Travis Audubon - Birding Panama's Canopy Tower and Darien Camp - with Laurie Foss - 8 nts
Panama Tropical Birding Tour with Travis Audubon and Laurie Foss
- Pace - lots of walking, hot and humid weather
- 9 days/8 nights
- 2016: Feb 13-21 - Travis Audubon FULL
- $3800 per person in double room, $4550 per single . Based on 8 paying passengers
- $3600 per person in double room, $4245 per single. Based on 10 paying passengers
The Canopy Tower is located in impressive rainforest atop Semaphore Hill within Soberanía National Park, 35 miles north of Panamá City. The structure is quite unique; it is a re-purposed radar tower turned boutique eco-lodge! The Canopy Tower is a prime location from which to observe the birds and other wildlife of the forest canopy. Because the birds and mammals are at eye level, it is common to get fantastic views otherwise nearly impossible from the ground. Tanagers and Tityras can be seen right from your window. The dining area and the roof of the tower are better for finding elusive canopy birds, as well as Mantled Howlers, Geoffroy's Tamarins and other mammals and birds, as you can scan in all directions. We will spend two nights at the Canopy Tower.
Areas to visit:
The Observation Deck, 50 feet above the ground, gives guests a grand view of the canopy and beyond. Here, you get a unique eye-level perspective of the rainforest canopy. Many birds, including toucans, parrots, tanagers of various types, hawks, and dozens of others, as well as 2 species of sloths, monkeys and other mammals are commonly seen. From this vantage point you can also see ships transiting the Panama Canal, the majestic Centennial Bridge and miles of rainforest! You may also want to watch the hummingbird feeders at the base of the Tower for Long-billed Hermit, White-necked Jacobin, Violet-bellied & Blue-chested hummingbirds and White-vented Plumeleteer. Occasionally, a Snowy-bellied Hummingbird is spotted!
Semaphore Hill Road. This winding, shady paved road, festooned on the shoulders by wildflowers of many types, is a little more than a mile long and crosses a large creek about half-way down. The bird list here is extensive, and includes birds from the forest interior as well as edge-dwellers. Olivaceous Flatbill, Plain Xenops, Lesser Greenlet, Black-breasted & White-whiskered puffbirds, Fasciated & Black-crowned (formerly Western Slaty) antshrikes, Slate-colored Grosbeak, Bay-headed & White-shouldered tanagers, Black-throated Trogon, Broad-billed & Rufous motmots and Great Jacamar may be found. Great Tinamou is often heard, but harder to find. This road is also great for raptors—White, Tiny & Great Black hawks have been seen.
Pipeline Road, the best place in Central Panama to find forest birds, and one of the premier birding spots in the world! We will look for Greater Ani, Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Yellow-tailed Oriole, Masked Tityra, Rosy Thrush-Tanager, Plain Wren, Streaked Flycatcher, Red-throated Ant-Tanager, Squirrel Cuckoo, Gray-headed Chachalaca, Southern Bentbill, Forest Elaenia, Panama Flycatcher, Blue Ground-Dove and Little Tinamou. Other birds recorded here are Black-bellied & Buff-breasted wrens, Golden-collared Manakin, White-necked Puffbird, Gartered, Slaty-tailed, Black-throated, White-tailed & Black-tailed trogons, Purple-crowned Fairy, Yellow Tyrannulet, White-bellied & Dusky antbirds, Fasciated & Black-crowned antshrikes.
Darién, as this entire eastern-most region of Panama is called, is perhaps the most diverse and species-rich region of Central America. Long coveted by avid birders as an impenetrable haven for rare species, this region is now readily accessible by a highway extending through the spine of Panama right into the heart of this bird-rich land. During this exciting 8-night adventure, we visit, en route to the Canopy Camp, the Bayano Reservoir, to look for such specialties as the starkly beautiful Black Antshrike, Rufous-winged Antwren and stunning Orange-crowned Oriole. We also visit the swampy meadows along the Panamerican Highway, the haunts of the magnificent Spot-breasted Woodpecker! We will enjoy great birding through the mature secondary forests, tranquil lagoons and riversides of this region, where we hope to get excellent views of Stripe-throated Wren, Black-collared Hawk, Black-capped Donacobius, Yellow-hooded Blackbird, Large-billed Seed-Finch and others.
Accommodations: 2 nights Canopy Tower (single at Canopy Tower is a small room and shared bath) , 5 nights tented camp in Darien, private bath, hot water, all very comfortable, 1 night Riande Airport Hotel
Included: 8 nights lodging, all transportation, all meals from dinner on February 13 through breakfast on February 21, basic tips for lodge staff, services of local bilingual bird guide, escorted by Laurie Foss of JB Journeys, a donation to Travis Audubon Society
Not included: International airfare to Panama City, alcoholic beverages, gratuities for bird guides (Laurie Foss and Panamanian guides), gratuities at Riande (meals, maid, driver)