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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…

Featured species: Cinnamon Woodpecker (Celeus loricatus)

In several visits to the Pipeline Road and San Francisco Reserve we have observed Cinnamon Woodpeckers (Celeus loricatus)  but we have never been so close as this time. A couple (male & female) were spotted by us at middle level of the forest on a tree, drilling a hole. In the beginning we thought they were trying to build a nest, but then we realised they were feeding. We are still not sure if they were eating any sort of insect or sucking sap, which clearly was overflowing from the hole in the trunk.

Of course, this meant excellent opportunities for a photo session, specially when the couple began taking turns at the natural feeder. The only challenge was to get a frozen sharp picture between the pecking action

Cinnamon Woodpecker (Celeus loricatus) - male
Cinnamon Woodpecker (Celeus loricatus) - female

The Cinnamon Woodpecker ranges from Nicaragua south along the Caribbean slope of Costa Rica and Panama to the Pacific slope of Colombia and northwestern Ecuador. In Panama it's fairly common on entire Caribbean slope, and on the Pacific slope from the Canal Area eastward to Colombia. It's usually found in upper levels of forest, and prefers the canopy of tall forest. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests but also ranges higher in elevation into the foothills. Like other Celeus woodpeckers, it is known to forage on ants and termites.

Cinnamon Woodpecker (Celeus loricatus) - females
This species is brightly plumaged cinnamon rufous above, with fine black bars, and white below with sharp black chevrons. 

Cinnamon Woodpecker (Celeus loricatus) - male

Males differ by having a red moustache. In Central America (and western Caribbean slope of Panama), overlaps with the Chestnut-colored Woodpecker (Celeus castaneus), which has a paler rufous crest, and dark chesnut underparts with black chevrons. 

As usual, this day we also observed and photographed other species which we has already shown before on this blog:

Black-crowned Antshrike - (Thamnophilus atrinucha) - male

Blue-crowned Manakin (Lepidothrix coronata) - female

Broad-billed Motmots (Electron platyrhynchum)


Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus)

Blue-chested Hummingbird (Amazilia amabilis)

Long-billed Hermit (Phaethornis longirostris)