Explore Darién National Park, the Chiriquí Highlands or Metropolitan Natural Park while bird watching in Panama.
As the home of more than 1,000 bird species, Panama is a remarkable Central American country providing opportunities for birders to witness unique animals in several noteworthy environments. With habitats such as mountains, cloud forests and other regions designated as national parks, those seeking to spot one of the nation’s several endemic species may capture notable sights during a trip to the Isthmus of Panama.
A significant area located in the southeastern part of the country in which birders can explore sections of 2,236 square miles of various forests and rivers is Darién National Park. With mountain ranges as high as 8,200 feet and several options to traverse the jungle to view impressive scenery, the UNESCO World Heritage site offers adventurers the chance to see some of the nation’s uncommon birds.
Particularly, one may spot one of Panama’s few species of macaws, like the great green macaw, which is classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or the blue and gold macaw, which take shelter in the protected areas. Birders might also view the golden-headed quetzal, a creature colored emerald and red with a golden shine on its head, near the Pirre Mountain, as well as glimpses of cotingas, tanagers and toucans.
Situated near the west of Panama, the Chiriquí Highlands are partially characterized by the dense cloud forests located within it, as well as the diverse concentration of birds found in the distinct region.
Enthusiasts may spot one of the Americas’ most beautiful birds here, as the resplendent quetzal has been seen in the area and prompted the naming of a hiking trail and hotel after it.
A small bird of the trogon family, the resplendent quetzal is a striking creature colored blue, green and red with a tail averaging approximately two feet long. As the bird is classified as near threatened, viewing it may prompt the creation of unique memories during a trip to the highlands.
Adventurists may also find the Azuero dove, blue-throated toucanet or fiery-billed aracari in the region, as each of the species has been seen in it.
In order to explore Panama City and the country’s wildlife in one day, birders can visit Metropolitan Natural Park, a protected area home to 227 species of birds.
Green honeycreepers, orange-billed sparrows and thrush tanagers are some of the creatures one can look for, although the park is also home to 36 snake and 14 amphibian species.
After traversing the area, birders can drive approximately 15 minutes to Camino de Cruces National Park or 25 minutes to Soberanía National Park, both territories in which one can capture sights of the brownish twistwing, near-threatened spiny-faced antshrike and stripe-cheeked woodpecker, as well as the harpy eagle, a large and powerful creature designated as Panama’s national bird.
To witness the beauty of Central American animals, Darién National Park, the Chiriquí Highlands and Metropolitan National Park are advisable locations. Each allows birders to witness the extraordinary creatures, immerse themselves in lush habitats and enjoy a unique experience.