Birding Paradise - the best place for Panama Birds & Wildlife Photos of 2016 (pt. 6) - Featured species: Red-headed Barbet (Eubucco bourcierii)


On the final part of this special report we continued where we left on last post. We even tried to make some nocturnal macro photography but weather didn’t allow much.




Gray-headed Chachalaca (Ortalis cinereiceps) is a member of an ancient group of birds of the Cracidae family. It breeds in lowlands from eastern Honduras to northwestern Colombia  at up to 1,100 m (3,600 ft) altitude. It’s mainly an arboreal species but sometimes the go down to the ground to forage or dust bath. These are medium-sized birds, similar in general appearance to turkeys, with small heads, long strong legs and a long broad tail. They have fairly dull plumage, dark brown above and paler below. The head is dark grey, and the blackish tail is tipped with pale gray-brown. The primary flight feathers are rufous.

This is a social bird, often seen in family groups of 6–12. It walks along branches seeking the fruit and berries on which it feeds, as a matter of fact we saw a group of about 10, and we took advantage when some of them decided to pose.


Bay-headed Tanagers (Tangara gyrola)

During the night we made a short macro incursion that produced some reptiles that were very passive due to the wet and cold weather, and amphibians that go out in the night searching for prey.

Savage's Bull Frog also known as Central American Bullfrog or Smoky Jungle Frog (Leptodactylus savageii) is the largest amphibian in Panama after the Marine or Cane Toad (Rhinella marinus). Its dorsal part is brown or bronze, sometimes with reddish-brown spots. They have black spots on the lips and often a black strip on the eardrum. They may have reddish colors on the backs of the thighs and on the flanks. Adult males can reach 177 mm (6.7”), and females 185 mm (7.3”).  Unfortunately this subject didn’t want to cooperate with more than this picture, and when we tried to get a better angle, it jumped and dived into the creek in front of it.

It can be found from Honduras southward into South America, in lowland rainforest from sea level to 1,200 m (3,935 ft), preferring forest habitat near swamps and slowly flowing streams. It may also be found inhabiting areas distant from bodies of water.

They are predators of anything they can swallow from the usual insect prey to scorpions, rodents, bird chicks, snakes, and other frogs.


Slim-fingered Rain Frog (Craugastor crassidigitus) is a very common species in many parts of Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia. It's known from the humid lowland and premontane forest zones and it’s mostly seen at night, when it perches on low vegetation, or often seen on the ground, or on rocks bordering small, rocky waterways. During the day, they retreat into leaf litter. They are medium sized, with a slender body and long muscular legs, eardrums are distinctively visible and bordered by a supratympanic ridge that angles down sharply, upper rim of eyelid shows a few dark spots, canthus rostrails are sharply defined, throat often uniform white, and has no webbing between fingers. It’s common but difficult to identify as it is highly variable in appearance.


Anole (Anolis sp.)


Anole (Anolis lionotus ?)

True bug (Heteroptera)



Female Red-headed Barbet (Eubucco bourcierii) foraging for insects on dry leaves.

Red-headed Barbet (Eubucco bourcierii) - female

The Red-headed Barbet (Eubucco bourcierii) is a species of bird in the Capitonidae family. It is found in humid highland forest in Costa Rica and Panama, as well as the Andes in western Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and far northern Peru. The Red-headed Barbet is a spectacularly colored. Males have a vibrant red head that extends into a full bib with a white collar across the back of the head (unfortunately males were not seen around). The back is a darker olive color, while the underparts are golden olive. The females are similar in body color, but with a different coloration in the head; they have a golden collar around the back of the head, with a light blue patch below each eye. The female is more golden underneath as well. Both sexes have a large, cream-colored bill and a small black eye streak. Forages for insects and other arthropods, including beetles, caterpillars, earwigs, flies and scorpions. Also consumes fruit, including berries of Myrica and of Ericaceae, Micronia, Ocotea tonzuzii, guava, and bananas and papayas at feeders. As a matter of fact this girl was very attracted by papaya. In Panama it’s uncommon from Chiriquí eastward to Coclé, and in eastern Darién; mostly from 900 to 1,800 m (3,000 to 6,000 ft).


Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus aurantiirostris) has a disjunct distribution, it's found in Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, (Western) Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, and heavily degraded former forest. It is fairly common within its range, and forages on the ground for insects and fruit. It is characterized by a bright orange bill, along with light rufous-brown upperparts and grayish-white underparts. In Panama it’s fairly common in western foothills and lower highlands from Chiriquí eastward to Coclé, and in Azuero and Panamá Oeste, but has been recorded to near sea level.


Butterfly (Lepidoptera) feeding on a heliconia (Heliconia sp.) flower


Sepia-capped Flycatcher (Leptopogon amaurocephalus) is the only lowland representative of the genus Leptopogon and is widespread in forest and edge habitats from Mexico south to northern Argentina. It's a large headed, long tailed flycatcher with a very upright posture. It has a dark cheek patch with a pale fringe and pale "tear-drop" that is characteristic of this genus. It has the peculiar habit of lifting one wing up over its back while sitting on a perch, a habit that we observed and caught (badly) on camera, helping us to positively identify the genus. It differs from the Slaty-capped Flycatcher (L. superciliaris) by the brown cap instead of dark gray. In Panama its rare on Pacific slope from Chiriquí eastward to eastern Panama Province, with a few records on the Caribbean in Canal Area. It’s found on  gallery and dry forest, supposedly at lower leves, but this individual was higher, and indeed on a gallery forest.


Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant (Lophotriccus pileatus) is the only member of the genus Lophotriccus to occur in Central America. The Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant’s range encompasses eastern Honduras south as far as southernmost Peru and northern Venezuela. It is most easily identified by its long black crown feathers which are extensively edged with red. The sexes are similar, although females have the crest somewhat less developed. This pygmy-tyrant is seemingly an exclusive insectivore. In Panama it’s common in foothills in lower levels of forest.

The End.