Panama – Eagles, Antpitta’s & Hummingbirds

Thursday 13th – Thursday 27th November 2025

Panama is one of the best places for birding in Central America with a huge variety of flora and fauna including a bird list of nearly 1000 species! Our tour will take in the lowlands of Central Panama, the foothills of Western Panama, and the remote stretches of Eastern Panama, the land where Harpy Eagles and four species of macaw can still be found. This 15-day tour focuses on the incredible avian diversity of Panama with iconic species such as Harpy Eagle, Resplendent Quetzal, Crested Eagle, Black Antshrike, Double-banded Graytail, Gray-cheeked Nunlet, Yellow-breasted Flycatcher, Russet-winged Schiffornis, Black Oropendola, Red-throated Caracara, Ocellated Antbird & Brownish Twistwing.

There will be an excellent chance to see some of the rarer mammals including Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth, Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloth, Northern Coati, Mantled Howler Monkey, White-faced Capuchin, Geoffroy’s Tamarin, Capybara, Kinkajou and Northern Tamandua.
We stay at some of the best lodges in Panama where great food, wildlife and scenery awaits.

Tour Leaders: Steve Grimwade and Local Guide
Maximum Group Size: 13

Day 1
We take our flight to Panama from London via Amsterdam and on arrival transfer to the Canopy Tower in the heart of the Soberanía National Park. After a long day of travelling, there will be a chance to do some birding and we hope to see Long-billed Hermit, White-necked Jacobin, Violet-bellied & Blue-chested Hummingbirds, White-vented Plumeleteer plus the chance of Snowy-bellied Hummingbird.
Overnight: Canopy Tower

Day 2
We head up to the Observation Deck for early morning birding and whilst enjoying a hot drink, we may see Green & Red-legged Honeycreepers, Green Shrike-Vireo, Blue Cotinga, Scaled Pigeon, Mealy & Red-lored Parrots, Keel-billed Toucan, Collared Araçari, Red-capped & Blue-crowned Manakins, a huge diversity of flycatchers and tanagers and raptors including King Vulture and Black Hawk-Eagle!

After a late breakfast, we’ll start exploring the Soberanía National Park by taking a pleasant walk down Semaphore Hill Road. This winding, shady paved road, festooned by wildflowers of many types is more than a mile long and crosses a large creek. There are some incredible birding opportunities here including birds from the interior of the forest as well as edge-dwellers. Olivaceous Flatbill, Plain Xenops, Lesser Greenlet, Black-breasted & White-whiskered Puffbirds, Fasciated & Black-crowned Antshrikes, Slate-colored Grosbeak, Bay-headed & White-shouldered Tanagers, Black-throated & Slaty-tailed Trogons, Broad-billed & Rufous Motmots and even Great Jacamar may be found. Great Tinamou is often heard but harder to see. This road is also great for raptors such as White, Tiny & Great Black Hawks.

After a great lunch, we spend the afternoon at The Ammo Dump which is the best place to see the elusive White-throated Crake, as well as a host of other waterbirds. Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Wattled Jacana and Purple Gallinule are common and Least Grebe and American Pygmy-Kingfisher are also resident. In this area we often find Greater Ani, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Whooping Motmot (recent split from Blue-crowned), Yellow-tailed Oriole, Southern Lapwing, Anhinga, Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet, Scrub Greenlet, Lesser Kiskadee, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Panama, Social & Rusty-margined Flycatchers, and even Olivaceous Piculet! The birding is excellent here, and you’ll definitely add to your impressive list of birds!
Overnight: Canopy Tower

Day 3
After breakfast, we board the open-air vehicles that will take us to the Pipeline Road, the best place in Central Panama to find forest birds and one of the premier birding spots in the world! We will concentrate our efforts at the beginning of the Pipeline Road, where we will look for Greater Ani, Gray-cowled Wood-Rail, Yellow-tailed Oriole, Masked Tityra, Rosy Thrush-Tanager, Isthmian (formerly Plain) Wren, Streaked Flycatcher, Red-throated Ant-Tanager, Squirrel Cuckoo, Gray-headed Chachalaca, Southern Bentbill, Forest Elaenia, Panama Flycatcher, Blue Ground Dove and Little Tinamou. Other birds recorded here are Black-bellied & Buff-breasted Wrens, Golden-collared Manakin, White-necked Puffbird, Gartered, Slaty-tailed, Black-throated, White-tailed & Black-tailed Trogons, Purple-crowned Fairy, Yellow Tyrannulet, White-bellied & Dusky Antbirds, Fasciated & Black-crowned Antshrikes and many more. During migration this entrance road is excellent for migrant warblers, flycatchers, grosbeaks and tanagers.

