Canopy Family Panama

Trip Reports

Cloud forest by David Tipling
Cloud forest by David Tipling
January 28, 2015 Cornell Lab of Ornithology Golden-winged Warbler Research Trip Report Ken Rosenberg, Ruth Bennett & Jack Hruska
While searching for the declining Golden-winged Warbler in the areas surrounding the Canopy Lodge in El Valle de Anton, and the Canopy Camp in Darien in January 2015, Ken and his graduate students share their trip sightings and experiences; in addition to their target species, they also found Sapayoa, Great Curassow, Double-banded Graytail, Red-throated Caracara and the sounds of the bill-clacking a Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo.

January 01, 2015 Panama's Brilliant Butterflies Inaugural Tour, December 14-21, 2014 Canopy Family's first butterfly tour was an exciting and memorable week at the Canopy Lodge and Canopy Tower. The butterflies were abundant and we saw dozens of metalmarks, brushfoots, hairstreaks and skippers - 168 species were found during the tour, including three species of jewelmarks seen on the first day! The world of butterflies and skippers is fascinating, and we were happy to share it with our guests in Panama!
November 21, 2014 VENT: Fall at Panama's Canopy Tower, October 11-18, 2014 Barry Zimmer
"'Oh my god, there’s a Sunbittern in the road right next to us!' I 'whispered' in a semi-suppressed voice." Our Fall at Panama’s Canopy Tower tour was filled with many highlights and moments that we will not soon forget. White-tipped Sicklebill, Streak-chested Antpitta, Spot-crowned Barbet, Ocellated Antbird, Blue Cotinga, Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Great Jacamar, and the list goes on and on. The richness and diversity of Panama’s natural wonders were in full display all week.

November 21, 2014 VENT: Panama's Darien Lowlands: Canopy Camp, October 17-25, 2014 Barry Zimmer
Birds, everywhere! We hadn’t been at the camp more than two minutes the day we arrived when three Red-throated Caracaras flew overhead, while the next morning at breakfast a Barred Puffbird interrupted our meal. Highlights included Bicolored Hawk, Golden-green Woodpecker, Red-Billed Scythebill, Bare-crowned Antbird, Double-banded Graytail, Green Ibis, Spectacled Parrotlet, Rufous-winged Antwren and 2 endemics! In all, we tallied an impressive 250 species of birds for the week, including 20 or so species whose Panamanian range is restricted to the eastern Darien lowlands.

November 21, 2014 VENT: Fall at Panama's Canopy Lodge, Nov 1-8, 2014 Barry Zimmer
Each day during the week seemed more successful than the last. Golden-collared Manakin, Black-faced Antthrush, Spot-crowned and Plain antvireos, Slaty and Checker-throated antwrens, Green Hermit, Spectacled Owls, and a pair of Tody Motmots were among many highlights. The cloud forests of Altos del Maria may have been the most exciting of all, with highlights including the aforementioned Black-crowned Antpitta, five Snowcaps (including three males at eye level 20 feet away as we ate lunch!), Green Thorntail, White-tailed Emerald, seven Orange-bellied Trogons, Red-faced Spinetail, Spotted Barbtail, and Tawny-crested, Silver-throated, and brilliant Black-and-yellow tanagers. we tallied an impressive 255 species (a tour record), including 17 species of hummingbirds, 4 motmots, and 20+ species of tanagers. All of this while based out of the Canopy Lodge with its wonderful accommodations and excellent food. A fantastic trip all the way around!

