The Ultimate In Birding Tours

North America & The Caribbean

PANAMA’S DARIEN WILDERNESS – Birding ‘The Gap’

Wednesday 22nd February – Wednesday 8th March 2023

Leaders: Pete Morris and local bird guides

15 Days Group Size Limit 7
Glow-throated Hummingbird Extension

Wednesday 8th March – Monday 13th March 2023

6 Days Group Size Limit 7

PANAMA’S DARIEN BIRDING TOUR: OVERVIEW

Birdquest’s Panama’s Darien birding tours represent the ultimate in tours to this bird-rich area.

The S-shaped isthmus of Panama, barely more than 80 kilometres (50 miles) across at its narrowest and no more than 210 kilometres (130 miles) at its widest, is one of the great crossroads of the world. In Spanish times it was the base for conquering expeditions northwards and southwards along the Pacific Coasts, and since the early days of the 20th century, the impressive Panama canal has saved countless ships from having to make the long and hazardous voyage around Cape Horn.

What fewer people realize is that this narrow strip of land has played a key role as a faunal exchange route between the North and South American continents. The land that was to become southern Central America first emerged as a chain of volcanic islands some 50 million years ago, serving as faunal stepping stones for more mobile groups of creatures. Only within the last 3-4 million years was a continuous land bridge formed, allowing for even more life forms to pass between continents. Typical Neotropic bird families such as tinamous, jacamars, toucans, woodcreepers, antbirds, manakins and cotingas, began to move into Central America where today they diminish in numbers of species from south to north. Other groups including owls, swallows, wrens and thrushes, spread in the other direction and conquered South America. Meanwhile, speciation in both areas continued unabated, and today Panama holds a diverse and fascinating mixture of Central and South American elements, in addition to a number of birds that are endemic or are only shared with adjacent Colombia or Costa Rica, giving it the richest avifauna (amazingly, nearly 1,000 species have occurred in this small but bird-rich country) in Central America.

This fantastic tour focuses on the remote Darien region of Panama, which is, to this day, largely roadless (hence its name ‘The Darien Gap’, as no road yet connects Central and South America) and a place where nature still thrives. One of the classic Neotropical wilderness birding destinations, for those who have experienced a visit to the Darien, it is surely one of their most cherished birding memories.
In 1513, Vasco Nunez de Balboa led an expedition on a 25-day trek through the jungle to the western coast of what later became known as Darien, proving that the land in this area was a narrow isthmus between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Spaniards called the trail that developed after Balboa’s pioneering efforts El Camino Real (The Royal Road).

The remote mountain from which Balboa first sighted the Pacific Ocean lies deep within the vast wilderness of the superb Darien National Park, where the isolated mountain tops have witnessed the evolution of a number of endemic and little known birds in the cool cloud and elfin forests that cloak their slopes. Furthermore, an interesting range of primarily South American species ‘spill over’ into the park’s verdant lowland jungles, including Harpy and Crested Eagles, three species of colourful macaws and a host of smaller but equally captivating birds.

Forming a natural boundary between Central and South America, the vast wilderness of the Darien harbours some 60 or more species of Panamanian birds found nowhere else in the country, quite a few of which are endemic or are only shared with a tiny fraction of neighbouring Colombia.

Our journey begins in Panama City from where we will begin our journey to the east of the country. We will first pause at the excellent San Francisco Reserve, where as well as seeking out the endemic Panamanian Tyrannulet, we’ll also get a great introduction to this country’s superb avifauna with possibilities including the stunning Golden-collared Manakin and Blue Cotinga.

We will then continue the short distance to Cerro Chucantí, a remote and recently established birding destination, which has proven excellent for delivering some of the country’s most difficult and least-known specialities including Russet-crowned Quail-Dove, Violet-capped Hummingbird, Beautiful Treerunner, Varied Solitaire and Tarcacuna Bush Tanager.

