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Canopy Family

February, 2013

Featured Bird

Brown Violet-ear

Colibri delphinae

The rare and local Brown Violet-ear is overall rather drab, with a light-colored mustache.  The violet-colored ear markings and throat patch are visible in good light.  The Brown Violet-ear is native from Guatemala to Bolivia and northern and eastern Brazil. It may be found in foothills and lower mountains from about 2,500 ft. to over 4,000 ft., where it forages at low and mid-elevations of the forest.  This hummingbird can be found at Cerro Azul during outings from the Canopy Tower and Altos del Maria from the Canopy Lodge.

Focus on Plants

Psittacanthus krameri

Psittacanthus is a genus of parasitic shrubs, called mistletoes, that grow on the branches of a host plant, usually a tall tree.  All species have bright-colored orange, red and yellow flowers, quite conspicuous even at a distance. The flowers are tubular and are frequented by hummingbirds, the plant's main pollinator. The dark fruit are a favorite of many birds. The seeds pass through the birds' digestive system and are deposited on a branch, where the seeds may germinate. This species is widespread and can be found in the hills near the Canopy Tower and the Canopy Lodge.

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Terry Dunn and her group of ten birders had a fantastic time at the Tower and Lodge with Carlos as their guide. We can't wait till next year, Terry!

National Audubon Directors with Panama Audubon, Rosabel Miro and Darien Montañez.  Early morning at Canopy Tower where we all enjoyed beautiful views of Blue Cotinga, Green Shrike-Vireo, Squirrel Cuckoo, Keel-billed Toucan, Red-lored & Mealy Parrot, and Broad-billed Motmot.  It was fun to share our birds with happy birders in Panama!!! (photo at right)

Greetings from the Canopy...

Dear Friends,

We were delighted to host the National Audubon Society directors for a morning of birding atop the Canopy Tower, breakfast and  birding along Semaphore Hill. Thank you for choosing the Canopy Tower as part of your visit to Panama!

Our good friend, Bill Young, put together an excellent sloth video from his recent visit. Bill spent 3 weeks with us between the Tower and Lodge.  Thanks for the video, Bill and congratulations on your recent book deal!

Our latest venture, Canopy Camp (Darien), an African-style tented camp in the Darien lowlands, is under construction. I am spending most of my time there supervising construction and loving every minute of it.  I feel this lodge will be an instant success, God willing. We have estimated that a visitor who spends a week at the Canopy Tower and a week at the Canopy Lodge, can add between 30-40 species by staying a week at the Canopy Camp. Many of the Darien lowland specialties, for example, Pale-bellied Hermit, Black Oropendola, Gray-cheeked Nunlet and Double-banded Graytail can be seen right in camp.

We are very excited about this project which, when open, will provide a totally different experience from our other lodges while maintaining the same level  of excellence in service and birding diversity.

You may see pictures of the construction process here!

Stay tuned to future newsletters for updates!


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


    Raúl Arias de Para

    Canopy Tower Family

Canopy Tower Family News

Our high season is off to a busy start, with many independent birders and organized tour groups visiting us. Peg Abbott of Naturalist Journeys led a group for her "Panama Sampler: Birding, Nature and History tour." They spent time at both the Tower & Lodge.  Thanks, Peg, for another great group!

VENT recently ran 3 tours with us. The first tour,"Panama’s Canopy Tower & El Valle," was led by Jeri Langham.  Kevin Zimmer guided 2 adventures,“Panama’s Canopy Tower” and "Panama: El Valle’s Canopy Lodge Extension." Also, John Coons of Field Guides Birding Tours Worldwide brought a group here as well on his "Panama's Canopy Tower" tour. All enjoyed excellent birding--and cuisine!

Creature Feature

Red-eyed Leaf Frog

Agalychnis callidryas

This boldly-colored icon of Mesoamerica is native from Mexico to Colombia. Its grass-green color, the shocking red eyes and blue flanks make this species one of the most sought-after frogs for both nature lovers and photographers. During the day the leaf frogs flatten against leaves, making them hard to spot. These "herps" can be found around the Tower and Lodge but it easier to find them at night during our Green Season.

© Canopy Family