November 17, 2014 Canopy Family 2nd Annual Introduction to Tropical Biodiversity Tour: November 2-11, 2014 This year's Introduction to Tropical Biodiversity tour explored the lowlands of Darien and the foothills of western Panama, with a desire to see and learn about a wide variety of wildlife. From birds to butterflies, anoles to aphids, we took a close look at the biodiversity of these two special environments. With the help of our guest scientists, Dr. Howard Topoff and Dr. Carol Simon, the learning opportunities were endless, in the field and during interesting and entertaining presentations each evening on a variety of topics from rainforest biodiversity to social insects, poisonous reptiles and amphibians, and animal coloration and communication.
September 27, 2014 Naturetrek Tour Report: Mammals of the Canopy Tower & Lodge July 3-13, 2014 This tour focused on the mammals of central Panama and the western foothills. While Neotropical mammals can be challenging to find, this tour recorded a substantial 26 species of mammals, one of the highest tallies yet for a week in Panama!
September 25, 2014 Athena's View of Panama Jeff Bouton
Athena the Traveling Trinovid joined Leica, Eagle Optics and the Canopy Family in Panama in September. Not only did Athena visit all the Canopy Family properties, including Canopy Camp Darien during their time in Panama, but tallied 360 species of birds along with impressive mammals, butterflies and other wildlife. More trip reports to follow on Athena's Traveling Trinovid blog.

September 25, 2014 VENT: Panama's Canopy Tower: Birds & Butterflies August 16-23, 2014 Michael O'Brien
This year’s Birds & Butterflies trip to the Canopy Tower was another fun tour, full of amazing butterflies, birds, mammals, and much more. It was also a particular privilege to be here on the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal’s opening! As expected this time of year, it rained every day, but we managed to dodge the rain most of the time, and enjoyed mild temperatures that are typical of the green season.

September 25, 2014 Flights of Fancy Adventures, LLC: PANAMA July 19-27, 2014 Sam Fried
Blue-crowned Manakin, Blue Cotinga, Boat-billed Heron, Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Semiplumbeous Hawk, Crimson-backed Tanager and Orange-bellied Trogon were among 216 species of birds were seen during this exciting trip. The group visited some of the premier birding sites (including Pipeline Road and Cerro Gaital) in central Panama and the western foothills, and enjoyed comfortable lodging at the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge, and Sam includes a sneak-peek of the Canopy Camp in Darien for 2015.

September 25, 2014 Ventures Birding Tours: Canopy Tower & Canopy Lodge March 7-14, 2014 Aaron Steed
A complete report of our venture to the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge in Panama, featuring a detailed account and full species lists of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians and notable insects seen during a week in central Panama and the western foothills. Ventures Birding Tours was the first group to stay at all three of the Canopy camp properties (Canopy Tower, Canopy Lodge and the new Canopy Camp) in the same trip (see Canopy Camp pre-trip report).

September 25, 2014 Ventures Birding Tours: Pre-trip to Canopy Camp Darien March 1-7, 2014 Aaron Steed
An exciting venture it was to the Canopy Camp in Darien, for a week of birding in eastern Panama, full of regional endemics and specialties. This report highlights the birds and wildlife seen, and is accompanied by charming photos. Ventures Birding Tours was the first group to stay at all three Canopy Family lodges on the same trip. See the subsequent report for the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge.

September 25, 2014 Avocet Tours: Panama - Canopy Tower & Canopy Lodge Feb 15-26, 2014 Chris Charlesworth
An entertaining trip report from Avocet Tours' inaugural Panama birding trip. A daily account is accompanied by a full annotated species list, a great resource to review for any birder interested in a trip to Panama. Over 300 species were seen on this trip, including 20 species of hummingbirds, 19 species of antbirds, a flurry of migrants and in addition to birds, 15 species of mammals were seen as well.

September 25, 2014 Panama's Canopy Tower II with Canopy Lodge Extension 2014 John Coons
During our stays at the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge we saw a lot of birds in a variety of habitats. In fact, one would be hard pressed to encounter this many tropical species while staying in just two places anywhere in Central America. Both sites are located close to the birding areas, and we were looked after so well by the great staff and local guides.

June 27, 2014 Tamarin Tour Trip Report, June 2014 John Bowman
John and his family spent a week and a half in June searching for mammals, birds, frogs, snakes and butterflies at the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge during their Tamarin Tour. This entertaining trip report highlights the best of their tour, from a young Spectacled Owl to a family of Geoffroy's Tamarins at eye level, and everything in between.