Continuing on to the Darien proper and the far east of the country, we will begin our explorations in the lowlands. Here we will be hoping to see two of the world’s most impressive raptors, namely Harpy and Crested Eagle. The smart Dusky-backed Jacamar will also be much-wanted, and other mouth-watering species possible here include Wing-banded Antbird, the handsome Black Oropendola and Viridian Dacnis.

The main tour will culminate with a hike up into the highlands of Darien, up on to the Cerro Pirre Ridge. Although somewhat arduous, our efforts to get to this vast wilderness area will be richly rewarded. Of particular note are such sought-after Darien endemics, near-endemics and very restricted-range specialities as Pirre Hummingbird, Pirre Warbler, Green-naped Tanager and Pirre Bush-Tanager.

During the optional extension, we shall be in expedition mode, as we will hike into and camp in the remote Cerro Hoya National Park. The poorly-known Glow-throated Hummingbird was discovered here relatively recently, and this is possibly the only place this rare species has been reliably observed in recent years. We will try our best to add our names to the select few that have been fortunate enough to see this species.

Birdquest has operated tours to Panama’s Darien since 1998.

This tour can be taken together with WESTERN & CENTRAL PANAMA

Accommodation & Road Transport: The hotels in Panama City, Tortí and Meteti are of a good standard. At Cerro Chucantí and Rancho Frio (Pirre Base Station) we will be staying at simple lodges, with shared bathroom facilities and most likely more than two to a room. During our hike to the Pirre Ridge, we shall be staying for a total of five nights in simple but reasonably comfortable tented camps (with tents available for twin or single occupancy) set up by our local agents. During the extension to Cerro Hoya, we will spend three nights in good quality hotels but two nights will be basic camping (with tents available for twin or single occupancy) set up by our local agents. Road transport is by small coach or minibus/passenger van, with 4WD to get us to the more remote locations.

Walking: The walking effort during our Panama’s Darien birding tour is mostly easy to moderate, but there is a long ascent to reach the ridge at Cerro Chucantí and to the camps on the Cerro Pirre Ridge, which can be taken at a slow pace, and some sections are steep (and slippery after rain). During the extension to Cerro Hoya National Park, the walk to our camp is long and relatively arduous.

Climate: At this season it should be mostly dry and often sunny. It can be quite hot and humid in the lowlands, whilst at higher elevations it can be quite cool, especially at night. There may be some rain.

Bird Photography: Opportunities during our Panama’s Darien birding tour are worthwhile.

Birdquest Inclusions: Our tour prices include surface transportation, accommodations, meals and entrance fees.

We also include all tipping for local guides, drivers and accommodation/restaurant staff.

Deposit: 20% of the total tour price. Our office will let you know what deposit amount is due, in order to confirm your booking, following receipt of your online booking form.

TO BOOK THIS TOUR: Click here (you will need the tour dates)


2023: provisional £4320, $6090, €5110, AUD8340. Panama City/Panama City.
Glow-throated Hummingbird Extension: £1520, $2150, €1800, AUD2940. Panama City/Panama City.

Single Supplement: 2023: £290, $410, €340, AUD560.
Glow-throated Hummingbird Extension: £110, $160, €130, AUD210.

The single supplement will not apply if you indicate on booking that you prefer to share a room and there is a room-mate of the same sex available.

This tour is priced in US Dollars. Amounts shown in other currencies are indicative.

Air Travel To & From The Tour: Our in-house IATA ticket agency will be pleased to arrange your air travel on request, or you may arrange this yourself if you prefer.

PANAMA’S DARIEN BIRDING TOUR: DETAILED ITINERARY

Panama’s Darien: Day 1  Our Darien birding tour starts in the evening at Panama City, where we will stay overnight at a hotel close to the airport.

Panama’s Darien: Day 2  This morning we will begin our journey eastwards, driving as far as Tortí for an overnight stay.

