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The distinctive puffbird family (Bucconidae) is exclusive to the neotropics, and most members of this family have large heads, short tails and some color combination of black, white and brown. Their habit is to perch quietly for long periods and sally out to catch insects. Nests are in holes the birds excavate in termite nests or burrows they dig in a mud bank.
The black-breasted has a large white ear patch and a broad black band on the chest. These features distinguish it from other black and white puffbirds found in Panama. Central Panama is the northernmost range of the species. Black-breasted Puffbirds are fairly common in lowlands of the Caribbean slope in the canal area. They are often seen perched on a branch in the forest canopy.
Focus on Plants
Wallis' Oerstedella Orchid
The attractive Oerstedella orchids were once included with Epidendrum, but were split into a separate genus by subtle morphological differences about 30 years ago. They are native mainly to the moist montane forests of Mesoamerica, particularly Costa Rica and Panama. Oerstedella wallisii is one of several members of this genus that combines contrasting colors in a striking way. It produces elegant, thickish, waxy, long-lived flowers, often on short stems from nodes along the stout canes. The flowers are 1.5 inches wide.
Victor Emanuel along with Ben & Jessica Reynolds and their son Eliot at Canopy Lodge
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Greetings from the Canopy...
My dear friend Victor Emanuel, whom I have known for over 12 years, recently came for a vacation. His company, VENT (Victor Emanuel Nature Tours), was the first to bring groups to the Canopy Tower (1999) and Canopy Lodge (2005) and is in line to be the first at the Canopy Camp Darien (2013). However, I have never had the time to really get to know him because on previous visits he was always leading groups.
Best wishes, and I hope to see
Raúl Arias de Para
Canopy Tower Family News
On July 19th, 16 enthusiastic members of Club de Jardineria de Panama, celebrating their 50th anniversary, visited the Canopy Tower for an afternoon of fun and to have their meeting. The day began with a ride up Semaphore Hill, with stops along the way, where CTF Biologist Jerry Harrison shared some facts on the more remarkable plants seen. At the Tower manager Zelesny Jiménez presented a brief history and an overview of the Tower's operation. After a look from atop the observation deck, the ladies enjoyed a fabulous lunch prepared by the Canopy Tower staff. A great afternoon of botany, birds and lunch was enjoyed by all.
This medium-sized squirrel has dark-brown upperparts with an orangish to red tail that is black at the tip. In Panama, the belly is deep orange. Red-taileds found at higher elevations are larger and have thicker fur. They are found from northern Costa Rica to Ecuador and on Trinidad and Tobago, ranging from the lowlands to 3,200 meters (just over 10,000 feet). They can be found around the Tower and Lodge.