June 06, 2014 Panama Canopy Tower & Lodge, February 2014 Dave Roach
An excellent trip report and testimonial, accounting for not only some of the spectacular birds and animals seen during a two-week stay at the Canopy Tower & Lodge. Dave Roach and Rosemary Fielding totalled more than 350 species of birds, including the most sought-after Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo!

May 01, 2014 WINGS Birding Tours: Panama Darien Lowlands, March 2014 Gavin Bieber
This trip to the Canopy Camp in the lowlands of Darien started off on the right foot, with great sightings of two Sapayoa in the eastern foothills of Nusagandi. It set the pace for the rest of the trip, with many eastern Panama specialties including Ruby-topaz Hummingbird, Pale-bellied Hermit, Spot-breasted Woodpecker, Chestnut-fronted Macaw, Rufous-winged Antwren, Black Oropendola, Gray-cheeked Nunlet and Rufous-tailed Jacamar.

April 16, 2014 VENT: Panama's Darien Lowlands: Canopy Camp, January 18-26, 2014 Kevin Zimmer
Panama’s Canopy Camp Darien lived up to our lofty expectations, on both the birding front and as yet another jewel in the Canopy Family crown of great natural history destinations in Panama. It was our privilege to be the inaugural group of birders to open the camp, and with that spirit of adventure there is always an underlying element of uncertainty and experimentation that comes with doing a tour or visiting a destination that hasn’t been done before.

April 16, 2014 VENT: Panama's Canopy Tower, Jan 25 - Feb 1, 2014 Kevin Zimmer
No two birding trips to a tropical country are ever the same. The combination of a highly diverse avifauna and the subtly intertwined complexities of ever-changing weather patterns (wet versus dry seasons and their duration and onset) and how that influences fruiting cycles, flowering cycles, and insect abundance all makes for a lot of intangibles and unpredictability. However, regardless of the specifics, you know that you’ll be treated to a lot of great birds and natural history. That maxim played out once again during this year’s Canopy Tower tour.

April 16, 2014 VENT: El Valle's Canopy Lodge Extension, Feb 1-6, 2014 Kevin Zimmer
As always, the El Valle area treated us to some great birds, beautiful accommodations, and some unexpected surprises. It started, as it always does, upon our arrival at the Canopy Lodge, with the daily lodge feeder show. At peak times, it can be nearly impossible to tear a group away from the lodge feeders to go anywhere else! The activity at the feeders is often frenetic, and the diversity of tanagers, honeycreepers, and euphonias attracted is truly remarkable.

March 27, 2014 VENT: Panama's Canopy Tower & El Valle, January 5-17, 2014 Jeri Langham
This tour birded the best of our two award-winning lodges, the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge, and a wide variety of habitats with many great highlights and hundreds of species seen. Highlights included Great Tinamou, the endemic Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker, Moustached Antwren, an ant swarm with dozens of birds attending including Ocellated Antbirds, Spectacled Owl, Spotted Barbtail, Blue-throated Toucanet, Rufous-browed Tyrannulet, Green Thorntail, Snowcap and Tody Motmot.

March 20, 2014 Panama's Canopy Lodge: El Valle de Anton 2013 Chris Benesh
This trip said good bye to 2013 and welcomed 2014 with some excellent birding at the Canopy Lodge in El Valle de Anton. Sunbittern, Black-crowned and Streak-chested antpittas, Silver-throated Tanager and the exquisite Orange-bellied Trogon were among group favorites. This report lists the 224 bird species seen and 7 mammal species seen during the tour week, as well as some spectacular photos from tour leader and guide Chris Benesh.

February 24, 2014 Panama's Canopy Camp: Lowlands Darien 2014 John Coons
One of the first groups at the new Canopy Camp, in the lowlands of Darien, eastern Panama, John Coons and the Field Guides group experienced birding this biodiverse land, with memorable sightings such as Golden-green Woodpecker, Barred Puffbird, Great Potoo, Black-capped Donacobius, Black Oropendola and the stunning and rare Ruby-topaz Hummingbird!

