Panama Bird Photos - Passerines

by Will Cook

Here's a selection of bird images from a trip to Panama, March 17-April 4, 2004. I managed to photograph about 35 of the 400 species of birds we saw, though I missed many of the more common ones. We saw lots of great butterflies and a few mammals, too. All of my photos were taken using a Nikon CoolPix 995, and most were digiscoped, taken through a spotting scope. Fellow trip-mate Lynn Barber contributed some of her stunning bird shots that she took with her digital SLR with telephoto lens.

Frigatebirds through Potoos | Hummingbirds | Trogons through Woodpeckers | Passerines

Spot-crowned Woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes affinis)
3/28/04 - Amistad National Park, Chiriqui. Woodcreepers are a little like overgrown Brown Creepers and, true to their name, are almost always seen creeping up wood. This terrible photo is of the only woodcreeper that stayed put long enough to be scoped. There are many similar species, but with practice, you can actually tell them apart and appreciate their subtle beauty. Spot-crowned was the most numerous woodcreeper we saw in the highlands of Chiriqui.
Yellow-green Tyrannulet (Phylloscartes flavovirens)

Yellow-green Tyrannulet (Phylloscartes flavovirens)
3/21/04 - Parque Natural Metropolitano, Panama City.

Not the most distinctive bird, but this was one of our main target species at Metropolitan Park because it's a Panama endemic - found nowhere else in the world.

Long-tailed Tyrant (Colonia colonus) Long-tailed Tyrant (Colonia colonus)
3/24/04 - Achiote Road, Colon. This spectacular little flycatcher was the only one we saw on the trip.
Yellow-bellied Elaenia (Elaenia flavogaster) Yellow-bellied Elaenia (Elaenia flavogaster)
3/22/04 - Gamboa, Panama
Yellowish Flycatcher (Empidonax flavescens)

Yellowish Flycatcher (Empidonax flavescens)
3/28/04 - Amistad, Chiriqui.

This species is closely related to the Western (Pacific-slope/Cordilleran) Flycatcher complex.

Panama Flycatcher (Myiarchus panamensis)

Panama Flycatcher (Myiarchus panamensis)
3/24/04 - Gatun locks, Colon

This individual is not typical - it appears to be melanistic.

Three-wattled Bellbird (Procnias tricarunculata) Three-wattled Bellbird (Procnias tricarunculata)
3/29/04 - Finca Lérida, Chiriqui. Male bellbirds are among the more bizarre and spectacular birds in Panama, with three absurdly long and thin black wattles hanging down from the face.
Three-wattled Bellbird (Procnias tricarunculata)
3/29/04 - Finca Lérida, Chiriqui. When he's about to sing, a male bellbird opens its gape as wide as possible, showing off its pitch black mouth lining rimmed with white lipstick. He holds this pose for a few seconds before producing its bonging song and expressively flipping his wattles. A better name would be the Three-wattled Bongbird.
Red-capped Manakin (Pipra mentalis) Red-capped Manakin (Pipra mentalis)
3/21/04 - Canopy Tower, Panama
Mangrove Swallow (Tachycineta albilinea)
3/22/04 - Summit Ponds near the Canopy Tower, Panama. This individual had no noticeable white on the lores -- we briefly contemplated the possibility of White-winged Swallow.
Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus frantzii)

Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus frantzii)
3/28/04 - Amistad, Chiriqui

Quite similar to the related Veery, these acted more like robins, hopping around on the lawn. Photo ©2004 Lynn Barber.

White-throated Robin (Turdus assimilis)
3/27/04 - Panama Audubon cabin near Bambito, Chiriqui. Singing away. We saw only a small number of White-throateds in the highlands. The most common Turdus in Panama is Clay-colored Robin, which is common as dirt and, well, looks like dirt, too (hence the name). The dawn chorus of Clay-colored Robins in Panama City made us feel right at home, since their song is similar to that of the American Robin.
Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher (Phainoptila melanoxantha) Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher (Phainoptila melanoxantha)
3/28/04 - Amistad, Chiriqui.
Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher (Ptilogonys caudatus) Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher (Ptilogonys caudatus)
3/27/04 - Panama Audubon cabin near Bambito, Chiriqui. Spectacular bird!
Mangrove Warbler (Dendroica petechia aequatorialis) Mangrove Warbler (Dendroica petechia aequatorialis)
3/19/04 - Centro de Exhibiciones Marinas, Panama City, Panama. This race of Yellow Warbler, one of several in the red-headed Mangrove group (erithachorides), occurs only in Panama.
Olive-crowned Yellowthroat (Geothlypis semiflava) Olive-crowned Yellowthroat (Geothlypis semiflava)
3/30/04 - Mali, Fortuna Road, Bocas del Toro.
Collared Redstart (Myioborus torquatus) Collared Redstart (Myioborus torquatus)
3/27/04 - Chiriqui, Panama
Common Bush-Tanager (Chlorospingus ophthalmicus) Common Bush-Tanager (Chlorospingus ophthalmicus)
3/30/04 - Centro de Investigaciones Tropicales, Fortuna Road, Chiriqui. This confiding bird was hopping along on the lawn. Panama has an incredible diversity of brilliantly-colored tanagers - we saw 35 species on the trip.
Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager (Chlorospingus pileatus) Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager (Chlorospingus pileatus)
3/27/04 - Chiriqui. Photo: Lynn Barber.
White-shouldered Tanager (Tachyphonus luctuosus) White-shouldered Tanager (Tachyphonus luctuosus), male
3/23/04 - Canopy Tower, Panama. Photo: Lynn Barber. One of the most common of the tanagers, the males are strikingly handsome.
Palm Tanager (Thraupis palmarum) Palm Tanager (Thraupis palmarum)
3/21/04 - Canopy Tower, Panama. Photo: Lynn Barber. One of the plainest and commonest of the tanagers.
Baltimore Oriole and Rose-breasted Grosbeak Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) and Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)
3/31/04 - near Cabañas Burbayar, Panama/San Blas border. We saw many of "our" birds in Panama, heading on their way up north from their wintering grounds. This odd couple, in spring finery, looks comfortably settled in for the evening (photographed at 5:47 pm) and right at home in the tropics. These two are in hacked-over habitat, planted with exotic pines (Pinus caribaea).

Frigatebirds through Potoos | Hummingbirds | Trogons through Woodpeckers | Passerines

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All photographs and text ©2013 by Will Cook unless otherwise noted.