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Canopy Family

September, 2012

Featured Bird

Violet-crowned Woodnymph

Thalurania colombica

The male Violet-crowned is very distinctive with his violet crown, shoulders and underparts, a bright glittering-green throat and forked tail. Females have two-toned undersides, a pale gray throat and chest with a darker belly and white-tipped outer tail feathers. The bills of both are fairly long, all black and slightly down-curved. Males are 4.5 inches in length and the females are a whole inch shorter. They range from Mexico to northern Colombia.  In Panama they are found on both slopes to 4,000 feet but are more common in the lowlands, usually found in lower levels of the forest and adjacent clearings.  They are particularly fond of Heliconia thickets. Woodnymphs are commonly found during outings from both the Tower & Lodge.

Focus on Plants

Episcia lilacina

Known in Panama as “nappa tutu purwikua” or simply, “nepano,” Episcia is a delicate, lightly-rooted herb with a prostrate growth habit that is native from Mexico through Colombia. Its lilac or ghostly-white flowers are conspicuous against the dark forest floor.   Their leaves are dark and hirsute. Nepano prefers open, well-drained, shady locations, with lots of leaf litter.  Their delicate roots are embedded in the leaf litter. It is in the gesneriaceae, or the African violet family.  Look for them along Pipeline Road or shady locations  by the Canopy Lodge.

News Flash!

The new single rooms at the Canopy Lodge opened in late August!  Located adjacent to the main lodge building, the rooms are much larger than the original Canopy Cottage single rooms they replaced.  These new single rooms are a smaller version of the double canopy rooms, with the same amenities! 


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Greetings from the Canopy...

Dear Friends,

   During the month of August, groups visited us who were interested in more than just birds. Victor Emanuel Nature Tours (VENT) had its popular "Panama's Canopy Tower: Birds & Butterflies" tour, led by Michael O’Brien.  From the VENT website:  “Unlike our other Canopy Tower tours, the scope of this trip extends beyond birding to emphasize observation and identification of the region's diversity of butterflies.”
    Birds and butterflies are not the only winged creatures that draw visitors to Panama. Dragonflies are also a popular target to identify and photograph!  Our first organized group in search of dragonflies visited the Tower and Lodge the last week in August.  The tour was organized by Zoothera Global Birding and led by Dennis Paulson of Seattle and Dave Smallshire of the UK, both dragonfly experts. The group included members of the British Dragonfly Society, including  Ms. Pam Taylor, society president. Spending two weeks at the Tower and Lodge allowed them to see and photograph many dragonfly species.  You may want to visit the British Dragonfly Society website to learn more about these beautiful winged insects.


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


    Raúl Arias de Para

    Canopy Tower Family

Canopy Tower Family News

The Canopy Tower Family was well represented at the action-packed three-day British Birdfair in August. Carlos and wife Evelyn hosted the CTF display, and Carlos presented his popular "Natural Splendor of Panama" for two packed houses.

At the Birdfair: Evelyn with Jim & Sue Graham, David, Sue & Stef Cohen & Alex Bowen--all two-time visitors to the Canopy Tower

Creature Feature

Blue-winged Helicopter  (Megaloprepus caerulatus) 

digiscoped by Carlos Bethancourt

"Helicopters" were definitely one of the highlights on the dragonfly tour.  Dragonflies and the related damselflies, like the helicopter, are in the same order, the odonata.  The Blue-winged Helicopter damselfly is always exciting to find, with its animated, slow, undulating flight and floppy wings!

Zoothera Global Birding dragonfly tour group on Pipeline Road
© Canopy Family