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Can You See Many Birds in Panama?

Dear Luke and Leia,

Today I wanted to tell you about birding in Panama and the different birds we have seen … quite a few!

I'm not saying that we are ‘birders' or into bird photography, nor do we know every bird's name. But, we have totally enjoyed all the different colors, sizes and types of birds we've seen. Birding in Panama is very big and so far people have seen 978 species of birds.

There are several main places to go for birding, and many we have not been to, but we have gone to Soberania National Park at Pipeline Road as well as Boquete, in the western mountains to see birds. We also saw many in the mountain area of El Valle de Anton, about an hour and a half west of Panama City.

Soberania and Pipeline Road

In in Parque Soberania, there is a ranger station called Panama Rainforest Discovery Center. Nearby is a world-famous walking trail called Pipeline Road. At the station, there are guides that will climb the tower with you and help you spot birds and other wildlife. They know their species very well and speak great English.

Leica APO-TELEVID 77 spotting telescope used by our guide.
Our guide used a Leica APO-TELEVID 77 spotting telescope.
Guide has set up the scope for us to see a bird on the other side of the lake.
Our guide set up the scope for us to see a bird on the other side of the lake.

At the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center itself, they have set up numerous hummingbird feeders. They are all loaded with the tiny birds, dive bombing each other to get to the nectar.

Tip: Unless you want to be dive bombed, do NOT wear a red hat. Red is a magnet for hummingbirds and you may find yourself being greeted up-close-and-personal by at least 5 species, all buzzing you at lightning speeds.

Hummingbird feeders and the local dive bombers.
Hummingbird feeders and the local dive bombers
Hummingbird resting and singing away.
Hummingbird resting and singing away.

Birds we have seen in Panama

We don't know the names of these birds.

Woodpecker
Woodpecker
Mott Mott
Mott Mott
Parrot?
Parrot?

Birding in Panama.

Green colored hummingbird.
Green colored hummingbird
Flying parrot.
Flying parrot.
Toucan
Toucan
Bright colors found everywhere like this bold blue.
Bright colors like this bold blue are found on birds everywhere.

Wildlife we have seen while birding in Panama

If you come, don't just be on the lookout for birds though, as other wildlife will make themselves known to the patient observer.

Coatimundi
Coatimundi
Howler Monkey
Howler Monkey
Large crocodile.
Large crocodile.

El Valle de Anton

Sleeping Indian from the floor of El Valle de Anton
Sleeping Indian from the floor of El Valle de Anton

El Valle is down inside an ancient volcano and boasts of a quiet existence with a small church and local farmers market. We stayed at a cabin there that we really liked. The owner loves her birds and had quite an efficient set up in her back yard to attract them. We saw birds all over her property and the hotel grounds.

Feeding the birds
Feeding the birds
Mott mott
Mott mott

El Valle is a great location to relax and hike, but it does have a few other amenities such as a reptile zoo, small animal zoo, and an ochid conservatory that all deserve some of your time.

Booth at the local farmers market.
Booth at the local farmers market.
Small church in El Valle de Anton
Small church in El Valle de Anton.
Orchid garden in El Valle de Anton.
Orchid garden in El Valle de Anton.

Boquete

Cloud forest surrounding Finca Lerida.
Cloud forest surrounding Finca Lerida.

Boquete (bo-ket-tay) is located in the mountains north of the large western town of David. Ranging from 4,000 to 6,000 feet in altitude, Boquete is the perfect place in paradise for cooler temperatures, coffee plantations and mountain birds. Not only has Boquete attracted spectacular birds, it has caught the eyes of retirees and birders alike.

Breakfast with the birds.

Breakfast with the birds.

Breakfast with the birds.

Finca Lerida

We stayed at a small hotel called Finca Lerida. They offered a full birding experience, complete with early morning breakfast and a guide to take you into the cloud forest to sight the many fowl through the mist. We came in search of the famous quetzal and its long, double-plumed tail, but saw none.

Finca Lerida in Boquete, Panama
Finca Lerida in Boquete, Panama
Entrance to birding trail at Finca Lerida.
Entrance to birding trail at Finca Lerida.

Well, it is time for us to wrap up this letter. We hope you two are doing well and we miss you guys.

Love,

Nana and Pap

Colorful bird seen in Panama

Birding in Panama - Mott Mott

Birding in Panama - Mott Mott

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Written by Dan

Professional photographer specializing in street, food and travel shots at As We Saw It travel blog. Enjoys catching children at play, showing their innocence in every situation … we all can learn that, to be content with what our Father in heaven has provided. Photography is unique in that it captures light in all forms, and since the Bible says YHVH (God) is light, photography captures Him in many forms.

9 thoughts on “Can You See Many Birds in Panama?

  1. Great shots! They’re all so beautiful. I love humming birds, lol at not wearing a red hat. It’s too bad you missed the quetzal, but you captured a nice range. It’s great that the hotel and sanctuaries have guides to help spot the birds.

    1. They are easy to miss. A friend told us about a man who complained he didn’t see any quetzals … but on close inspection of his photos he had actually shot seven in one photo! We didn’t have his luck, unfortunately, though we spent a LOT of time searching for them.

  2. I’ve never tried birding but it seems to be quite a relaxing and enjoyable activity. The bird pictures are really nice; unfortunately, I don’t recognize any of them. 😛 El Valle de Anton looks like my kind of vacation place. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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