NYC Audubon


Brooklyn Bird Club


     Long Pond Greenbelt
Date:  March 11-17, 2009

Location:  Panama

Reported by: Joe Giunta

Our group consisted of Joe, Debbie, Lana, Mary Jane, Jim, Jill, Joyce and Arnie. Except for Joe, our leader, it was the first
time anyone had been to Panama. It was also the first time that New York City Audubon had ever sponsored a trip outside
of the United States. The trip was hugely successful with a total of 166 species of birds being seen by most members of the
group. At the end of the trip it was wished that we could have stayed longer and just enjoyed the wildlife, venues, food, and
friendships that were made on the trip. A slide presentation of the trip can be found at

March 11: Our Continental Airways flight, out of Newark/Liberty Airport, took off at the scheduled time of 5pm (EDT) and
arrived at Tocuman Airport, Panama City at 8:40pm (EST), 20 minutes ahead of schedule. We were greeted at the airport by
our guide, Jacobo Ortega, who took us to the first of our three hotels, La Estancia B&B, in downtown Panama City. Jacobo
would remain with us for the next seven days.

March 12: We had breakfast at La Estancia and did some birding from the veranda of the hotel. They had many seed and
fruit feeders for birds to come to and for us to watch and enjoy.  We started out for our first birding venue, which was
Plantation Road, about five miles from the hotel. Some of the key birds seen at this stop included Blacked-tailed Trogon,
Slaty-tailed Trogon, Black-throated Trogon and Crimson-crested Woodpecker. We also had very nice views of a troop of
Howler Monkeys. I particularly liked the Golden-crowned Spadebill and Southern Bentbill which were both clearly seen by
the members of our group. After a few hours of birding we went to Niko’s Café in downtown Panama City for lunch. After
lunch some of us went back to the hotel while others made an afternoon of birding in Metropolitan Park, a 500-acre park
also in Panama City. Some key birds at this venue included many North American migrants like Chestnut-sided warbler,
Black-and-white warbler, and Summer Tanager. Panamanian birds that put on a show were Green Honeycreeper, Blue
Dacnis and Red-legged Honeycreeper. Dinner was at Mi Ranchito, a lovely spot on an island in the Pacific Ocean.

March 13: After breakfast we left La Estancia and headed for the Caribbean city of Colon. On the way we birded an area
known as Pedro Miguel Town.  At this location we saw Blue-crowned Motmot, Gray Hawk and overhead migrating Broad-
winged Hawks and Swainson’s Hawks. Back in the van and on our way again to Colon we passed the very impressive
Madden Dam and hydroelectric plant. We checked into the Colon Radisson, had lunch at the Washington Hotel, and then
made a visit to the Panama Canal at Gaton Locks. We stayed in the observation area and watched a ship pass through the
canal. After the canal visit it was back to birding and we were on our way to Fort San Lorenzo. On the way special birds that
we spotted were American Pygmy Kingfisher and White-tailed Trogon. The Fort was built in the sixteenth century by the
Spanish explorers and is located at the mouth of the Chagres River and the Caribbean Sea. Special birds seen here were
the Chestnut-mandibled Toucan and the Crested Oropendola.  In a tree right next to the fort was a Three-toed Sloth and
more Howler Monkeys. We ate dinner at a local fish restaurant and we spent the night in the Radisson.

March 14: After an excellent breakfast at the Radisson, we were on our way to bird Achiote Road, one of the premier birding
spots in Panama. We saw many species along Achiote road,where some of the special birds were: White Hawk, Crane Hawk,
White-headed Wren, Pied-Puffbird and a good view of both male and female Blue Cotinga. We also saw a Violaceous
Trogon, which was the fifth species of trogon seen on the trip. Next to the road was an area where shade-grown coffee was
grown. We saw workers harvesting the coffee as we continued to bird. Also very interesting to see was a troop of Geoffrey’s
Tamarin Monkeys. They are squirrel-sizes monkeys known for their beautiful facial patterns.  We stopped at a roadside
café for lunch and were treated to an excellent Panamanian lunch of chicken, rice and beans and a drink for the cost of
about $3.50 per person. We left this area and headed towards Panama City and our final hotel, the Gamboa Rainforest
Resort. The Gamboa is a spectacular hotel with a lobby that must be four stories high and fantastic views of the Chagres
River at Lake Gatun. The hotel is surrounded by 300 acres of its own rainforest. We had dinner at the Gamboa and prepared
for our next day of birding.

March 15: After a 6:30 breakfast at the Gamboa we were on our way to bird one of the best venues in the Americas, Pipeline
Road.  First we stopped at the ‘ammo dump’, an area where explosives used to clear blockages in the canal are stored. There
we found a Rufescent Tiger-Heron on a nest. Other interesting birds at this area were Snail Kite and Black-striped
Sparrow. Ten minutes later we were at Pipeline Road. The road gets its name from a pipeline built during World War Two
to bring oil from one coast of Panama to the other in case the Canal was ever shut down. The road was actually a service
road for this pipeline.  Some of the great birds that we saw were White-whiskered Puffbird, Slaty-Antshrike, Chestnut-
backed Antbird, Blue Ground-Dove, Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher and Long-billed Gnatwren. We walked and birded the road for
about four hours. When lunch time came we returned to the Gamboa and had lunch at their deck restaurant with views of
the Panama Canal. It was very nice to see ships moving by as we had lunch. Many Purple Gallinules and Wattled Jacanas
were located right next to our lunchtime deck.  After lunch and a short siesta we were out birding again, this time searching
for birds on the grounds of the Gamboa. Some interesting birds that we spotted were: Keel-billed Toucan, Barred
Antshrike, Collared Aracari, Bright-rumped Attila and the most spectacular view ever of an adult male Blue Cotinga. We
had dinner at the Gamboa and also spent the night.

