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Canopy Family

January, 2013

Featured Bird

RVGC at Panama Rainforest Discovery Ctr by Carlos Bethancourt

Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo

Neomorphus geoffroyi

This large (19 to 20 inches) ant swarm specialist is mainly terrestrial and is unmistakable. It is one of the rarest and most sought-after birds of the New World.  Its loud bill snapping can often be heard before you notice the ant swarm. Areas visited from the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge are some of the best locations to find this amazing bird in all of the Neotropics! 

Focus on Plants

Blakea cuatrecasii

Of the hundred-plus species of melastomes (plants belonging to the Melastomataceae) native to Panama, arguably the most strikingly beautiful is Blakea cuatrecasii !  This small tree is never common and is always a delight when found. Flowers are quite large for a Blakea species. It is a tree of the cloud forest and can be found at Cerro Jefe on birding trips from the Canopy Tower and at La Mesa above El Valle de Antón near the Canopy Lodge in central Panama. 

Flower bud
Tony Nunnery-led VENT group at Cerro Azul

VENT also brought a group led by Jeri Langham for a 10- night birding adventure at the Tower and Lodge.  Both groups were treated to fantastic birding, excellent cuisine and amazing tropical nature!

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Greetings from the Canopy...

Dear Friends,

Canopy Tower Family is pleased that Planting Empowerment, a socially-responsible forestry management company and one our partners for a better, sustainable Panama, is the winner of the startup category of WWF Switzerland Tropical Forest Challenge! Planting Empowerment was selected by over 2,000 voters, 31 senior experts and 11 distinguished jury members from a pool of 74 qualifying applicants. Congratulations, Planting Empowerment!

I also invite you to enjoy Birding in Panama: Autumn Experience in Canopy Tower Family, a video produced by Iva Hristova and Boris Nikolov, the winners of our essay contest.  Thanks for the video, Iva and Boris. It is wonderful!


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


    Raúl Arias de Para

    Canopy Tower Family

Canopy Tower Family News

Cristy Bethancourt & Cesar filling piƱata

In early December, the Canopy Tower Family visited Huile bringing food, gifts and entertainment for the 2nd annual Christmas party at the small  elementary school,.  This year's festivities included a clown (aka Cesar Pinzon, the raptor counter at the Tower).  The kids had a blast with Cesar and his music, jokes, juggling and fun!  The kids, teachers and parents enjoyed hot dogs, chips, cookies and cake.  After the younger kids smashed their Santa piñata, it was time for the older kids to take their swings at a Christmas tree piñata.  The final activity was handing out presents.  Each child came up to receive their gift, but unlike last year, most opened their presents and started to play!  Sheer joy  was evident on the faces of the children, and we definitely look forward to returning next year.

Creature Feature

Diasia Clearwing

Ithomia diasia  var. hippocrenis

This beautiful species of clearwing was first described by H. Bates in 1866.  The Type locality (first found) was Panama.  Diasia Clearwing ranges from Nicaragua to Panama.  Clearwings are in the  Nymphalidae (brushfoots family).  The environs around the Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge are excellent for butterflies.  Take a look at our butterfly list for more species and photos!

© Canopy Family