After the mornings exciting birding, we head back for a welcome home-cooked lunch before spending the afternoon in the Summit Gardens. The botanical gardens are great for migratory warblers and other forest-edge species, including a colony of Chestnut-headed Oropendolas, Yellow-margined Flycatcher, Laughing Falcon, Gray-lined, Crane & Great Black Hawks, Collared Forest-Falcon, Tropical Pewee, Masked Tityra, Golden-fronted & Scrub Greenlets, Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Giant, Shiny & Bronzed Cowbirds, and Blue Cotinga. This park is the best place to find Streak-headed Woodcreeper, a difficult species to get elsewhere on this tour.
Overnight: Canopy Tower

Day 4
We take a short ride to the bottom of Semaphore Hill and the Plantation Trail, one of the premier birding areas, often said to rival the Pipeline Road itself! This easy trail passes through mature rainforest and follows the Rio Chico Masambi, it is a reliable place to find Golden-crowned Spadebill. Other birds to look for along the trail include Ocellated, Bicolored, Chestnut-backed, White-bellied & Spotted Antbirds; Broad-billed & Whooping Motmots, five species of trogon; White-whiskered Puffbird; hummingbirds (Blue-chested, White-necked Jacobin and others); Plain-brown, Northern Barred, Cocoa, and Ruddy Woodcreepers; Cinnamon, Crimson-crested & Black-cheeked Woodpeckers; White-breasted Wood-Wren; Song Wren; Dot-winged, Checker-throated & White-flanked Antwrens; Purple-throated Fruitcrow; Bright-rumped Attila; Gray-headed Tanager; Long-billed Gnatwren; Black-crowned & Fasciated Antshrikes; Red-capped & Blue-crowned Manakins; Great Tinamou; Ruddy-tailed, Royal & Yellow-margined flycatchers; Yellow-rumped Cacique; Scaly-throated Leaftosser; and occasionally, Great Jacamar or the endemic Yellow-green Tyrannulet!

After lunch, we take a short drive to Chagres River and the accompanying fields and forest. First, we must stop at the Canopy Bed & Breakfast in the picturesque village of Gamboa to look at the bird feeders! With a beautiful backdrop of Cerro Pelado, the backyard at the Canopy B&B is teeming with bird life. At the fruit feeders, we are likely to see Red-legged, Shining & Green Honeycreepers, Lemon-rumped, Crimson-backed & Blue-gray Tanagers, Thick-billed Euphonia, Yellow-bellied & Variable Seedeaters, Whooping Motmot, and Gray-headed Chachalaca, with Central American Agoutis lurking about under the feeders.

Next, we head to the Chagres River, the main tributary for the Panama Canal. The birding along the river banks and the forest edges of Gamboa Resort can be spectacular! Here, we search for Amazon, Green & American Pygmy Kingfishers, as well as Whooping Motmot and Cinnamon Woodpecker. We could also see Gray-cowled Wood-Rail, Cocoi, Green & Striated Herons, Wattled Jacana, Pied-billed Grebe, Anhinga, Royal & Sandwich Terns, Brown Pelican, Neotropic Cormorant, Tricolored & Little Blue Herons, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Mangrove Swallow, Black-chested Jay, Lesser Kiskadee, Rusty-margined Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Cacique, Black-bellied & Buff-breasted Wrens, Fasciated & Barred Antshrikes, Cinnamon Becard, Slaty-tailed Trogon, White-bellied Antbird, and even Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon and Blue Cotinga at times!
Overnight: Canopy Tower

