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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Did you know the Shining Honeycreeper?

The Shining Honeycreeper is a small bird in the tanager family. It is found in the tropical New World in Central America from southern Mexico to Panama and northwest Colombia. It is sometimes considered to be conspecific with the Purple Hon eycreeper, but the two species breed sympatrically in eastern Panama and northwest Colombia.

This is a forest canopy species, but also occurs in forest edges and secondary growth. The female builds a shallow cup nest in a tree, and incubates the clutch of two eggs.
The Shining Honeycreeper is 10 cm long, weighs 11 g and has a long black decurved bill. The male is purple-blue with black wings, tail and throat, and bright yellow legs. The female has green upperparts, a greenish-blue head, buff throat and buff-streaked bluish underparts. The immature is similar to the female, but is greener on the head and breast.
For birding itineraries and day tours contact us at info@ecocircuitos.com

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The Belly bottom of the Americas

Panama is a true biological bridge between North America and South America. The country has a concentration of animals and plants species among the richest in the world and is one of the countries in Central America with more biodiversity.

Barro Colorado
Barro Colorado Island, Panama

This time, we will focus on one of its jewels of this country: the Barro Colorado Island. This extraordinary biodiversity will delight the nature lovers. The Barro Colorado Island (BCNM) is the highest Island in the waters of Gatun Lake. It is located in the Isthmus of Panama and is one of the first protected areas of America. Barro Colorado Island’s unique location and history have made it what may be the most intensively studied piece of tropical forest in the world.
Before the filing of Artificial Gatun Lake, Barro Colorado Island was a hill, full of trees and animals. The needs of the Panama canal, converted the Barro Colorado in a shelter island to the animals in this flooded valley. Very quickly, biologists realized the scientific importance of this tropical sanctuary.

Founded in 1923, the Barro Colorado island has been recognized as a nature reserve in 1979. This preserved ecosystem attracts scientist who study the evolution of the fauna and the flora of the neotropics. On the island live thousands of insects of all kinds, but also 120 species of mammals, half of which are bats. This marvel of biodiversity host more species than all Europe, there are more of 1.200 different plants.
EcoCircuitos propose a Historical and natural Tour, which offers the opportunity to admire a great variety of this wild forest.
The adventure begins at 6:30 AM at your hotel in Panama City, with a car ride through the tropical rainforest towards the small town of Gamboa where a boat is waiting for us in the STRI dock. From there you go on a 45 min – 1 hour boat ride to the Barro Colorado Natural Monument (BCNM), administered by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. You will discover the splendor of the tropical rainforest in Barro Colorado, the largest forested island in the Panama Canal waterway. You will learn about research in progress and the rich natural history of the BCNM.
You will go on a 2-3 hour walk along the trail on Barro Colorado Island. The walk ends at the Visitor Center, where you will find an exhibition regarding BCNM. After the Visitors Center you will head to the cafeteria to have lunch in a student atmosphere. Next time in Panama don´t miss this great adventure tour. For more information, contact us at sales@ecocircuitos.com or call us at + 507 3140068

Did you Know about Panama?

  • That the pearls in the Spanish Crown came from Panama?
  • Charles V of Spain proposed and researched to make a Canal through Panama?
  • That Panama has the fastest growing economy in Latin America in 2006 and 2007?
  • The COUNTRY of Panama is slightly smaller than the STATE of South Carolina but more birds than USA & Canada combine?