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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…

Featured Species: Bare-throated Tiger Heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum)

Bare-throated Tiger Heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum)

The Bare-throated Tiger Heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum) is a wading bird of the heron family found from Mexico to northwestern Colombia, with vagrant records from Texas, United States.


Bare-throated Tiger Heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum)

Bare-throated Tiger Heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum)

It is a large bird, measuring 80 cm (31 in) in length and weighing 1,200 g (42 oz), found often foraging in the open (differing from other Tigrisoma herons), such as river and lake banks, rice fields or farms, and beaches.

Bare-throated Tiger Heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum)

It waits often motionless for suitable prey such as fish, frogs, crabs or small rodents to come within reach of its long spearlike black and yellow bill.

Bare-throated Tiger Heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum)

The adult has black crown and light grey sides of head, the sides of the neck and the upperparts otherwise blackish narrowly barred buff. The median stripe down the fore-neck is rufous and white bordered with black; with rufous underpants.


Bare-throated Tiger Heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum) - juvenile

Juveniles are strikingly barred black and rust throughout their bodies. A patch of bare skin on the throat, found on adults and juveniles, gives the species its common name.

Bare-throated Tiger Heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum)

Bare-throated Tiger Heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum)

This is a solitary breeder, not normally found in heron colonies. The nest is a small flattish stick platform in a tree into which 2–3 green-tinged white eggs are laid. In Panama it's common on Pacific islands including Coiba and Pearl Islands, and supposedly rare along mainland Pacific coast, but we usually find them in eastern Panam√° Province.