Panama, the mariner's pathway between two oceans, is the ecologist's pathway between two vast continents. With forested mountains in east and west separated by the central lowlands, Panama constitutes both a land bridge for many species and a biogeographic barrier for numerous others, and it's a rich mixing ground for various elements of the avifaunas of North and South America. Panama hosts more than 970 species of birds, and this short tour to the birder's wonder of lowland Panama is designed as your pathway to almost a third of them.
If you've never birded the American tropics, you'll find that little is quite as exciting as coming upon: your first army ant swarm, attended--sometimes feverishly--by Ocellated, Bicolored, and Spotted antbirds, Plain-brown, Northern Barred-, Cocoa, and Black-striped woodcreepers, and Gray-headed Tanager; or a Cecropia tree full of frugivorous birds from Keel-billed and Chestnut-mandibled toucans to Red-capped and Blue-crowned manakins; and lethargic species like trogons, puffbirds, and motmots that sit almost motionless, seemingly content to watch forest life go by.
Our tour is limited to eight participants so that we are ensured of riding in the same vehicle when we travel to and from birding sites and of having a better participant-to-ornithologist/guide ratio in the field and at meals. We'll be accompanied by a local Tower guide who has the most up-to-date knowledge of the area. Yet in a small group our Field Guides can more effectively impart a wealth of knowledge that is otherwise difficult to get from those who have not had the breadth and depth of Neotropical experience that characterize all our guides. This intimacy and expertise, as well as the smaller group size, are, we feel, well worth a slight premium.
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