Manakins are irresistibly attractive—their plump, dark bodies with flashy color accents, and their elaborate displays performed by the males, puts manakins on top of everyone’s favorite birds lists. The Blue-crowned Manakin is no exception. They are small at 9 cm (3.5”), and have round bodies with short tails. Males have a black body with a brilliant blue crown, while more subdued females have a green body and yellowish belly. Both sexes have deep red eyes. They are fruit-eaters; they forage in the understory of lowland forests, hover-gleaning small fruits and insects, and often join mixed feeding flocks. Male Blue-crowned Manakins, perform a simple and quiet display “dance”, compared to other lekking manakins. They engage in back-and-forth darting flight to impress a female, then bow forward and give a musical trill. Apart from mating, males have no involvement in the reproductive process. After mating, the female is responsible for building the nest, incubating the eggs and rearing the chicks. Females lay 1-2 eggs, incubate the eggs for 18-20 days, and the chicks fledge at 13-15 days. Blue-crowned Manakins range from Costa Rica through western Amazonia to Brazil and Bolivia; they are especially common around the Canopy Tower, where they can be seen sometimes right out the guest room windows!
Did You Know? In some parts of their range (southwestern Amazonia), males have green body plumage instead of black.
Focus on Plants
Commonly known as Tropical Milkweed and Scarlet Milkweed, this plant is a member of the dogbane family, Apocynaceae. As its common name suggests, it has milky sap, of many species contains toxins and can cause injury. Blood Flower is an evergreen perennial shrub; it grows to 1 meter tall and has pale gray stems. The leaves are oblong and end in a sharp point at the tip, and are oppositely-arranged. The inflorescence has 10-12 flowers with red corollas and yellow or orange petals, and flowers all year round. Fruits are 5-10 cm long, and contain small, flat, oval seeds with silky hairs for wind dispersal, similar to other milkweeds. Blood Flower is a source of food for many species of butterflies, particularly, like other milkweeds, for both larvae and adult Monarch and Queen butterflies (subfamily Danainae); it is a favorite flower for planting in butterfly gardens. Blood Flower is native to the Neotropics, and has been introduced to other tropical regions worldwide. It can be found throughout the forests of Panama.
Did You Know? The genus Asclepias (the milkweeds) is named after Asclepius, the Greek god of healing, for the many medicinal uses of the milkweed plants.
Merry Christmas from the Canopy Family - FAMILY RECIPES
This holiday season, try out some of our favorite recipes served at our lodges. Our recipes are based on traditional Panamanian meals and a mix of international cuisine. Merry Christmas from the Canopy Family!
Photo of the Month
It was as if this beautiful Cypris Morpho was greeting us for the upcoming Butterfly Tour! Canopy Lodge guide Tino Sanchez watched it come down and feed at the butterfly feeder at the Lodge on December 9. A new butterfly for our list! Click on the photos to view larger image.
Recent Sightings and Trip Reports
In the past month we have had great sightings of Tiny Hawk, Little Cuckoo, Gray-cheeked Nunlet, Semiplumbeous Hawk and rarities including Blue-and-yellow Macaw and Smoky-brown Woodpecker! Check out more recent sightings and trip reports for the amazing birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, butterflies and dragonflies seen around the Canopy Tower, Canopy Lodge and the new Canopy Camp Darien!
Share Your Experience with Us!
Have you stayed with us lately? We would love to hear from you! We welcome you to post your comments and experiences on TripAdvisor. Visit our TripAdvisor pages for the Canopy Tower, Canopy Lodge, Canopy Camp and Canopy B&B. If you haven't visited us yet, check out what others are saying!
View past issues of our newsletter!
Follow the Canopy Family
It's time to say goodbye to 2014, a wonderful year it was! For us, it was particularly special as we opened our newest eco-lodge, Canopy Camp Darien, and celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Canopy Tower. I was also blessed with our first grandchild, a boy, Santiago Emilio Cambefort Arias, who has added tons of tenderness and immense joy to our lives. We are looking forward to another great year!
In light of all the celebration as 2014 comes to a close and we get ready to welcome 2015, we would love to celebrate New Year's with you at the Canopy Camp! We are offering a special last-minute deal for December 30 - January 6: save 25% on our Birds of Canopy Camp Darien package, a savings of $834 per person! We feel there is no better way to welcome 2015 than to celebrate it with the birds of the mythical Darién!
I wish everyone a safe and festive holiday season, filled with joy and blessings.
Best wishes, and I hope to see
you here in Panama soon,
Raúl Arias de Para - President/Founder
Ring in the New Year with us at the Canopy Camp! Contact us for more details about this special last-minute offer!
Canopy Family News
Canopy Tower Celebrates 15th Anniversary!
Last week, Canopy Family staff gathered for an annual Christmas fiesta. This year's celebration was extra special, as 2014 was the 15th anniversary of the Canopy Tower! Following a delicious buffet dinner, reminiscences about the Canopy Tower beginnings were given by Raúl Arias de Para, his wife Denise, his son Daniel, Carlos and staff involved in the early days of the construction and operations. Awards, gifts, cake and dancing completed a wonderful celebration!
Celebrating 15 great years! Above, Raúl, Denise, Evelyn, Carlos and the Canopy Tower team sing "feliz cumpleaños" at this year's annual Christmas fiesta. Below, a cake to celebrate the special occasion!
Recent Guests at Our Lodges
Members of the Sierra Club, America's oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization, spend a day birding on Pipeline Road during their stay at the Canopy Tower (above). Below, Becky Marvil and friends enjoying some birding at the Canopy Lodge this week! Have a birding group of friends? We can arrange a custom group tour you, a birding experience of a lifetime! Contact us for more details.
The Geoffroy’s Tamarin (also known as Panamanian Tamarin and Rufous-naped Tamarin) is a small monkey in the family Callitrichidae. Approximately the size of a squirrel, they are the smallest monkey in Central America. They are dark mottled brown and white, with a bare gray face, white crest and reddish nape. They have a non-prehensile tail, longer than the length of their body. Geoffroy’s Tamarins are diurnal and arboreal, and live in small family groups of 3-9 individuals. They are general omnivores, and feed on fruits, seeds, sap, insects and small vertebrates. On average, a Geoffroy’s Tamarin travels over 2 km per day! They have a wide range of vocalizations including chirps, whistles, trills and rasps. They even use flycatcher calls to help them find food! Geoffroy’s Tamarins have rather interesting reproduction—a female will mate with multiple males in a group. After a 145-day gestation period, she gives birth to twins (occasionally a single infant). Once the young are born, males are very involved with parental care, unlike most primates. The father carries one of the infants and exchanges the young with the mother when it's time to nurse. Click here to see a photo of a male carrying a young infant. Young reach sexual maturity at 2 years of age, and can live up to 13 years. Geoffroy’s Tamarins have a very restricted range, inhabiting lowland forest in central Panama into extreme northwestern Colombia (a near-endemic to Panama). This charismatic primate can be seen at all of our lodges.
Tamarin friends: Due to their small size, they tend to avoid other larger primates, squirrels, and raptors—except one, the Double-toothed Kite, which often follow groups of tamarins in hopes of snatching up lizards and large insects that the monkeys may disturb during their foraging.
Sneak peek at next month's Canopy Family newsletter...
Here's a clue to next month's featured bird... who am I??