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Birding in Panama

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One of the more sustainable forms of Tourism is birding and Panama is starting to recognize that.

An expanding Panama tourism attraction



PANAMA’S  has a growing   tourism  treasure that is largely untapped  says The Panama Audubon Society which has been promoting birds in Panama for over 35 years and, according to its latest listing, the source is expanding.

The  official list of birds of Panama 2016, published in February names   1002 settled  and identified species across the isthmus up from 997 in 2015.

Thew white faced ibis

The white faced ibis

The catalog, is  available on the website of the nonprofit organization, and  includes, says Rosabel Miró, executive director of the Society, the newly registered winged members:

the Pinnated Bittern (pinado mirasol), white-faced ibis,  red phalarope, collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto) and plain-capped starthroat  (gorrioscuro Heliomaster) as the The lists of birds, which have published every year since the 1980s, are indicators of the natural wealth of the isthmus and the health of habitats that sustain them.

“For such a small country such as Panama, with such a  significant number of birds represents an opportunity that official authorities should take into account when marketing the country,” said Miro, who points out that  tourist activities like bird watching, can be a sustainable economic incentive, “which is increasingly in demand among tourists, especially in central and northern Europe”..

Conservationist for the policy group, the lush avifauna of Panama puts the isthmus as a tourist destination, but also puts you at the head among Central American countries with the highest number of species of birds reported.

Panama is one of the  10 Latin American countries with the largest study of birds.

Although the country is only the size of the state of South Carolina (United States), the number of birds exceeds the combined species listed in the United States and Canada  And the Isthmus  has varieties of habitats that favor the development of hundreds of regional and local endemic species and migratory birds.

List of Birds of Panama 2016 was carried out using  a check list  of the American Ornithologists’ ‘Union which  studies birds from the North Pole to the Panamanian border with Colombia including the adjacent islands.

The process for preparing the list, says Miró, included gathering historical information about Panama and the region.
Additions or changes to the list mainly respond to reports of sighted in the country, which are then evaluated by a review committee, , consisting of six scientists and professionals in identifying birds responsible for making consensus decisions on acceptance-or rejection-reports or evidence of new birds in the country,  says Miró.
The five species that entered the record this year are specimens that have perhaps expanded their range and are now seen in Panama.
The 2016 inventory records changes in the taxonomy of some domestic species and changes in scientific and genus or family names.
The list of birds Audubon Society prepares Panama is official and is used by birdwatchers, consultants environmental impact studies and public authorities and institutions.

During the last ten years Audoban has  worked more directly on conservation and education about birds The  major areas of interest are the wetlands of the Upper Bay of Panama and the primary forests of El Chorogo, Chiriqui.

Audubon Panama works locally with public schools, and rural communities and hasa seat on the Patronato of the Metropolitan Nature Park and Amigos del Águila Harpía (Friends of the Harpy Eagle), Panama’s national bird.

During the year the society conducts more than 20 birding fieldtrips, including in Panama City’s Metropolitan Park, a tropical wilderness treasure undiscovered by large numbers of the population.  month. Other activities include four Christmas Bird Counts, Raptor Counts and the World Bird Festival.

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Biomuseum Hosts Migratory Bird Festival 


As part of the month of migratory birds, the BioMuseum  has an agenda of free activities for those who want to know more about the route that at least 100 different species from Canada take to Panama, in search of food during the months of October to February.

'The Sky Covered with Infinite Birds' is an exhibition that tells the story of migratory birds and their trajectory to Panama.

The exhibit is integrated with photographs, illustrations and maps, and will be open until March, under the auspices of the Canadian Embassy, the Audubon Panama Corporation and the Biomuseo. It will also have participation by experts in the area.

The Bird Festival, a day of bird watching from 8:00 am in the botanical garden of the museum, will be celebrated on Sunday October 29 and will complement the agenda of the Biomuseum celebrating this trip.




Edited by Keith Woolford
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  • 10 months later...
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Birding season begins in Panama

Mon, 09/10/2018 - 09:52


The season of watching migratory shorebirds and birds of prey began in Panama, where groups of volunteers and experts will be deployed in the capital and several areas of the country to witness the arrival of dozens of species.

The Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP) reported that since last Wednesday and until next Tuesday the World Shorebird Count, organized by the Audubon Society, will be held in the country, in the framework of the Month of the Oceans.

"The count began in Panama Viejo last Wednesday, but there is greatest expectation for this weekend, especially on Sunday, when different groups of volunteers will go out to watch, identify and count local and migratory shorebirds," said the governing body of tourism.

The best places to watch shorebirds in the capital are Panama Viejo, just behind the old museum, in the mudflats and mangroves; and at the Mirador de Aves on Avenida Paseo del Mar, in Urbanización Costa del Este located in front of the Bay of Panama.

The objective of the global counting of shorebirds is to raise public awareness of the plight of these birds, their threats, and the need to preserve them and promote their research, said the Panamanian public body.

"This count is part of a global effort to know the health of the birds of the planet, in this case those of the northern hemisphere, where there are populations that have decayed or disappeared," said the guide specialized in bird watching, Venicio Wilson.

The Tourism Authority said for the counting of shorebirds nationwide there are groups organized on the Pacific coast: in Pedasí integrated by community volunteers, and in Las Lajas, made up by professors and university students.

In Panama, 46 species of shorebirds can be watched, most of them passing by and coming from the United States -mainly Alaska-, Canada and the Arctic region.

They travel up to 30,000 kilometers in a year, during the winter season of the northern hemisphere, in search of warmer areas and greater feeding opportunities, said the Tourism Authority.

According to the Audubon Society, Panama is the Central American country most frequented by these birds, and annually in the Bay of Panama more than one million individuals feast in the extensive mudflats that are exposed when the tide goes down.

Between October 1 and November 16 the count of birds of prey will take place, from ocean to ocean, the fifteenth count since the bird watchers began to count from Cerro Ancón, in the capital.

Wilson said the first groups of birds of pray have already begun to arrive, such as fishermen hawks, but the vast majority begins to do so starting October 1.

"The best time is between the last two weeks of October and the Alligator Hawk, Swainson's Hawk and Red-breasted Grosbeak come abundantly," he said.

The best spot for observing birds of prey in the capital is the peak of Cerro Ancón, between 8 and 11 in the morning. On October 31, 2017, almost one million birds were counted, the Tourism Authority said on Friday.



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