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Birdwatching at Summit Hotel

Some time ago our photographer Miguel “Siu” spent a weekend at Summit Hotel & Club Golf (http://www.summithotelgolfpanama.com), and of course, instead of spending time with clubs and balls, he took his tripod and camera and went searching birds on the trails and forested areas surrounding the facilities.
Suddenly, Siu heard a raptor whistle call that he immediately recognized as a Black Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus). He had heard it so many times while watching this bird soaring high, but to his surprise this time it was perched on a cecropia dead branch, just looking to the golf course. It only took seconds to draw this large bird’s attention and get a decent shot before it decided to soar to a farthest perch.

The Black Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus) is a large, black raptor of Neotropical forests. It has a prominent crest, is blackish with narrow white barring below, and broad gray bars on the tail. This hawk-eagle occurs in both open and dense forests. Individuals often soa…

In search of the Lesser Capybaras (Hydrochoerus isthmius)

While waiting at a secret location for my hunt of the day; the Capybaras; several friends showed up so I didn't deny them the opportunity for a good portrait:



Southern Lapwing - immature (Vanellus chilensis)



Ruddy-breasted Seedeater - male (Sporophila minuta)





Rusty-margined Flycatchers (Myiozetetes cayanensis)





Wattled Jacanas (Jacana jacana)


Spectacled Caiman

The Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus), also known as the white caiman or common caiman, is a crocodilian reptile found in much of Central and South America. It lives in a range of lowland wetland and riverine habitat types, and can tolerate salt water as well as fresh; due in part to this adaptability, it is the most common of all crocodilian species.


Nine-banded Armadillo

The Nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), or the nine-banded, long-nosed armadillo, is a medium-sized mammal. It is found in North, Central, and South America, making it the most widespread of the armadillos. Its ancestors originated in South America, and remained there until thousands of years later when the formation of the Isthmus of Panama allowed them to enter North America as part of the Great American Interchange. The nine-banded armadillo is a solitary, mainly nocturnal animal, found in many kinds of habitats, from mature and secondary rainforest to grassland and dry scrub. It is an insectivore, feeding chiefly on ants, termites, and other small invertebrates.

Then my target, the Lesser Capybaras, decided to show up:




The Lesser Capybara (Hydrochoerus isthmius) is a large semiaquatic rodent of the family Caviidae found in eastern Panama, northwestern Colombia and western Venezuela. It was recognized as a distinct subspecies of capybara in 1912, and was elevated to species status in 1991. Individuals may be diurnal or nocturnal and solitary or social depending on season, habitat and hunting pressure. The species is reported to be common in Panama but rare in Venezuela. It is threatened by subsistence hunting, the destruction of gallery forests and swamp drainage.

This numerous family of about a dozen individuals of all sexes and ages resides in a private property and the bush around it and therefore are somewhat protected. The location will remain undisclosed to avoid undesired visitors (hunters i.e.) and stress to the animals. I will visit them again to try to capture better pictures.