Day 5
Today we will search for the area’s most sought-after specialties, from Great Jacamar and Pheasant Cuckoo to Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo and Harpy Eagle, all of which have been recorded here. Eight species of wren, 5 trogons, 4 puffbirds, 3 motmots, and many tanagers and flycatchers, including the unusual Brownish Twistwing are often found. Also, the calls of Streak-chested Antpitta and Black-faced Antthrush will lure us in! Army ant swarms are found occasionally, attended by a host of birds including Bicolored, Ocellated & Spotted Antbirds. Plus, we will hunt for Golden-collared, Red-capped & Blue-crowned Manakins which are always high on a birder’s list of favourites! Raptors include 3 forest-falcons, Tiny & Semiplumbeous Hawks, Ornate & Black Hawk-Eagles soaring overhead.

Other residents include Carmiol’s & Sulphur-rumped Tanagers, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Black-crowned & Masked Tityras, Cinnamon & Crimson-crested Woodpeckers, Scarlet-rumped Cacique, Red-lored & Brown-hooded Parrots, Collared Araçari, Speckled Mourner, Buff-throated Foliage-Gleaner, Keel-billed & Yellow-throated Toucans, and Black-striped, Northern Barred and Plain-brown Woodcreepers!

As we cross several rivers, we search for Sunbittern and Green-and-rufous Kingfisher. To maximize our time in the field, we enjoy a nice picnic lunch along Pipeline Road, but with scopes, cameras and binoculars at the ready! After lunch, we search for more species, including the elusive Wing-banded Antbird, Spot-crowned Antvireo, Moustached Antwren, Ruddy Quail-Dove, and Marbled Wood-Quail!
Overnight: Canopy Tower

Day 6
We say our goodbyes to the Canopy Tower and make our way along the Pan-American Highway where we will scan for roadside birds and open-field raptors including Savanna Hawk and Crested Caracara. At the bridge at Bayano Lake we have a great opportunity to see large numbers of water birds, including a large colony of Neotropic Cormorants, as well as Anhinga, Cocoi Heron and the rare Bare-throated Tiger-Heron. We will scan the water’s edge for Purple Gallinule, Pied Water-Tyrant, Smooth-billed Ani and Ruddy-breasted Seedeater. A short trail from the water’s edge is a great place to search for Black Antshrike, Bare-crowned Antbird, Rufous-winged Antwren and Golden-collared Manakin.

Just 10 minutes down the road at Río Mono Bridge, the surrounding forest is home to One-colored Becard, Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Blue Cotinga, Pied Puffbird, Orange-crowned Oriole, Blue Ground Dove and more. We will also scan the river below for Green-and-rufous Kingfisher and the elusive Fasciated Tiger-Heron. The forest edge and scrubby roadsides around Rio Torti offer good opportunities to see Pacific Antwren, Double-banded Graytail and Little Cuckoo. At a lovely Panamanian restaurant in Torti, the hummingbirds at the feeders will no doubt capture our attention, as Long-billed Starthroat, Sapphire-throated Hummingbird, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird and Black-throated Mango will give us some amazing photo opportunities!
Overnight: Canopy Camp

Day 7
After a good night’s sleep and a hearty Panamanian breakfast, we spend the morning birding the local area where we hope to see and hear Yellow-throated and Keel-billed Toucans in the towering Cuipo trees with Red-lored and Mealy Parrots flying overhead. White-bellied Antbird, Bright-rumped Attila, White-headed Wren and Golden-headed Manakin sing from the surrounding forests whilst Pale-bellied Hermit and Sapphire-throated Hummingbird visit the flowers around the camp. Rufous-tailed Jacamar and Barred Puffbird are also seen frequently around the grounds of the camp. We will work our way into the forest on “Nando’s Trail,” in hopes of finding Tiny Hawk, Black Antshrike, Great Antshrike, Olive-backed Quail-Dove, Cinnamon Becard, Black-tailed Trogon, Double-banded Graytail, Gray-cheeked Nunlet, Yellow-breasted Flycatcher, Royal Flycatcher and Russet-winged Schiffornis. We will also be looking for groups of Red-throated Caracara, King Vulture and Short-tailed Hawk overhead in the clearings. Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Plumbeous and Zone-tailed hawks are also possible.