Along the way, we will begin our birding and are likely to come across a number of the more common roadside and open country birds such as Black and Turkey Vultures, White-tailed Kite, Roadside, Grey-lined and Broad-winged Hawks, Pale-vented Pigeon, Plain-breasted and Ruddy Ground Doves, Smooth-billed Ani, Crested and Yellow-headed Caracaras, Orange-chinned Parakeet, Great Kiskadee, Tropical Kingbird, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Southern Rough-winged Swallow, Grey-breasted Martin, Tropical Mockingbird, Shiny Cowbird, Great-tailed Grackle and Blue-grey and Palm Tanagers. Stops at wetter areas may yield Black-bellied Whistling Duck, (American) Great and Western Cattle Egrets, Green Heron, Purple Gallinule, Southern Lapwing, Wattled Jacana, Ringed and Green Kingfishers, Red-breasted Blackbird, Thick-billed Seedfinch and Ruddy-breasted and Variable Seedeaters, whilst surrounding scrubby patches will hold additional species such as Red-crowned and Spot-breasted Woodpeckers, Common Tody-Flycatcher, Southern Beardless and Yellow Tyrannulets, Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Long-tailed Tyrant, Tropical Gnatcatcher, (Southern) House Wren, Clay-coloured Thrush, Blue-black Grassquit, Bananaquit and Streaked Saltator.

Later we will explore the nearby San Francisco Reserve which is well-known as one of the best localities for the diminutive Panamanian Tyrannulet (sometimes known as Yellow-green Tyrannulet), a rather understated endemic. Also here we will have our first chance of finding a number of other species. Indeed the potential list is rather long, and although we will not find them all, we will have further chances to find these species further along our route.

Along the forest edge, and in clearings, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for the impressive King Vulture, Black Hawk-Eagle, White and Short-tailed Hawks and White-collared, Short-tailed and Band-rumped Swifts, whilst raucous calls may lead us to Brown-hooded and Blue-headed Parrots, Red-lored and Southern Mealy Amazons, Crested and Chestnut-headed Oropendolas, Scarlet-rumped and Yellow-rumped Caciques, and Yellow-backed and Orange-crowned Orioles.

Fruiting trees may attract a variety of interesting frugivores such as Spot-crowned Barbet, Collared Aracari, the amazing Keel-billed Toucan, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, the stunning Blue Cotinga, and Black-crowned and Masked Tityras, as well as smaller species such as Rose-breasted and Blue-black Grosbeaks, Summer, Grey-headed, White-shouldered, Crimson-backed, Golden-hooded and Plain-coloured Tanagers, Blue Dacnis, Red-legged and Green Honeycreepers and White-eared Conebill. Nearby flowers should attract some of the possible hummingbirds which include White-necked Jacobin, Rufous-breasted and Long-billed Hermits, the insect-loving Purple-crowned Fairy, Black-throated Mango, Long-billed Starthroat, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, Crowned Woodnymph, Blue-chested, Rufous-tailed and Violet-bellied Hummingbirds, the range-restricted Sapphire-throated and Snowy-bellied Hummingbirds, and the smart Blue-throated Sapphire.

As we walk the tails, we will keep our eyes open for ground-dwellers such as Great and Little Tinamous (both easier to hear than see), Blue Ground Dove and White-tipped and Grey-chested Doves. Also down in the understorey we’ll be looking and listening out for a variety of antbirds such as Chestnut-backed, Bicolored and Spotted Antbirds, and the sneaky Black-faced Antthrush, and wrens, including Black-bellied, Bay, Isthmian and Buff-breasted Wrens and the amazing Song Wren. Other antbirds present could include Fasciated, Great, Barred and Black-crowned Antshrikes, the localized Black Antshrike, Checker-throated Stipplethroat, Moustached, White-flanked and Dot-winged Antwrens, and the canopy-loving (Northern) Rufous-winged Antwren.

In the mid-storey we’ll be keeping an eye out for flashes of colour as Slaty, Black-tailed, Gartered and Black-throated Trogons, Great Jacamar, and smart Whooping and Broad-billed Motmots are all possible, whilst distinctive calls will hopefully lead us to rather sedate Black-breasted, (Northern) Pied and Barred Puffbirds. We’ll also be keenly listening out for the strange pops and whistles that may lead us to gorgeous Golden-collared, Red-capped and Golden-headed Manakins as well as Russet-winged Schiffornis (much easier to hear than see) and the seldom-seen Speckled Mourner.

