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The graceful flight of this medium-sized hawk (20 to 25 inches) is always a pleasure to watch. The striking black-and-white pattern, together with its deeply-forked tail and long, thin pointed wings (wingspan: 48 inches), make identification of this raptor easy. Swallow-taileds feed on the wing by catching flying insects or plucking exposed insects, small lizards and snakes from tree tops. Swallow-tailed Kites seldom perch, and it is always a treat to see one resting on an exposed tree branch.
Focus on Plants
The Night-scented Orchid
Epidendrum nocturnum is an epiphytic orchid with a wide distribution, found from southern Florida, the Greater Antilles, Central America to most of tropical South America. In Panama it can be seen flowering most of the year, with the biggest burst during the late rainy season to early dry season (November to January). Though an epiphyte, it can sometimes be found growing on moss-covered rocks or on low branches at eye level. Look for this stunning orchid in trees along Pipeline Road or along wooded trails from the Canopy Lodge.
Carlos (CTF Head Guide) and Evelyn Bethancourt will represent Canopy Tower Family at the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival November 7-11. Stop by our booth and learn about Panama's great birding! Then Carlos heads to California for the Central Valley Bird Symposium, where he will be Saturday's keynote speaker.
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Greetings from the Canopy...
The Canopy Tower Family is proud to announce that we have made a significant investment in Planting Empowerment, a socially-responsible forestry management company. The investment will enable Planting Empowerment to expand their operations in Panama’s Darien province, where they has been growing tropical hardwoods for the past six years. We made this investment because we support their mission of profitable, socially-responsible forestry. Please read more about Planting Empowerment and their efforts to improve forestry practices in Panama.
During October and November, the narrow isthmus of Panama is the sight of one of the world’s greatest avian migration events. Hundreds of thousands of raptors pass overhead on the way to their wintering grounds in South America! The Canopy Tower Observation Deck provides an excellent vantage point for observing huge kettles of Swainson's Hawks, Broad-winged Hawks, Plumbeous Kites, Turkey Vultures and other raptors swirling overhead! [See our birding tour designed to fully experience this phenomenon: Panamá's Hawk Migration Spectacular!] We are proud to be a part of the raptor count. Raptor count data collected by observers is sent to HawkCount, along with other data from census locations in Panama. Panama’s hawk migration provides data researchers use to study population trends.
Best wishes, and I hope to see
Raúl Arias de Para
Canopy Tower Family News
In September, Steven Morello brought a group to the Tower and Lodge for a 10-night photography and nature tour. One morning at the Lodge, Mario L. Urriola Hernández of the Serpentario in El Valle, displayed several reptiles and amphibians from the Serpentario. Among the five frog species, the favorite was the Red-eye Leaf Frog, with it vivid eyes and striking color pattern! It was a toss-up when it came to the snakes, Eyelash Palm Pitviper, Fer-de-lance, and a very active Split-ringed False Coral!
Steven Morello Photography & Nature Tour at Canopy Lodge
Green Iguana Iguana iguana
The Green Iguana or Common Iguana is native to Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean. Green Iguanas may be various shades of green, grays and browns, with the young usually a bright shade of green.