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Birdwatching at Summit Hotel

Some time ago our photographer Miguel “Siu” spent a weekend at Summit Hotel & Club Golf (, 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…

Eastern Panamá with Advantage Tours (Day 1)

Once again, I received an invitation from Guido Berguido of Advantage Tours Panama ( to accompany them in a couple of dates over the weekend. Please remember that Advantage Tours is an eco-tourism operator, which provide expertly crafted itineraries. They sponsored my food and lodging expenses so I could go with them and document photographically. Ovidio Jaramillo, an experienced birdwatcher, also came with us and he was of much help identifying birds and trying to get me birds closer.

Our destination for the weekend was Tortí in the eastern part of the Panamá Province, almost bordering with Darién Province.

Our day started early morning, before dawn, traveling from Panama City. Then a short stop at Ipetí for breakfast where a lot of common birds of human habitat were present like Gray-breasted Martins, House Sparrows and Tropical Kingbirds.

Grey-breasted Martin (Progne chalybea)

Then we headed to a private natural reserve near the town of Tortí, where we started the serious birding. Here some examples of our findings that day:

 Barred Puffbird (Nystalus radiatus)

Great Jacamar (Jacamerops aureus)

We saw a lot of birds, easily we were in the 70 to 80 species count, but as you might understand getting "good" pictures of them all is impossible.

During lunch time we had fun with a lot of hummers, six especies total:

Male Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis)

Female Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis)

 Long-billed Starthroat (Heliomaster longirostris)

 Scaly-Breasted Hummingbird (Phaeochroa cuvierii)

Male Sapphire-throated Hummingbird (Lepidopyga coeruleogularis)

Female Sapphire-throated Hummingbird (Lepidopyga coeruleogularis)

 Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl)

Snowy-bellied Hummingbird (Amazilia edward)

The group of birdwatchers was returning to the city with birding stops along the road. Ovidio and I stayed at Tortí, and returned to the reserve to try to get more pictures, not so much activity was recorded that afternoon.

Blue-black Grassquit (Volatinia jacarina)

Blue Ground Dove (Claravis pretiosa)

 Bay-breasted Warbler (Setophaga castanea)

 Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus)

Male Spotted Antbird (Hylophylax naevioides)