Birdwatching: Hummingbirds

Panama’s birds are not shy.  Depending on the season, location and luck you can expect to see many different species in one day.   Of all the vast variety of bird species in Panama, the hummingbirds are of our favorite.  There are more than three hundred species of hummingbirds in Panama constituting the family Trochilidae, many of which have romantic names, such as the green-crowned brilliant, the purple-throated mountain gem and some other with more beautiful names.   The fiery-throated hummingbird, for example is a glossy green, shimmering iridescent at close range, with a dark blue tail, violet-blue chest, glittering coppery orange throat, and brilliant blue crown set off by velvety black on the sides and back of the head.  Some males take their glamorous plumage one step further and are bedecked with long streamer tails and iridescent mustaches, beards and visors.

These little, high-speed animals are so named because of the hum made by the beat of their wings; at up to one hundred beats per second, the hummingbird’s wings move so rapidly that they are often undetectable by the naked eye.  Hummingbirds are often seen hovering next to flowers, from which they extract nectar and insects with their long, hollow, and extensile tongues forked at the tip.  Alone among birds, they can generate power on both the forward and backward wing strokes, a distinction that allows them to fly backwards.

Hummingbirds are loners and they bond with the opposite sex only for the few seconds it takes to mate.  Many, such as the fiery-throated hummingbird, are violently territorial.  With luck, you might witness an impressive aerial fight between males defending their territories.   Come to Panama for birdwatching this season!  Contact us for more information at info@ecocircuitos.com

 

 

 

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New Birding Tour in Bocas del Toro

Tranquilo Bay is ready to announce the addition of guided birding trips on the Western Caribbean Slope to their excursions.

Tranquilo Bay has been birding the Western Caribbean Slope for many years and in 2008 hired two full time biologist, that combined have 16 years of experience working in the Province of Bocas del Toro.
birding tours panama
In western Panama the Caribbean Slope of the Talamanca mountain range, Tranquilo Bay’s back yard, plunges some 11,000 feet from the high alpine forest of La Amistad National Park into the lowland rainforests bordering the Caribbean Sea, in a span of less than 40 miles. Within the areas we explore from our comfortable facility the altitude ranges from 7,000 feet to sea level in a zone where nearly 500 species of birds can be found. This extreme biodiversity and high level of endemic species is due to abrupt changes in altitudinal zones and extreme geographic features creating many distinct ecosystems, as well as, migratory corridors.

Tranquilo Bay is located on 100 pristine acres, adjacent to Bastimentos National Marine Park, amongst the convergence of 3 distinct ecosystems. This creates an extremely diverse and unique wildlife observation site where flora and fauna overlap from separate worlds increasing diversity. In a week it is possible to identify over 100 species of birds without leaving the property. There are several elevated porches throughout the facility, creating an incredible eye-level view. While birding onsite you might also encounter white-faced capuchin monkeys, night monkeys, two and three toed sloths, iguanas, caiman, butterflies, a variety of frogs and lizards, and within the canopy a collage of rain forest hardwood and fruit trees, lianas, mangroves, ferns, orchids and cycads.

Some common Birds Of Isla Bastimentos (Common favorites)
Gold Collared Manakin, Three Wattled Bell Bird, Violet Crowned Wood Nymph, Red Lored Amazon Parrots (by the hundreds), Green Ibis, White-Crowned Pigeon, Blue Dacnis, White Hawk, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Green Honeycreeper, Lineated Woodpecker among others.

EcoCircuitos Panama is proud to offer birding tours to Bocas del Toro with a great team of guides. For more information, contact us at annie@ecocircuitos.com or info@ecocircuitos.com

Geotourism in Chagres National Park

Early in the morning, we get to the Chagres River, the main reservoir of drinking water for the cities of Panama and Colon, also supplies water for the operation of the Panama Canal. Here we board a dugout canoe with motor and travel up the River to the Embera Drua village.

The boat journey of 45 minutes takes us through lush rainforest of the Chagres National park. From the boat it is possible to admire the beauty of the rich and flourishing nature; there is a complete silence, broken only by the sounds of the water and of the birds. The river is the only way to get to the Emberá village, otherwise it is possible to walk through the forest but that will take no less than 4 hrs. During the rainy season the river will rise a lot, while during the dry season the level of the water will be very shallow, causing problems to pass through some places.

The Emberá community was founded in the Chagres national Park in 1975, and today counts 115 inhabitants, of which 30 are kids. In 1996 a school was built also thanks to the contribution of organizations, tour operators and individuals who strongly support the protection and conservation of the environment end the life of the Indigenous communities. There are often volunteers who spend some time within the village, offering help and doing researches.

When we arrive, a representative of the Emberá community explain us everything about their history, way of living, traditions, dances, music, together with the help of some women that show us how they make handcrafts using palms fibers, woods, leaves, rocks, etc..

All the handicrafts they make are on sale at their small picturesque market.
We have also the chance to get our body painted, as the Emberá usually do, using a particular ink made of ashes and plant pigments. The tattoos will last about 8 days.

At lunchtime we sit together enjoying the delicious freshwater fish, Tilapia and Sargento, accompanied by crispy platanos y a bunch of fresh fruits, such as pineapple, passion fruit, watermelon, bananas..

After lunch we move to another open air building, where the Emberá women will perform local dances on the music played by the men using artesian flutes and drums. The first dance is performed in between them, while in the following ones everybody will take the floor and show their dancing skills!

Once we have done with that, unfortunately It’s time to board again on the piraguas and go back to the “real word”, but confident with the fact that our soul is fulfilled with the best emotions and feelings that the wonderful people of the Emberá community were passionately able to transmit to us.

Léa Maillard & Paola Alzatti.

Birding tours and Adventures

Panama is a paradise for bird enthusiast and we will offer an unforgettable birdwatching experience along the Isthmus of Panama.  We invite you to participate in our Best of Panama tour along our country for 12 days and 11 nights.

You will visit Soberania National park and the best birding spots in the Pacific side (the famous pipeline road and the new Discovery Rainforest Center with the observation tower), the Metropolitan Natural Park, you will experience birding in the Atlantic coast in Achiote road and Sierra Llorona and go for a high elevation birding tours in El Valle, Boquete and Cerro Punta.  Ask for our complete itinerary and departure dates at  sales@ecocircuitos.com or call us at : + 507-3140068