March 16: Again we were out early, this time birding first and then having breakfast. We again were birding the grounds of
the Gamboa. Some new species such as Cinnamon Becard and Great Antshrike were seen.  After breakfast we took a canoe
trip to the Embera Indian village. At the village we saw the indigenous people who inhabit the island and were told about
their history in the area. Back to the hotel for a short siesta and we were out again for one more time of birding. We added
more species such as Golden-hooded Tanager, White-lined Tanager and some North American migrants such as Northern
Waterthrush and Spotted Sandpiper. We had dinner at the Gamboa where we were joined by Jacobo and his lovely wife
Mellie. Overnight again at the Gamboa . Tomorrow, we were headed back to New York.

March 17: Jacobo picked us up at 7am and we were on our way back to the airport. We returned on the 9:55 Continental
flight and touched down at Newark/Liberty airport about 4pm, right on schedule.


~ in Panama ~ 166 seen

Brown Pelican


Magnificent Frigatebird

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Tricolored Heron

Little Blue Heron

Snowy Egret

Cattle Egret

Green Heron

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

Rufescent Tiger-Heron

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture


Snail Kite

Double-toothed Kite

Plumbeous Kite

Crane Hawk

White Hawk

Gray Hawk

Broad-winged Hawk

Swainson's Hawk

White-tailed Hawk

Yellow-headed Caracara

Bat Falcon

Gray-headed Chachalaca

Purple Gallinule

Common Moorhen

Wattled Jacana

Southern Lapwing

Spotted Sandpiper

Royal Tern

Rock Pigeon

Pale-vented Pigeon

Ruddy Ground-Dove

Blue Ground-Dove

White-tipped Dove

Orange-chinned Parakeet

Blue-headed Parrot

Red-lored Parrot

Mealy Parrot

Greater Ani

Smooth-billed Ani


Short-tailed Swift

Western Long-tailed Hermit

White-necked Jacobin

Black-throated Mango

Violet-bellied Hummingbird

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

Blue-chested Hummingbird

Snowy-bellied Hummingbird

White-tailed Trogon

Violaceous Trogon

Black-throated Trogon

Black-tailed Trogon

Slaty-tailed Trogon

Ringed Kingfisher

Amazon Kingfisher

Green Kingfisher

American Pygmy Kingfisher

Blue-crowned Motmot

Broad-billed Motmot

Black-breasted Puffbird

Pied Puffbird

White-whiskered Puffbird

Collared Aracari

Keel-billed Toucan

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan

Black-cheeked Woodpecker

Red-crowned Woodpecker

Cinnamon Woodpecker

Crimson-crested Woodpecker

Plain Xenops

Plain-brown Woodcreeper

Olivaceous Woodcreeper

Cocoa Woodcreeper

Black-striped Woodcreeper

Great Antshrike

Barred Antshrike

Western Slaty-Antshrike

White-flanked Antwren

Dot-winged Antwren

Chestnut-backed Antbird

Black-faced Antthrush

Blue Cotinga

Purple-throated Fruitcrow

Golden-collared Manakin

Blue-crowned Manakin

Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet

Yellow-bellied Elaenia

Southern Bentbill

Common Tody-Flycatcher

Olivaceous Flatbill

Yellow-olive Flycatcher

Golden-crowned Spadebill

Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher

Black-tailed Flycatcher

Bright-rumped Attila

Panama Flycatcher

Great Kiskadee

Boat-billed Flycatcher

Rusty-margined Flycatcher

Social Flycatcher

White-ringed Flycatcher

Streaked Flycatcher

Piratic Flycatcher

Tropical Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird

Fork-tailed Flycatcher

Cinnamon Becard

Masked Tityra

Black-crowned Tityra

Gray-breasted Martin

Mangrove Swallow

Southern Rough-winged Swallow

White-headed Wren

Bay Wren

Plain Wren

Buff-breasted Wren

House Wren

Song Wren

Tropical Mockingbird

Clay-colored Robin

Long-billed Gnatwren

Red-eyed Vireo

Yellow Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

Northern Waterthrush

White-shouldered Tanager

White-lined Tanager

Summer Tanager

Flame-rumped Tanager

Crimson-backed Tanager

Blue-gray Tanager

Palm Tanager

Thick-billed Euphonia

Plain-colored Tanager

Golden-hooded Tanager

Blue Dacnis

Green Honeycreeper

Red-legged Honeycreeper

Variable Seedeater

Yellow-bellied Seedeater

Saffron Finch

Black-striped Sparrow

Streaked Saltator

Buff-throated Saltator

Black-headed Saltator

Blue-black Grosbeak

Red-breasted Blackbird

Great-tailed Grackle

Giant Cowbird

Yellow-backed Oriole

Yellow-tailed Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

Orchard Oriole

Yellow-billed Cacique

Yellow-rumped Cacique

Scarlet-rumped Cacique

Crested Oropendola

Chestnut-headed Oropendola

Montezuma Oropendola

Species seen - 166