Panama Bird Photos - Frigatebirds through Potoos

by Will Cook

Here's a selection of bird images from a trip to Panama, March 17-April 4, 2004. I managed to photograph about 35 of the 400 species of birds we saw, though I missed many of the more common ones. We saw lots of great butterflies and a few mammals, too. All of my photos were taken using a Nikon CoolPix 995, and most were digiscoped, taken through a spotting scope. Fellow trip-mate Lynn Barber contributed some of her stunning bird shots that she took with her digital SLR with telephoto lens.

Frigatebirds through Potoos | Hummingbirds | Trogons through Woodpeckers | Passerines

Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) Magnificent Frigatebirds (Fregata magnificens) are very common in coastal Panama and the former Canal Zone. Miraflores Locks 3/21/04. Photo: Lynn Barber.
Boat-billed Heron (Cochlearius cochlearius) Boat-billed Heron (Cochlearius cochlearius)
3/22/04 - Summit Ponds near the Canopy Tower, Panamá province. Reminiscent of a Black-crowned Night-Heron, but with a broad, monstrous bill. Difficult to spot when they're resting in the trees during the day, but with patience you can find one. We saw another one nearby that was sitting on its nest.
Yellow-headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima) Yellow-headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima)
3/22/04 - Gamboa, Panama. One of the most common raptors in the lowlands.
Laughing Falcon (Herpetotheres cachinnans) Laughing Falcon (Herpetotheres cachinnans)
3/27/04 - near Santa Clara, Chiriquí.
Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus) Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus), immature.
3/28/04 - Chiriquí. Photo: Lynn Barber. Several species of hawks that breed in the US and Canada migrate through Panama in large numbers.
Wattled Jaçana (Jacana jacana) Wattled Jaçana (Jacana jacana)
3/22/04 - Gamboa, Panama. Photo: Lynn Barber.
Greater Ani (Crotophaga major) Greater Ani (Crotophaga major)
3/22/04 - Summit Ponds, Panama. Photo: Lynn Barber.
Vermiculated (Choco) Screech-Owl (Megascops guatemalae/chocoensis) Vermiculated (Choco) Screech-Owl (Megascops guatemalae/chocoensis) 3/25/04 - Canopy Tower, Panama. Photo: Lynn Barber.
Spectacled Owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata)
3/25/04 - old Gamboa Road, near Canopy Tower, Panama. The Canopy Tower's guide knew right where to look to find this well-hidden owl's day roost, next to a giant bamboo clump.
Common Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis)
4/1/04 - near Cabañas Burbayar, Panama/San Blas border. We accidentally flushed a Pauraque off it nest, which was right beside the road at a trailhead. Unfortunatly, this nest was abandoned.
Great Potoo (Nyctibius grandis Great Potoo (Nyctibius grandis)
3/21/04 - Canopy Tower, Panama. We found this cryptically patterned nocturnal bird roosting high in the canopy next to the top of the Canopy Tower. It's hard to make out, but the thin, black decurved bill is on the right and its right eye is in the middle.

Frigatebirds through Potoos | Hummingbirds | Trogons through Woodpeckers | Passerines

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All photographs and text ©2013 by Will Cook unless otherwise noted.