If you are having trouble reading this email, please click here.
Canopy Family

February 2015

Featured Bird

Tawny-capped Euphonia by Cedric Ng

Tawny-capped Euphonia
Euphonia anneae

Euphonias are plump, fruit-eating members of the finch family.  They are small (11 cm), round birds with stubby bills and short tails.  Like others of the genus, male Tawny-capped Euphonias are brightly colored, with an iridescent deep blue head, back and wings and yellow underparts; they sport a large rusty-colored forehead and cap.  Females and immatures have green back and sides, with a gray breast and nape; they also have a rusty forehead.  They feed on fruits and particularly favor mistletoe berries.  They forage within 6 meters of the ground, in the forest understory and edges of forest, and regularly join mixed feeding flocks.  Their song is a series of short sweet notes.  They are fairly common in the foothills and highlands of Panama from 600 to 1200 meters in elevation.  They range from Costa Rica to extreme northwestern Colombia, and can be found near the Canopy Lodge and at Cerro Azul. 

Did you know?  Euphonias and chlorophonias were previously classified as tanagers, which they resemble in their appearance and feeding behaviors!

Focus on Plants

Aphelandra sinclairiana

Panama Queen
Aphelandra sinclairiana

The brightly colored Panama Queen (family Acanthaceae) is also known as Sinclair’s Aphelandra, Coral Aphelandra, Orange Shrimp Plant and Camaroncillo, and is native to Central America, found from Honduras to Panama.  This shrub grows to 3 meters tall and can be found along forest edges.  It has distinguishable overlapping orange bracts (up to 20 cm long and often in clusters) with red, pink and violet elongated flowers emerging from the bracts.  It flowers from January to March.  It is pollinated by hummingbirds, which are attracted to the bright pink and red flowers.  This species is popularly cultivated in warm climates.  The Panama Queen is blooming now in Panama along Pipeline Road and near the Canopy Lodge.

Photo of the Month

Dot-winged Antwren by Eric McCabeGolden-collared Manakin Eric McCabe

This month we had a couple great photo submissions that we couldn't decide between, so we are including them both!  In fact, we love that both these photos show off some bird behavior, as it is often difficult to capture the incredible behaviors of birds in a photo.  Many antbirds, including this Dot-winged Antwren, have beautiful displays. This male is showing a large white patch on his back (which is usually hidden) to attract a female or defend his territory.  A flashy Golden-collared Manakin displays his "beard" while lekking to attract females.  Both images were captured nicely by Eric McCabe during his visit to the Canopy Tower in December.  Click on the photos to view larger images. 

Recent Sightings and Trip Reports

In the past month we have had great sightings of Blue-and-yellow Macaw, Bicolored Wren, Pheasant Cuckoo,  Tayra (see "Creature Feature"), and rarities including Dusky-backed Jacamar, Ruby-topaz Hummingbird and Blue-fronted Parrotlet!  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!

Canopy Tower TripAdvisor

Share Your Experience!

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!

A recent review of the Canopy Camp:

"This place is outstanding! Luxurious African safari style tents, excellent guides, amazing scenery. I would not hesitate to recommend Canopy Camp to anyone with an interest in nature. A great addition to the Canopy Family!"

View past issues of our newsletter!

Follow the Canopy Family

Canopy Family FacebookCanopy Family Twitter

Sneak peek at next month's Canopy Family newsletter...

Here's a clue to next month's featured bird... who am I??

Stumped?  Visit our Canopy Family Flickr Photostream and browse our photos for this upcoming featured bird!

Greetings from the Canopy

Dear friends, 

This year, we are excited to host the team from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in May for their Global Big Day, as they venture to Panama to see the most species they can in a 24-hour period, using Canopy Tower as their base!  While details are still coming together, stay tuned for our March newsletter for more information and how you can become involved with this exciting endeavor!

Looking for a last-minute birding vacation to escape the cold, dreary winter?  We are offering 10% off our Birds of Canopy Camp Darien birding package, March 16-22, a great opportunity to escape the winter blues and enjoy some fantastic birding in Panama's biodiverse Darién!  The Canopy Camp has been open for over a year now, and we have been receiving great reviews on our Canopy Camp TripAdvisor page.  In fact, we are very pleased to be rated #1 in Darién.    