Taps and drums will betray the presence of some of the woodpeckers, with possibilities ranging from the tiny Olivaceous Piculet to Black-cheeked, Red-rumped, Cinnamon and the huge Crimson-crested and Lineated Woodpeckers. Similar in behaviour are the woodcreepers, which are represented here by Plain-brown, Cocoa, Black-striped and Streak-headed Woodcreepers, as well as the related Plain Xenops.

It will also be our first chance to get to grips with a variety of Tyrant Flycatchers and allies. Not everyone’s favourite, but one of the largest bird families in the world! As well as the hoped-for Panamanian Tyrannulet, we may also find Ochre-bellied Flycatcher, the strange Southern Bentbill, the tiny Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Olivaceous, Yellow-olive and Yellow-margined Flatbills, Yellow-crowned and Brown-capped Tyrannulets, Forest Elaenia, Sooty-headed and Mistletoe Tyrannulets, Tropical Pewee, Bright-rumped Attila, Choco Sirystes, the subtle Rufous Mourner, Lesser Kiskadee, and Dusky-capped, Boat-billed, Rusty-margined, White-ringed, Piratic and Streaked Flycatcher, as well as the closely related Cinnamon, One-colored and White-winged Becards, the lovely Northern Royal Flycatcher, Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher and Sulphur-rumped Myiobius.

Other likely species include Greater Ani, Squirrel Cuckoo, Lesser Greenlet, Trilling Gnatwren, Yellow-crowned and Thick-billed Euphonias, Orange-billed Sparrow, a selection of wintering North American Wood Warblers which may include Northern Waterthrush, Golden-winged, Black-and-white, Tennessee, Bay-breasted, American Yellow and Chestnut-sided Warblers, the stream-loving Buff-rumped Warbler, Dusky-faced Tanager, Buff-throated Saltator and the sweet singing Slate-coloured Grosbeak. If we are lucky, we will find one or two of the scarcer species such as Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, the elusive Central American Pygmy Owl, the endemic Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker (though we will have other chances if we fail to find it here) or the near-endemic Sulphur-rumped Tanager.

Panama’s Darien: Day 3  After a morning in the San Fransisco Reserve, we will make our way to another reserve, the rather remote Cerro Chucantí Reserve for a two nights stay. If it has been dry, we will be able to drive up to the reserve, but if not we will need the help of some equine friends. Later in the day, we will begin our exploration of this excellent area.

Panama’s Darien: Day 4  Cerro Chucantí is a relatively recently established reserve that protects a host of interesting and endemic bird species. Cerro Chucantí is the highest point in the Maje Mountain Range, at over 1,400m (4,600ft). Not only does the site show interesting examples of primary tropical rainforest typical from the Darien region, but it is particularly interesting because it is relatively isolated and there are no other taller mountains for more than 100 kilometres (60 miles) around.

To get to the highest forest it may well be necessary to once again travel on horseback, but once up in the moss-laden forests we will soon forget any hardships. A few species are easier to find here than elsewhere on the tour, and we will be making a particular effort to find the smart Russet-crowned Quail-Dove, the near-endemic Violet-capped Hummingbird, the smart Varied Solitaire, and the endemic Beautiful Treerunner and Tarcarcuna Bush Tanager.

Other exciting species we could well come across include the smart little Tody Motmot, the localized Blue-throated Toucanet, the elusive Yellow-eared Toucanet, the endemic Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker, the localized White-ruffed Manakin, the stunning Blue Cotinga, the smart Green Shrike-Vireo, the colourful Black-and-yellow Tanager and if we’re lucky the rare and elusive Tawny-faced Quail.