February 24, 2014 Panama's Canopy Tower I: January 19-25, 2014 Lena Senko
On this trip, we sampled a good chunk of this diversity and delighted in the common as well as the unexpected species that came our way. A beautiful Black Hawk-Eagle greeted us on our first day, soaring and calling right over the entrance road to the Canopy Tower... Common Potoo, Spectacled Owl, Blue Cotinga and a rare and gorgeous Agami Heron at Summit Ponds were among many highlights of this tour.

February 01, 2014 Panama: Christmas at El Valle's Canopy Lodge Pre-trip, Dec 22-27, 2013 Tony Nunnery
While the United States was beginning to feel the effects of the polar vortex, those of us participating in the VENT Holiday Season in Panama tours were gearing up for a pleasantly warm tropical birding experience. The dry season had arrived early and other than a short shower the first day of the trip, it would remain dry except for an even shorter shower the last day of the trip. With the weather in our favor, we set out to make Christmas at the Canopy Lodge and New Year at the Canopy Tower a truly memorable Holiday Season.

February 01, 2014 VENT: New Year at Panama's Canopy Tower, Dec 27, 2013-Jan 3, 2014 Tony Nunnery
After a very productive birding experience during our Christmas at El Valle’s Canopy Lodge Pre-trip, we set our sights toward the Panama Canal. Here we would begin the New Year at Panama’s Canopy Tower portion of the Holiday Season tour. The Canopy Tower is definitely a location that all birders should make an effort to visit at least once. The tower is located within the Soberania National Park and provides excellent birding opportunities literally from every window, and especially from the top of the tower. Canopy Tower trips always start with sunrise and coffee on top of the tower, listening to the dawn chorus and watching the treetops come alive with birds...

December 27, 2013 VENT: Fall at Panama's Canopy Tower, October 12-19, 2013 Barry Zimmer
Sixteen species of hummingbirds, massive raptor migration at the peak of the season, and a list of the top 5 species (and a final one sneaked on the last evening to claim the #1 favorite bird of the trip), as voted by the group. Some of the highlights included King Vulture, Great Jacamar, Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo, Common Potoo and two species of owls! The full list of birds, mammals, butterflies and reptiles & amphibians are included in this detailed report well worth reading.

December 27, 2013 VENT: Fall at El Valle's Canopy Lodge, November 2-9, 2013 Barry Zimmer
Upon arrival at the Canopy Lodge, the flurry of birds, all colors of the rainbow, made it difficult for the group to even get to their rooms! This VENT tour report includes a full list of the bird species, and highlights for the trip included Black-crowned Antpitta, Tiny Hawk, Dull-mantled Antbird, a pair of Spot-crowned Barbets, Purple-throated Mountain-Gem, Barred Puffbird, Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, Aplomado Falcon, Lance-tailed Manakin and Pale-breasted Spinetail.

December 27, 2013 WINGS Birding Tours: Fall at the Canopy Tower, November 2013 Gavin Bieber
The 2013 Fall Panama tour combined unseasonably dry weather with a wonderful array of neotropical birds. Our week at the Canopy Tower produced 275 species of birds and an incredible 20 species of mammals. This tour continues to impress me, as the diversity and richness of the region, paired with ease of access and the comforts of the lodge make for a truly wonderful experience.

December 02, 2013 Introduction to Tropical Biodiversity, November 6-14, 2013 The first annual Canopy Family "Introduction to Tropical Biodiversity" was a great success! 191 species of birds, 14 species of mammals, 20 reptiles & amphibians and 40 butterflies and moths were observed, backed up by the interesting and entertaining presentations by our guest scientists Dr. Howard Topoff and Dr. Carol Simon.
November 04, 2013 Panama with Mark Garland: March 1-12, 2013 Mark Garland
The first Audubon Naturalist Society trip to Panama is complete and it was a great success. Enjoy some photos of our adventures. Photo highlights include Black-breasted Puffbird, Orange-bellied Trogon, Bay-headed Tanager, Sunbittern and Rothschild's Porcupine.