In the open areas, the verbenas are full of hummingbird and butterfly activity, where we hope to see Violet-bellied Hummingbird, Pale-bellied Hermit, Long-billed Starthroat, Blue-throated Goldentail and if lucky, the stunning Ruby-Topaz Hummingbird feeding here. Spot-crowned Barbet, Olivaceous Piculet, White-headed Wren, Red-rumped Woodpecker and Streak-headed Woodcreeper are other birds we may encounter.

After our evening meal, we will explore the grounds in search of nocturnal birds and mammals, including Black-and-white and Mottled Owls, Great and Common Potoos, Kinkajous, Central American Woolly Opossum and more!
Overnight: Canopy Camp

Day 8
The enigmatic Harpy Eagle is our target for the day! Today we will start very early, long before sunrise and drive to Yaviza at the end of the Pan-American Highway. Arriving at dawn in Yaviza, we will board a Piragua, a dugout canoe and cross the still waters of the Chucunaque and Tuira rivers. The river edges offer shrub and grass habitat, as well as mudflats and beaches depending on the water levels. There are plenty of birds to see along the riverside such as Neotropic Cormorant, Anhinga, Great Blue, Cocoi, Little Blue, Tricolored, Striated and Capped Herons, Snowy Egret, White and Green Ibises, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Pied Water-Tyrant, Bronzed Cowbird, Yellow-hooded Blackbird and both Crested and Black Oropendolas. White-tailed Kite and Black-collared and Common Black Hawks may be found cruising overhead. Upon arrival in El Real, we can scan the open areas for Spot-breasted Woodpecker and Great Potoo.

We will meet a local truck and head south out of town past the airstrip, to the trailhead at the border of Darien National Park! This trail is wide, traversing through lowland rainforest and alongside a river. If very lucky, we may see Harpy Eagle or Crested Eagle, as both of these magnificent raptors roam the dense forests here.

Hopefully with some success this morning, we can rest and have a picnic lunch in the field, and continue to bird along the trail. Other large forest eagles, including Ornate Hawk-Eagle, can also be found in the area, as well as Gray-cheeked Nunlet, White-fronted Nunbird, Green-and-rufous Kingfisher, Agami Heron, Red-throated Caracara, Chestnut-backed Antbird (the eastern Panama race shows white dots on the wings), Chestnut-fronted and Great Green Macaws, Scarlet-browed Tanager and more. After lunch and a break, we will retrace our steps and start our way back to El Real, then head back to Yaviza by river and back to our base.
Overnight: Canopy Camp

Day 9
After the excitement of the previous day, we have a more relaxed day birding the El Salto Road which extends 6 km north from the Pan-American Highway and ends at the mighty Río Chucunaque. This open road and surrounding dry forest are a great place to search for regional specialties including Golden-green Woodpecker, Double-banded Graytail, Blue-and-yellow and Chestnut-fronted Macaws, Black and Crested Oropendolas, Blue Cotinga, White-eared Conebill, Black-breasted Puffbird, Orange-crowned Oriole and the majestic King Vulture. A trail at the end of the road will take us into low-canopy forest, where we hope to find Bare-crowned Antbird, Pale-bellied Hermit, Olivaceous Piculet, Streak-headed Woodcreeper and Forest Elaenia.

After lunch, we head the short distance to the adjacent Tierra Nueva Foundation. Fundación Tierra Nueva is a non-profit organization whose main mission is “working towards the sustainable development of people of the Darién Rainforest.” The property is the home of a technical school focusing on applications in agriculture. We will explore the trails of this large, forested property, in hopes of finding Streak-headed Woodcreeper, Yellow-breasted and Black-billed Flycatchers, Red-rumped Woodpecker, Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon, Cinnamon, Cinereous and One-colored Becards, White-eared Conebill, White-headed Wren and the magnificent Great Curassow. We will also search for the eastern race of the Chestnut-backed Antbird, which shows white spots on the wings.
Overnight: Canopy Camp