We are also likely to come across a number of more widespread species such as Crested Guan, Short-billed Pigeon, Green and Stripe-throated Hermits, White-vented Plumeleteer, Barred Hawk, Russet Antshrike, Plain Antvireo, Long-tailed, Ruddy, Northern Barred and Spotted Woodcreepers, the sneaky Brown-billed Scythebill, Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner, White-throated and Golden-crowned Spadebills, Olive-striped Flycatcher, Black-capped and Scale-crested Pygmy Tyrants, wintering Acadian Flycatcher, Southern Nightingale Wren, White-breasted and Grey-breasted Wood Wrens, Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush, the smart Fulvous-vented Euphonia, Slate-throated Whitestart, Scarlet-thighed Dacnis and Tooth-billed, Carmiol’s, Bay-headed and Silver-throated Tanagers.

Panama’s Darien: Day 5  After a final morning at Cerro Chucantí, looking for any of the specialities we are still missing, we’ll retrace our steps and make our way to the Meteti area, in the heart of the Darien lowlands, for a two nights stay.

Panama’s Darien: Day 6  During our stay in the Meteti area, we will be hoping to see two of the world’s most impressive raptors, though our chances of doing so will, to a large extent, be governed by the knowledge of currently active nests or recently fledged young, neither of which is guaranteed. However, over the years, this area has become one of the best areas in the world to find both the ultra-impressive Harpy Eagle and the equally desirable Crested Eagle, and we will do our utmost to find these amazing species. Meteti is also one of the best areas to look for the attractive and range-restricted Dusky-backed Jacamar, the localized Double-banded Greytail and Black Oropendola.

It is of course a rich area, and we are likely to find many new species for the trip which may include Grey-headed Chachalaca, Scaled and Ruddy Pigeons, Striped Cuckoo, Pale-bellied Hermit, the amazing Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (not always present), the smart Violet-bellied Hummingbird, Plumbeous, Grey-headed, Double-toothed, Hook-billed and Swallow-tailed Kites, Crane, Savanna, Black-collared, Swainson’s (especially if much migration is happening) and Common Black Hawks, the raucous Red-throated Caracara, Laughing Falcon, American Kestrel, the diminutive Bat Falcon, Collared and Slaty-backed Forest Falcons (both tough to see), White-tailed Trogon, the chunky White-necked Puffbird, the retiring Grey-cheeked Nunlet, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Yellow-throated Toucan, Golden-green Woodpecker, Chestnut-fronted Macaw, Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, Black Antshrike (another chance), White-bellied Antbird, Ochre-lored Flatbill, Streaked, Panamanian and Great Crested Flycatchers, Black-tailed Myiobius, Black-chested Jay, the impressive White-headed Wren, Tropical Parula, Yellow-crowned Euphonia and Lemon-rumped Tanager.

Open grassland and wetland areas and riversides will also hold new species such as Magnificent Frigatebird (drifting over), Wood Stork, Neotropic Cormorant, Little Blue Heron, the smart Capped Heron, Spotted Sandpiper, Mangrove Swallow, the gorgeous Prothonotary Warbler and Giant Cowbird.

At night we may well find Pauraques along the roadsides, Tropical Screech, Mottled and perhaps Black-and-white or Crested Owls, and we may also come across bizarre Common and Great Potoos, either in the torch beam or at a daytime roost.

Panama’s Darien: Day 7  We will spend another morning in the wonderful areas around Meteti, before making our way south to Yaviza and then on to the famous Pirre Station, also known as Rancho Frio. The journey here will require a boat trip from Yaviza, followed by a 4WD ride and finally a walk to the station itself. We will of course be birding as we go, arriving at Rancho Frio late in the afternoon for a two nights stay.

