

We saw more Geoffroy’s Tamarin Monkeys, heard Howler Monkeys, saw a Red-tailed Squirrel and a House Gecko.

Geoffroy's Tamarins on feeding table

Carlos was working hard to find the birds.

Our guide, Carlos.

Even the trees were interesting!

We even found a hornet nest attached to an Azteca Ant nest...

Today's bird list will be at the end of Part 3.

Next time:  Hop, fly and shimmy.  The dance kings of the Panama rainforest.



  1. On the Euphonia question, I can't tell the difference. I assumed the names would help with the distinction, but they still looked the same to me. One had a white tail feather, but a leaf hide the tail feather on the other one, so maybe they both had white in the tail area.

    1. The most obvious (but still not obvious) difference is that the Yellow-crowned Euphonia has blue chin and throat, while the Thick-bill has yellow.

  2. Don't you just love bird identification!

  3. That is why you guys are professionals!