Day 10
Today we are off to Nuevo Vigia, an Embera community nestled north of the Pan-American Highway, surrounded by great secondary growth dry forest and two small lakes, all of which attract an enticing variety of birds. The community is accessible by “piragua,” a locally-made dugout canoe. As we coast along the Chucunaque and Tuquesa Rivers, we will keep our eyes and ears open for Chestnut-backed, Crested and Black Oropendolas, Spot-breasted Woodpecker, Common Black Hawk, Yellow-tailed Oriole, Red-billed Scythebill, Capped and Cocoi Herons, White Ibis, Greater Ani, Solitary Sandpiper and other water birds. We will spend the majority of the morning birding a trail toward a small lagoon, a great place to see Black-collared Hawk, Bare-crowned and White-bellied Antbirds, Green Ibis, Gray-cheeked Nunlet, Spectacled Parrotlet, Black-tailed Trogon, Striped Cuckoo, Black-bellied Wren, Little Tinamou, Golden-green Woodpecker and Green-and-rufous Kingfisher!

In the town of Nuevo Vigia, local artisans weave colourful decorative masks, make plates out of palm fronds and carve cocobolo wood and tagua nuts into animals and plants and we will have the opportunity to meet some of the community members and admire and purchase some of the beautiful products they make by hand. We will enjoy a satisfying picnic lunch in the village, followed by more great birding around the riversides and scrubby habitat surrounding Nuevo Vigia before heading back to the Canopy Camp.
Overnight: Canopy Camp

Day 11
After breakfast we leave Canopy Camp and make our way to Canopy Lodge, located in the mountains of El Valle de Antón and nestled in the cloud forests of Cerro Gaital Natural Monument. At 2,400-feet, you will immediately appreciate the noticeably cooler temperatures here! On arrival, we will settle in and then spend some time watching the fruit feeders and grounds for birding opportunities! Crimson-backed, Blue-gray, White-lined, Flame-rumped, Dusky-faced & Plain-colored Tanagers are about, as are Red-crowned Ant-Tanager, Thick-billed Euphonia, Chestnut-headed Oropendola, Streaked & Buff-throated Saltators, Lineated & Red-crowned Woodpeckers, Red-legged Honeycreepers, Yellow-faced Grassquit, Social Flycatcher, Ruddy Ground Dove, Barred Antshrike, Clay-colored Thrush, Rufous Motmot, Rufous-tailed, Snowy-bellied & Violet-headed Hummingbirds, White-vented Plumeleteer and Garden Emerald are just some of the species we may encounter!
Overnight: Canopy Lodge

Day 12
Today after breakfast, we proceed to Cerro Gaital, a steep, forested, mist-shrouded mountain that you will see from the lodge! Cerro Gaital (3,500’) is the namesake of Cerro Gaital Natural Monument, which protects more than 335 hectares of mature cloud forest. This area offers sightings of Black Guan, Northern Emerald-Toucanet, Orange-bellied (Collared) Trogon, Spotted Barbtail, Common Chlorospingus, Silver-throated Tanager, Black-headed Antthrush, Slaty Antwren, Spot-crowned & Plain Antvireos, Black-faced Grosbeak, Blue Seedeater, Rufous-capped Warbler, Gray-headed Kite, White Hawk, Tawny-capped Euphonia, Pale-vented Thrush, Northern Schiffornis, White-tailed Emerald, Green-crowned Brilliant, Violet-headed Hummingbird and Crowned Woodnymph. Scaled Antpitta and Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo have been recorded here! After a full morning of birding, we head back to the Canopy Lodge for a well-deserved lunch.

After lunch we are off to Valle Chiquito for more Panamanian birdwatching! This valley is accessible by a newly paved road and passes through nicely forested woodlands crossed by two rivers. At Rio de Jesus we search for Green Kingfisher and listen for Sepia-capped Flycatcher. We also admire a nice colony of Chestnut-headed Oropendolas in a Cecropia tree. We try for Tody Motmot, Yellow-throated Vireo, Yellow-backed Oriole, White-bellied Antbird, Gray-chested Dove, Yellow-billed Cacique, Zone-tailed & Gray-lined Hawks, Black Hawk-Eagle, Lance-tailed Manakin, Panama Flycatcher, Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Little Tinamou, Long-billed Starthroat and Garden Emerald. Wrens are abundant here, with Black-bellied, Rufous-and-white, Bay, and Rufous-breasted Wrens all lurking in the thickets!
Overnight: Canopy Lodge