September 22, 2013 Naturetrek Tour Report: Mammals of the Canopy Tower, May 8-17, 2013 This trip report details an exciting 10-day tour based at the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge, and focused entirely on Neotropical mammals. Panama is a wonderful place to search for mammals, and although finding them can be challenging, sightings are always rewarding. This trip finished with a list of 25 species, including Collared Peccary, Tayra, Lesser Capybara, Western Night Monkey and several species of bats.
August 23, 2013 Panama Canopy Lodge & Canopy Tower, April 23 - May 4, 2012 Cindy Beckman
This detailed report outlines a great trip by Cheepers! Birding on a Budget, visiting both the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge. Of the 310 species seen and additional 15 species heard, highlights included Tody Motmot, Rufous Nightjar, Ocellated Antbird, Speckled Mourner, Black-and-yellow Tanager, White-tipped Sicklebill and Elegant Euphonia.

August 16, 2013 Naturalist Journeys: Panama Trip Report, January 15-23, 2013 Peg Abbott
Jam-packed with photos, this report is a detailed account, highlighting birds and animals seen during this 8-night tour visiting the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge. This trip included visits to Metropolitan Park, Pipeline Road, San Lorenzo National Park, Achiote Road, Costa del Este, Miraflores Locks, La Mesa, Canopy Adventure, Juan Hombron, Santa Clara Beach and more!

June 24, 2013 Naturetrek Tour Report: The Canopy Tower, April 25-May 1, 2013 Canopy Tower Bird Guide Alex Sanchez and nine keen birders and photographers spent a week birding the hotspots in Central Panama, and turned up many exciting sightings, with the photos to prove it! From displaying pairs of Great Tinamous and Great Jacamars in the forests of Soberania National Park, to incredible views of stunning Rufous-crested Coquettes and the endemic Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker in Cerro Azul, this tour was full of birds and other exciting wildlife.
June 01, 2013 Panama's Canopy Tower II February 23 - March 1, 2013 Chris Benesh
This trip report lists the 226 species of birds and 17 species of mammals observed on this jam-packed birding tour with Field Guides. Highlights include a Pheasant Cuckoo displaying on the ground (video included!), American Pygmy Kingfisher, Slaty-tailed Forest-Falcon and a close encounter with a Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth!

June 01, 2013 Panama's Canopy Tower II 2013: Canopy Lodge Extension Chris Benesh
This report offers a full list of species (201 birds and 4 mammals) seen during the Canopy Lodge extension prior to the principal Canopy Tower tour. Highlights included Orange-bellied Trogon, a pair of Black-crowned Antpittas and several Lance-tailed Manakins.

April 18, 2013 Panama: Spring at the Canopy Tower Gavin Beiber
Gavin Beiber and WINGS Birding Tours spent 5 nights at the Canopy Tower in March 2013 and visited the great birding sites in the Panama Canal Zone. Here is a full trip list including some fantastic species like King Vulture, Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo, Short-tailed Nighthawk and White-headed Wren.

April 09, 2013 Panama's Canopy Tower Jan 26 - Feb 2, 2013 Kevin Zimmer
No two birding trips to a tropical country are ever the same. Our tour typified both the unpredictable and the predictable aspects of birding in the Neotropics. This 6-day tour was species-rich with birds and mammals. All in all, we enjoyed a wonderful introduction to the natural riches of the Canal Zone, and had a lot of fun doing it.

April 09, 2013 Panama: El Valle's Canopy Lodge Extension Feb 02-07, 2013 Kevin Zimmer
As always, the El Valle area treated us to some great birds, beautiful accommodations, and some unexpected surprises. Purplish-backed Quail-Dove, Black-crowned Antpitta, close encounters with Dull-mantled Antbirds, a responsive pair of Rufous-browed Tyrannulets and Aplomado Falcon were among many highlights. All in all, El Valle and the Canopy Lodge provided us with a perfect complement to our Canopy Tower tour of the Canal Zone, and a fascinating glimpse into the diverse foothill and lowland avifauna of central Panama.