Panama’s Darien: Day 8  We will spend the entire day birding the rich lowland forests in the vicinity of Rancho Frio, exploring numerous trails where a number of exciting possibilities exist. If we have not already found them, we may have another chance of the great eagles here, as both Harpy Eagle and Crested Eagle are sometimes found breeding in the area. Other more sought-after and localized species that we will hope to find in this area include both Plumbeous and Semiplumbeous Hawks, Spectacled Parrotlet, the scarce Spot-crowned Antvireo, Dull-mantled Antbird (far better looking than its name suggests!), the amazing Ocellated Antbird (most likely if we encounter an army antswarm), the much-wanted Black-crowned Antpitta, the smart Streak-chested Antpitta, the localized Slaty-winged Foliage-gleaner, the much-wanted Black-tipped Cotinga, White-ringed Flycatcher, the strange Lemon-spectacled Tanager and the impressive Scarlet-browed Tanager.

More widespread additions to our trip list could include Muscovy Duck, Ruddy and Plumbeous Pigeons, Band-tailed Barbthroat, the smart Fasciated Tiger Heron, Great Black Hawk, Rufous Motmot, the docile White-whiskered Puffbird, White-fronted Nunbird, huge Blue-and-yellow and Red-and-green Macaws, the elusive Scaly-throated Leaftosser, Dusky Antbird, the attractive Blue-crowned Manakin, the noisy Rufous Piha, the canopy-loving Grey Elaenia, migrant Eastern Wood Pewees, Tawny-crowned Greenlet, the endearing Tawny-faced Gnatwren, the elusive Slate-throated Gnatcatcher, Stripe-throated Wren, Black-striped Sparrow, Purple Honeycreeper and Yellow-backed Tanager

If we are fortunate we will also come across a few of the more difficult species such as the impressive Great Curassow, Marbled Wood Quail, shy Ruddy and Olive-backed Quail-Doves, the stunning Crimson-bellied (or Splendid) Woodpecker, Saffron-headed Parrot, the secretive Green Manakin or the beautifully coloured and much-wanted Viridian Dacnis. We will also be on the lookout for the extremely wary Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo, though we shall be very fortunate if we manage to see this reclusive forest floor dweller.

At night we will explore the vicinity of our camp for nightbirds, and should have a reasonable chance of finding Choco Screech Owl and Spectacled Owl, whilst Central American Pygmy Owls can sometimes be heard tooting away, even during the day.

Panama’s Darien: Day 9  After a final morning birding around Rancho Frio, we will begin our hike towards the Pirre Ridge in earnest, climbing to the campsite at the wonderfully named Rancho Plastico, situated at around 600m (2000ft) for a two nights stay. The birdlife will subtly change as we gain altitude, and we should encounter a number of trip additions during our hike.

Panama’s Darien: Day 10  We will take a break from hiking today, and spend the day birding the sub-montane forests in the vicinity of our camp, though not all of the trails are easy going! We will once again be hoping for a number of localized and highly-sought avian delights, many of which can be a challenge to find. High on our wants list will be the secretive Choco Tinamou, the strange Tooth-billed Hummingbird, the unique (Broad-billed) Sapayoa, the secretive Choco Tapaculo, the much-wanted Sharpbill (which has at times been placed in its own family), and the superb Yellow-browed Shrike-Vireo, and if we haven’t found them already, this area is often good for the brilliant Yellow-eared Toucanet and the endemic Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker. We may find a pair of Wing-banded Antbirds noisily flipping over dead leaves on the forest floor or a Rufous-breasted Antthrush revealing its presence by its characteristic double whistle.

Other more widespread new species we may encounter include Green-crowned Brilliant, Violet-headed Hummingbird, the impressive Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Rufous-rumped, Dot-winged and Slaty Antwrens, Zeledon’s Antbird, Dusky Leaftosser, the widespread but never common Sharp-tailed Streamcreeper, the shy Lineated Foliage-gleaner, Northern Tufted Flycatcher, the impressive Sooty-headed Wren, the somewhat subtle Pale-vented Thrush, Orange-bellied Euphonia, Shining Honeycreeper, smart Speckled, Rufous-winged and Grey-and-gold Tanagers and the isolated local race of Yellow-green Grosbeak.

If we are lucky we will bump into one or two of the trickier inhabitants of the forest such as Tawny-faced Quail, Violaceous Quail-Dove or the hard-to-see Blue-fronted Parrotlet.