Day 13
Departing early in the morning after breakfast, we drive from El Valle in air-conditioned 4×4 SUVs up into the mountains. As the sun rises over the highlands ahead, spectacular mountains, vast valleys and towering cliffs come into view! Set in the mountains on the continental divide east of El Valle, Altos del Maria provides a spectacular addition to the Birds of the Canopy Lodge tour. Ascending an excellent paved road, we will climb a ridge to our destination, an expansive area of cloud forest at 3,600 ft. This area harbours an exciting variety of highland forest birds. Some of the characteristic species of this cloud forest include Yellow-eared Toucanet, Black Guan, Black-crowned Antpitta, Black-headed Saltator, White Hawk, Barred Forest-Falcon, Orange-bellied (Collared) Trogon, Spotted Woodcreeper, Red-faced Spinetail, Spotted Barbtail, Russet & Great Antshrikes, Tufted & Sulphur-rumped Flycatchers, Rufous-browed Tyrannulet, White-ruffed Manakin, Ochraceous Wren, Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, Pale-vented Thrush, Green Shrike-Vireo, Yellow-billed Cacique, Slate-colored Grosbeak, and Black-and-yellow, Bay-headed, Dusky-faced & Tawny-crested Tanagers. Even the bizarre Brown-billed Scythebill is seen here regularly. Hummers we may spot include Band-tailed Barbthroat, the exquisite Snowcap, Garden & White-tailed Emeralds, Purple-throated Mountain-Gem, White-tipped Sicklebill, and Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer.

After a picnic lunch in the field, we will drop down into a valley and climb to the ridge on the opposite side. Reaching some large swathes of mature humid forest along this ridge, we will explore some trails and roadside spots in search of even more forest birds. Around mid-afternoon, we will head back into El Valle for some relaxation time prior to dinner at Canopy Lodge.
Overnight: Canopy Lodge

Day 14
After breakfast, we continue our quest for more new birds with a trip to La Mesa Road. This area, which is a visually pleasing blend of secondary forest, scrubby pastures, overgrown fincas and grassy borders, is home to many of the area’s specialties. Here we look for great birds such as Spot-crowned Barbet, Cinnamon Becard, Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, Silver-throated, Golden-hooded, Tawny-crested & Bay-headed Tanagers, Spot-crowned Antvireo, and Spotted Woodcreeper. Hummingbirds include White-tipped Sicklebill, Rufous-crested Coquette, Crowned Woodnymph, and Black-throated Mango. Other species we hope to encounter include Northern Emerald-Toucanet, Bran-colored Flycatcher, Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant and Orange-bellied (Collared) Trogon before heading back to the lodge for a delicious lunch.

Suitably replete after lunch, we head to Mata Ahogado to spend the afternoon birding along the scrubby roadsides which are often full of birds! Good birds here are Rosy Thrush-Tanager, Black-headed Saltator, Great Antshrike, White-ruffed Manakin, White-thighed Swallow, White-bellied Antbird, Tody Motmot, and hummers such as Long-billed Starthroat, Rufous-crested Coquette and, when the Inga is in bloom, Snowcap! We will also listen for Purplish-backed Quail-Dove before heading back for our final evening meal in Panama.
Overnight: Canopy Lodge

Day 15
After a leisurely breakfast, if time permits, we may do some last-minute Panamanian birdwatching in the gardens surrounding the lodge, then we will drive back to Panamá City to catch our return flights home!

Tour Includes
Full board accommodation for 14 nights
All ground transport in Panama
Full guiding throughout

Not Included
Flights
Travel Insurance
Drinks and items of a personal nature

Pace
Fairly intense, four to five miles walking per day (some inclines and slopes)

Birds
Expect between 320 and 380 species

Tour Cost: £TBC (excluding flights)

* Estimated Flight Cost: £TBC

Single Supplement: £TBC

Deposit: £TBC

*Please see our flights page for more details

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