Yesterday's post was a huevo buster so I'm hoping today's isn't bad. Do you ever get caught up with identification issues? I'm OCD about this stuff and if you find an error or disagree with an identification, please email me and let me know. In my field notes and birding book from Panama, I found some challenges. I had even shown my pics to a couple birders who had a difficult time telling the difference between some of my bird and butterfly pics!!! Well, as you can imagine from the title, today's post is about a bird's-eye view on both our feathered friends and their eagle eyed followers from around the world. We'll explore birding in Panama as far as the crow flies on this cool and often expensive hobby. So as the saying goes, "Birds of a feather flock together!" Join me for this special Las Aventuras photo shoot.
It started earlier this year when a young student teacher walked in through my friend's doors. As a former Amazon guide, he could speak with birds and identify them! I remember him as very literal, intelligent, and a kind hearted person who was passionate about birds. His eyes lit up everytime a bird crossed his path. My grandparents were into birds, but this guy was an addict! Anyone could see that birds were his true love. And to top it off, he married a fellow birder as well! We had fun discussions because I love plants and he loved birds which always revolved around nature. In fact, he had told me about this place known as Gamboa. While working at the butterfly garden, I also came across many birders(who also love butterflies) and they spoke of this holy place known as the Pipeline Road!! If you believe in Jesus, you go to Israel to visit the sites of his life. If you believe in Santa, you head to the North Pole(although I think he's hanging out in Germany for a bit:). Global warming. And if you believe in birds, you head to Panama:)
|The Brown Pelican|
|Blue Chested Hummingbird|
|Crimson Backed Tanager|
Birders will sometimes deny that they are birders because they don't want people to think of them differently. I met a man who said he liked birds "alright"....and yet he had bird guides and knew most of the birds in my pics! Suspicious. Why doesn't he come out already and just admit it? What a lame duck! It's easy......"My name is John and I'm.....a birder." What a silly goose! I've discovered that from this trip, my camera shots focused on the wildlife instead of the places and people. Why? Look at the pic above and notice the grace and beauty that Mother Nature provides . She makes you stop often and marvel at her creations.
|Black Vulture at Coiba Island|
|The Magnificent Frigatebird over the Pacific Ocean|
|American Oystercatcher on Isla Granitos de Oro|
|Inmature Lance Tailed Manakin|
|A baby Caracara on Coibita Island|
I also found that birds were difficult to identify because there were 3 categories for some of the them. There were the colorful males that contrasted, sometimes vastly, with their female counterparts. And then there was a 3rd category....Inmature Males. We knew they were out there, but in the bird community there is an actual category for them!! Why don't we do this with people?:) You can see that difference between my two lucky shots of the Lance Tailed Manakin. The "mature" one is blue while the inmature is green. Both have a red cap however.
|Inmature Bare Throated Tiger Heron|
Yeah, Coiba was awesome. I have a post coming up on this island. I'm having difficulty with it right now because there are so many pics from this place. I'll have to get all my ducks in a row for this one. Otherwise, I'll be facing an issue that we bloggers have and that is putting too many pics on one post which gives our readers a picture overload. Not me. I just put 5000 bird pics up on this post today. Call me a hypocrite:) Seriously, I have so many DIFFERENT shots that require special writing.....and specifically for the garden and plant portion of my blog. Coiba was a feast for the mind and body. Most of these bird pics come from either our Coiba or Gamboa visits.
|Lance tailed Manakin on Coiba|
Well since birders love having their birding "checklist" nearby, I'll mention several that I saw which I snapped pics of but didn't post because I thought that those shots were "for the birds"....The Ringed Kingfisher, the Amazon Kingfisher, a Lineated Woodpecker, a Scarlet Macaw(can mostly be found on Coiba Island and in the Darien Gap), and a Common Blackhawk.
So many birds and not enough time. It's absolutely incredible how many different kinds of birds are out there!
|Keel Billed Toucan|
|Fiery Billed Aracari|
I'd like to thank all the birders who took me under their wings and helped me put this post together. A special thanks to Ivan and Javier from Panama for not only their insights but their incredible knowledge of birds. You couldn't find a better guide than Javier for Coibas Island and better birding place to stay than Ivan's Bed and Breakfast in Gamboa. Ivan has a lot of useful tips that will get you around the Gamboa, Pipeline Road and surrounding areas. For you birders, a new edition has been published for birding in Panama. The older one has better descriptions while this newer edition, The Birds of Panama, has a quicker and faster page turn while you're out in the field. The pics are A LOT better than the old guide plus you have a map next to the pictures showing you where the birds are located.
|The Yellow Headed Caracara in Gamboa|