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Canopy Family

April 2013

Featured Bird

Golden-collared Manakin
Manacus vitellinus

Manakins are unique to the forests of Tropical America.  These small, plump, colourful birds are a delight to all birders and nature enthusiasts alike.  The male Golden-collared Manakin has a black cap, wings & tail, dark olive back, with a brilliant lemon yellow collar, throat, and chest, and bright orange legs.  Females are rather dull, but can be distinguished from other female manakins by their bright orange legs.  Male Golden-collared Manakins display their best song and dance at “leks” to attract females, and you can commonly hear their buzzy song and loud wing-snapping in the lower levels of the forests and scrub habitat near the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge.

Focus on Plants

Black Palm

Panamanian Black Oil Palm
Astrocaryum standleyanum

The Panamanian Black Oil Palm, or “Chunga”, is a common tree of the tropical forests of Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and south into western Colombia and Ecuador.  It can grow to a height of 15 meters and has 11-18 long fronds extending high up along its trunk.  It bears edible fruits, especially popular among many species of forest mammals, and its leaves are popularly used to make various products you can find in the local artisan markets including baskets, bags, hats and jewelry.  Watch out, it is well-armed with hundreds of sharp spines along the length of its trunk and palm fronds.  This common tree can be found in the forests surrounding the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge.

News Flash!

On April 8, our facebook page reached 1000 likes!  Thank-you for your interest and support, we love to share our photos, news and interesting finds with you!  

Also, now you can click on any photo in our newsletter to view a larger image on our Newsletter Photos page!

Ground-Cuckoos galore!!  A family of Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoos have been hanging around the trails of the Canopy Lodge!  Check out more recent sightings and trip reports for the amazing birds, mammals, reptiles & amphibians, butterflies and dragonflies seen around the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge!

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Greetings from the Canopy...

Canopy Tower

Dear Friends,

As this year moves along, we are still busy with various projects as the Canopy Camp Darien is coming along.  We are in the process of building the bathrooms for each tent, and each will have a view of the beautiful surrounding forest.  Our solar oven is also assembled, and we look forward to preparing delicious dishes with this addition to our camp.  

I invite you to take a look at our photo collection on Flickr to see recent photos of the progress at the Canopy Camp Darien.  

As construction continues at the Canopy Camp, the surrounding forests are bustling with bird activity, with frequent sightings of Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Gray-cheeked Nunlet and Golden-headed Manakin!

We have a full house at the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge this month, and our guides are working very hard to show our guests the best birds and a great time here in Panama. 

Please stay tuned for more updates in future newsletters, and happy birding!

Raul Arias de Para

   Best wishes, and I hope to see
   you here in Panama soon,


Raúl Arias de Para - President/Founder

Canopy Tower Family News

Growing our Green Commitment

Plastic bottles

As an ecotourism endeavor, we feel the need to be as ecologically committed as possible.  At all of our lodges, we strive to reduce the use of resources and implement re-use and recycle initiatives.  As we are always looking for additional ways to reduce our ecological footprint, the Canopy Tower Family is now in the process of reducing our consumption of plastics, specifically plastic bottles.  We are searching for the right solution in order to completely remove them in order to lower our waste signature.  Please visit our Green Commitment page to learn more about sustainability in the Canopy Tower Family.

Celebrating Zelesny & Allan's Wedding!

We want to wish our General Manager Zelesny and her husband Allan Palma all the best in their life together as they were married on March 2, 2013.  Congratulations!

Discover Neotropical Birds Online

Want to learn more about Neotropical birds?  Check out Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Neotropical Birds, a comprehensive, information-filled website that offers species accounts for every bird species found in tropical America.  It features great information about species identification, ecology, behaviour and great range maps.  New species accounts are being completed every day, and you can even contribute valuable information & photos.  It's a great resource for bird enthusiasts!

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Creature Feature

Brown Vine Snake

Brown Vine Snake
Oxybelis aeneus

This long, slender snake is appropriately named since it can take the form of a vine and remain inconspicuous in its forest habitat.  They have an elongated, pointed snout to further help their camouflage, and often sit quietly with the tip of its tongue extended as well.   They can reach a length of almost 2 metres!  This snake is primarily arboreal and diurnal, feeds on lizards & frogs, and can occasionally be seen lurking around the forests surrounding the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge!

© Canopy Family