Panama’s Darien: Day 11  Today we will break camp and make the steep hike up to the Mt Pirre Ridge Camp, which is situated at around 1100m (6700ft), for a two nights stay. We will of course be birding as we go, and will begin our exploration of the ridge if time and energy permit.

Panama’s Darien: Day 12  Today we will spend the entire day exploring the highest areas along the Mt Pirre Ridge, looking for the select band of localized endemics that can only really be found in this area. At the red-flowering Cephaelis bushes that line the trail we shall look for Pirre Hummingbird, only found here and on a few neighbouring peaks. On the Cerro Pirre ridge, we will enter a strange world of elfin forest, where rain and wind have contorted moss-draped trees into gnarled shapes. Here live some of the Darien’s most localized endemics: Pirre Warbler, Green-naped Tanager and Pirre Bush-Tanager. Beautiful Treerunner (rarely seen here) and Varied Solitaire also occur, though hopefully we will have seen these species at Cerro Chucantí. Understorey flowers are defended by the abundant and very territorial Greenish Puffleg, otherwise only known in the Andes of South America, and sooner or later we are likely to encounter a group of Brown-headed Spider Monkeys crashing through the canopy. Other goodies that we’ll be attempting to see at these higher altitudes include the smart Black-eared Wood Quail, the tiny Purple-throated Woodstar, Collared Trogon, the attractive Red-headed Barbet, the tiny Ochraceous Wren, the localized Dagua Thrush, the gorgeous Yellow-collared Chlorophonia, Chestnut-capped Brushfinch, migrant Blackburnian Warblers and the fabulous Emerald Tanager.

Panama’s Darien: Day 13  After a final look for any species we have not found at the highest elevations, we will retrace our steps to the camp at Rancho Plastico for an overnight stay, making an effort to find any species that are still eluding us.

Panama’s Darien: Day 14  Once more, we will retrace our steps, this time back to the Pirre Base camp at Rancho Frio for an overnight stay, again targeting any of the species we have not yet found.

Panama’s Darien: Day 15  After some early morning birding, we will make our way back to Yaviza and then by road back to Panama City where our tour ends in the early evening.

GLOW-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD PRE-TOUR EXTENSION

Glow-throated Hummingbird: Day 1  The extension will begin in the evening at Panama City. We will spend the night close to Tocumen International Airport.

Glow-throated Hummingbird: Day 1  Today we will make the long drive to the southwest of the Azuero Peninsula for an overnight stay. We will arrive in time to look for some birds prior to entering the park tomorrow.

Glow-throated Hummingbird: Day 3  Today we will make the fairly arduous climb up into the Cerro Hoya National Park, where we will camp at around 1000m (3300ft). We will be sure to see birds along the way, but we will be concentrating on getting to the key area.

Glow-throated Hummingbird: Day 4  Our main focus today will be to search for the rare and extremely poorly known Glow-throated Hummingbird, as species which has seldom been seen and which, is extremely difficult to identify. However, the most recent records (which were themselves a range extension) have come from the area that we will be exploring, and, the main confusion species, the Scintillant Hummingbird, is not known from this isolated mountain range.

The mountain range hosts a number of species that are largely known from further west in Panama, and we are likely to find a good number of species not seen elsewhere on this tour, though all are species that we see on our Western and Central Panama tour. Possible species include Lesser Violetear, Purple-throated Mountaingem, the stunning Violet Sabrewing, Lesson’s Motmot, Golden-olive Woodpecker, Black-hooded Antshrike, the stunning Lance-tailed and Orange-collared Manakins, White-naped Brushfinch and Red-throated Ant Tanager.

Glow-throated Hummingbird: Day 5  After a second morning looking for Glow-throated Hummingbirds and whatever else we can find, we will make our way back down the mountain for an overnight stay.

Glow-throated Hummingbird: Day 6   This morning we can see if we can find the localized Veraguan Mango, before making the drive back to Panama City Airport where the extension will end in the early evening.