To entice you even more, we spent a week in January filming with James Currie and the crew from Birding Adventures TV.  In turn, they provided us with these beautiful aerial videos of Canopy Camp Darien and the Canopy Tower.  They show off the incredible surrounding forests and the uniqueness of our lodges.  Please take a look!

Raul Arias de Para

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

Raul Arias de Para

Raúl Arias de Para - President/Founder

Canopy Family News

Canopy Family Staff English Training

We place great importance on providing exceptional service to our valued guests, including being able to help them with any questions they may have at our lodges.  Having English-speaking front-line staff is very important to us!  Our managers, naturalist guides and reservations staff are fluent in English, and now we are striving to train our hotel staff in English as well.  Since October 2014, Canopy Tower and B&B staff Jorge Pineda and Cerly Pinto have been participating in our "Birding Hospitality Basic English Course", developed and taught by our resident biologist Jenn Sinasac.  After 4 months of English training, Jorge and Cerly are better able to communicate with our guests and assist them with their needs in the Canopy Tower and Canopy B&B.  Congratulations to our first graduates!  

Canopy Family at the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival!

Carlos and Evelyn Bethancourt attended the 18th annual Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival in Titusville, Florida last month, to share Panama’s natural splendor with all who came to this exciting festival!  During the week-long festival, Carlos and Evelyn greeted thousands of visitors to our booth, hosted workshops on Panama’s amazing wildlife and led birding walks (like this one below, in search of the Florida Scrub-Jay) in some of Florida’s beautiful habitats.  We saw many familiar faces and hope to see you there again in 2016!

Space Coast 2015 Birding WalkFlorida Scrub-Jay

Cornell Lab of Ornithology Golden-winged Warbler Research Trip

Golden-winged Warbler by Jack Hruska

In January, we hosted Cornell Lab of Ornithology biologist Ken Rosenberg and graduate student Ruth Bennett and her field assistant Jack Hruska at the Canopy Lodge and Canopy Camp, as they surveyed for overwintering Golden-winged Warblers, a severely declining species of conservation concern.  In addition to their target species, they also encountered Sapayoa, Great Curassow, Wing-banded Antbird, Double-banded Graytail, and many other species of interest in Panama.  Ken and his team compiled a wonderful trip report of their preliminary research, sightings and experiences at the Canopy Lodge and Canopy Camp.  Click here for the trip report.  Thanks to Ken, Ruth and Jack for sharing their great report and for their dedicated work for the conservation of the Golden-winged Warbler.  We wish them the best of luck during their continued research on the Golden-winged Warbler.

Upcoming Deals


Canopy Camp Darien

LIMITED AVAILABILITY: Save 10% on a week at the Canopy Camp in March.  Book your Birds of Canopy Camp Darien birding and nature tour March 16-22 and save 10%, a savings of $334 per person!  Limited spaces available; contact us to book your next birding adventure in Panama!

Recent Guests at Our Lodges

VENT Canopy Lodge January 2015VENT Canopy Lodge February 2015

Victor Emanuel Nature Tours (VENT) groups, led by Jeri Langham (top) and Kevin Zimmer (bottom), visited the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge in January and early February.  These groups had many great sightings during their stay—combined with great food and nice company, we had many happy guests!  

Creature Feature

Tayra by Carlos Bethancourt

Eira barbara

The Tayra is a large member of the weasel family, Mustelidae, found in the rainforests and cloud forests of Central and South America.  It is a medium-sized mammal, with a body length of 60 cm, and has a long, bushy tail, 2/3 the length of its body.  It is dark brown-black overall, and often has a pale yellow head and chest.  It has small, round ears and partially webbed toes.  Tayras are true omnivores, feeding on small invertebrates (especially rodents), insects, bird eggs, fruit and honey.  They are terrestrial and arboreal—while they are most frequently encountered on the ground, they are excellent climbers and often climb trees in search of food or to evade predators.  They are diurnal and particularly active at dawn and dusk, a behavior called “crepuscular”.  They are solitary for the most part, but pairs will travel together.  Tayras have huge home ranges (10-24 km2) and will travel long distances, from 2 to 8 km per day!  They den in hollow trees or holes in the ground.  They occasionally are found in plantations or gardens, and may frequent these areas for food sources even if humans are nearby.  Tayras are occasionally encountered around our lodges!

Local Variations: There are nine recognized subspecies of Tayra.  Some individuals in Costa Rica and Panama are completely black, and a pale yellow phase Tayra occurs in the savannas of Guyana and Bolivia.

© Canopy Family