March 25, 2013 Panama’s Canopy Tower & El Valle Jan 5-17, 2013 Jeri Langham
From three Rufous-crested Coquettes in Cerro Azul to three Tody Motmots in El Valle, this VENT Birding Tour was packed with bird activity. With the help of Canopy Tower & Canopy Lodge guides Carlos Bethancourt, Moyo Rodriguez & Danilo Rodriguez, this tour cleaned up!

March 25, 2013 Panama’s Canopy Tower I Jan 19-25, 2013 John Coons
This report features the highlights, photos and a full species list of the 226 bird species and 16 mammal species seen in less than a week with Field Guides Birding Tours leader John Coons, Canopy Tower guide Michael Castro and an enthusiastic group of birders!

December 22, 2012 Naturalist Journeys: PANAMA TRIP REPORT March 25 – April 2, 2012
Peg Abbott and the Canopy team: Tower: Carlos Bethancourt & Alexis “Alex” Sanchez;
Lodge: Danilo Rodriguez and Harmodio “Moyo” Rodriguez , guides, with 12 participants: Carla, Bud and Gingy, Lynn, Niki, Sharon and Park, Ed and Beth, Ed, Bill and Judie

December 22, 2012 Birding in Panama: Autumn Experience in Canopy Tower Family (video) Iva Hristova & Boris Nikolov recently visited the Canopy Tower & Canopy Lodge after winning our on-line essay contest. They shot this video during their visit.


Iva & Boris - FotoBiota: wildlife photography & video in stock

December 11, 2012 Panama: Fall at El Valle's Canopy Lodge Nov 03—10, 2012 Barry Zimmer
Picking a favorite bird on a Canopy Lodge tour is a difficult task indeed. Our recent Fall at Panama's Canopy Lodge trip was so full of highlights that it was hard to whittle it down to a few dozen most memorable moments. The dizzying array of colors at the lodge feeders is an excellent starting point.

December 01, 2012 Fall at Panama's Canopy Tower Oct 13—20, 2012 David Ascanio
Panama is one of my favorite birding destinations. Imagine this small country as if it were a jigsaw puzzle; it would have a blue corner, some green pieces, some gold pieces, and other sections that would be remarkably rufous and brown.

December 01, 2012 Panama: Fall at El Valle's Canopy Lodge Extension Oct 20—25, 2012 David Ascanio
It is virtually impossible to visit any other location in Central America that matches the mosaic of wonderful birds we saw at the Canopy Lodge. A sample includes Tody Motmot, Black-crowned Antpitta, Snowcap, Brown-billed Scythebill, White-tipped Sicklebill, Elegant Euphonia, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Dull-mantled Antbird, Veraguan Mango...and three species of owls:

December 01, 2012 Panama: Fall at El Valle's Canopy Lodge Extension Oct 20—25, 2012 David Ascanio
It is virtually impossible to visit any other location in Central America that matches the mosaic of wonderful birds we saw at the Canopy Lodge. A sample includes Tody Motmot, Black-crowned Antpitta, Snowcap, Brown-billed Scythebill, White-tipped Sicklebill, Elegant Euphonia, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Dull-mantled Antbird, Veraguan Mango...and three species of owls:

November 30, 2012 WINGS Birding Tours Worldwide: Panama: Fall at the Canopy Tower with Canopy Lodge Extension Nov 17 – Nov 28 with leader Gavin Bieber Gavin Bieber
The 2012 trip to Panama's Canopy Tower and Lodge combined an impressive diversity of birds (380 species) and nearly 20 species of mammals all in a lush tropical setting, with great company and excellent local cuisine. Our highlight species were many, with some of the standouts including a foraging...

November 12, 2012 Panama Field Notes: October 4-26, 2012 William Young

I arrived safely at Canopy Tower at about 4 in the afternoon. My plane landed at 2:30, and because I was sitting in the back row, my luggage was already in the airport by the time I got to baggage claim. I was met by someone from Canopy Tower, and we wended our way through heavy traffic in Panama City.

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