On Friday morning we headed to Mata Ahogado. On the way there, we saw this Yellow-headed caracara on a wall. Our guide stopped the truck and Doug quickly took this picture out of the open window.


The truck dropped us at the top of this hill and we “birded the road.” Downhill was easy walking, but we wondered how we would feel walking back up. But like always, we were well taken care of. We were travelling in two trucks, so the driver of the second truck drove to the bottom of the hill, then walked back up for the other truck. He continued leap-frogging all morning, so we never had to backtrack.


The hills were so steep that the truck used four-wheel drive to go up the paved road. This caution sign warned of steep uphill.


We were rewarded with a view of this Crimson-crested woodpecker. Notice its white V on its back.


This Squirrel cuckoo was in a tree nearby. They seamed to move like a squirrel up tree branches searching for insects.


Almost every home we passed had fruit trees. This Red-crested woodpecker was enjoying an overripe banana.


We got a good look at a Yellow-bellied elaenia, which is a kind of flycatcher.


That afternoon the group went to Cerro Gaital National Monument, which protects 335 hectares of mature cloud forest.

This Orange-bellied trogon was kind enough to stay still until everyone had a good view.


And there was no worry that this Three-toed sloth was going anywhere quickly. This sloth actually has green algae growing on it, which helps it blend in even better.


For our last whole day of birding, we went even higher into the hills than we had been. There was a gated community called Altos del Maria. We saw a few homes and plenty of building sites for sale. This was the second gatehouse that we had to pass through. We needed special permission to bird-watch here.


Our guide, Moyo, knew this was a good area to see an antpitta, so we set ourselves up and waited.


And we were rewarded with a view of a Streak-chested antpitta. The photo below was taken through the scope, because there was such a small window between the branches to be able to see it. That’s why it’s on an angle.


The rainforest flora was almost as interesting as the birds. Wendy probably has fifty photos of trees, ferns and various plants, all taken for their beauty without a thought of identification. We wanted to include at least one.


Here’s a photo of a Broad-billed motmot. We’ve included a photo of one of these birds in an earlier post, but this photo shows its fancy feathered tail better.


The area was right on the continental divide. We walked along a section of the 2.5 km paved Transcontinental Biodiversity Path. It was in a very humid tropical forest that received high rainfall (40-60 cm per year).


Here’s our group, “on a bird.”


Perhaps it was this juvenile Green-heron.


Our guide knew that a Crimson-bellied woodpecker was nesting near to the trail. He knew roughly where it was but it still took some time to find it. This photo is a little grainy because we were a distance away. It was a good find, because the bird is quite rare.


The next morning, after a leisurely start, we were driven back to Panama City. Gretchen and Bob were staying in the same hotel that we stayed at in Casco Viejo. Here’s a view of Casco Viejo from the causeway.


 We spent a night in a hotel right by the airport and flew back to Canada the next morning.

Now, we’re back at our place in Arizona and the land of the cactus. New blog coming soon.


One thought on “Birding in Panama – 6

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