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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: Spot-crowned Antvireo (Dysithamnus puncticeps)

Spot-crowned Antvireo (Dysithamnus puncticeps) - male
The Spot-crowned Antvireo (Dysithamnus puncticeps) extends from South East Costa Rica (SE Limón), Panama (Caribbean slope, also Pacific slope in extreme Eastern Panamá Province and Darién), Western Colombia (Pacific slope, and lower Cauca Valley in Antioquia) and North Western Ecuador (S to Manabí); being uncommon in Panama. Both sexes have a streaked crownspale eyes, and stout hooked billsMale is gray with small white spots on crown and wings

Spot-crowned Antvireo (Dysithamnus puncticeps) - female
Female is mostly brown with faint buff edges and tawny-rufous to gray streaks on crown. On both sexes their wings and crowns markings help separate them from other small antbirds.

Spot-crowned Antvireo (Dysithamnus puncticeps) - male
It occurs in evergreen forest in lowlands and foothills, generally at lower elevations than the sympatric Plain Antvireo (D. mentalis). It inhabits mid-story or subcanopy, and is easiest to detect by checking through mixed flocks or listening through its song. It feeds largely on arthropods gathered by gleaning or with short sallies.

Black-cheeked Woodpecker (Melanerpes pucherani) - female

Black-cheeked Woodpecker (Melanerpes pucherani) - male
On Pipeline Road we also found a nesting couple of Black-cheeked Woodpeckers, and we captured them apparently feeding on termites. Later we found out that the nest was predated by a Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus). Yes, those “cute” birds are also merciless killers, and predate eggs and nestlings of other birds.

Black-throated Trogon (Trogon rufus) - male
We found this beautiful Black-throated Trogon (Trogon rufus) which was very willing to pose at eye level. This species is one of the smaller members of Trogonidae family. In both sexes the lower breast and the belly are yellow, and the underside of the tail is barred black and white. The male has a green head, upper breast, and back, with a prominent black throat and bluish eyering.

And if that were not enough we also found another pair which looked like they were trying to nest on a hollow trunk, and also members of Trogonidae:

White-tailed Trogon (Trogon chionurus) - male

White-tailed Trogon (Trogon chionurus) - female 
White-tailed Trogon (Trogon chionurus) males are black glossed with rich blue on the head, neck, and upper chest. They have a pale blue orbital ring and a bluish white bill. The belly is bright yellow and the upper back and rump are an iridescent violet-blue color. The wingpanel is black and white, which appears gray from a distance. The tail is bluish green, abruptly tipped with black. There is extensive white on the undertail. Females are duller in color than males as the green and blue tones found in males are replaced by gray.

Plain-brown Woodcreeper (Dendrocincla fuliginosa)

White-whiskered Puffbird (Malacoptila panamensis) - male