Birdingpals Trip Report

Birding Venezuela and Panama
by Birdingpal James Day

Two weeks in eastern Venezuela and one week in Panama, and I saw so many birds I won´t bother to list them all. Now I´m recuperating in Argentina before trying to find a few more birds before returning to Bulgaria February 23.
I saw some 320 species in Venezuela, including 112 species new for me and 20 endemics (or near endemics, as we were along borders with Guiana and Trinidad). Highlights included Harpy Eagle. Female and all-white young. This was a close call, as the land overseer didn´t want to let us on the property due to a feud with a local guide we had in our vehicle. But after I told him I had come 14,000 km to see the bird, and my partner Ted showed him some pictures of his grandchildren, he relented and took actually too close to the nest. The female starting screaming at us (her tongue looked purple), so I suggested we back off. We did, and she did. As all this was going on, our guide, John Kvarnback ( yelled out Spangled Cotinga. So we had two prize birds on either side. This was near El Palmar, and agricultural activity surrounded the nest tree. At night, we saw thousands of Oilbirds exit a cave.
Another highlight was my first antpitta, Slaty-Crowned, on the Paria Peninsula, Cerro Humo, with guide Daniel Muller (; this is near Trinidad. He also showed us Cream-colored Woodpecker and, minutes after the antpitta, the endemic Paria Whitestart. Oh, and how could I forget the displaying Crimson-hooded Manakins; they did a side-to-side dance step, and then there was some bowing and trembling. Little Cuckoo was also a highlight of Paria.
In El Valle de Anton, Panama, with guide Mario Urriola (, we such excellent birds as Barred Hawk (seen and heard), Tawny-crested Tanager and Tawny-capped Euphonia.
On my last morning, near the Gamboa resort, we had a bonanza, including Turquoise Cotinga, Cinnamon Woodpecker and Black-cheeked Woodpecker.
In general we did well with raptors and jacomars and cotingas, the last including Guinian Cock-of-the-Rock, the spectacular Pompadour Cotinga, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, and Black-tailed Tityra. And we heard Capuchin Bird´s call, which is like a chainsaw.
Here are some other birds of interest.
An asterisk indicates a Venezuelan endemic:
American Flamingo
Cocoi Heron
Capped Heron
Gray-headed Kite
White Hawk
Rufous Crab-Hawk
Black-Collared Hawk
Black Hawk-Eagle
Red-throated Cracara
Rufous-vented Chachalaca
Spix´s Guan
Black Currasow
Scaled Pigeon
Red-and-Green Macaw
Painted Prakeet
Yellow-crowned Parrot
Tepui Swift*
White-tipped Swift
Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift
Green Hermit
Eastern Long-tailed Hermit
Little Hermit
Gray-breasted Sabrewing
White-tailed Sabrewing*
Brown Violetear
Peacock Coquette*
Fork-tailed Woodnymph
Rufous-throated Sapphire
Copper-rumped Hummingbird*
Long-billed Starthroat
Rufous-shafted Woodstar*
Amazonian White-tailed Trogon
Green-and-Rufous Kingfisher
Brown Jacamar
Rufous-tailed Jacamar
Green-tailed Jacamar
Paradise Jacamar
Pied Puffbird
Black Nunbird
Swallow-winged Puffbird
Black-necked Aracari
Green Aracari
Channel-billed Toucan
White-throated Toucan
Golden-spangled Piculet
Black-dotted Piculet*
Yellow-tufted Woodpecker
Golden-collared Woodpecker
Mcconnell´s Spinetail
Pale-breasted Spinetail
Stripe-breassted Spinetail
Tepui Spñinetail*
White-throated Barbtail* (not seen well, maybe the rarest bird seen)
Black-crested Antshrike
Mouse-colored Antshrike
Cinereous Antshrike
Spot-tailed Antwren
Roraiman Antwren*
Northern White-fringed Antwren
Long-tailed Antbird
Dusky Antbird
White-browed Antbird
Black-headed Antbird
Whtie-tailed Antbird
Ferruginous-backed Antbird
Golden-faced Tyrannulet
Slender-footed Tyrannulet
Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet
Rufous-crowned Elaenia
White-throated Tyrannulet
Helmeted Pygmy-tyrant
Pale-eyed Pygmy-Tyrant
Ochre-Lored Flatbill
Smoke-colored Pewee
White-barred Piprites
Screaming Piha
White-winged Becard
Pink-throated Becard
Scarlet-horned Manakin
Orange-bellied Manakin
Scrub Greenlet
Lemon-chested Grenlet
Cayenne Jay
Tawny-headed Swallow
Rufous-breasted Wren
Buff-breasted Wren
Musician Wren
Paria Whitestart*
Tepui Whitestart*
Black-faced Tanager
Magpie Tanager
Olive-backed Tanager*
Fulvous-crested Tanager
Trinidad Euponia*
Purple-throated Euphonia
Black-capped Tanager
Paradise Tanager
Black-faced Dacnis
Buff-throated Saltator
Yellow-Green Grosbeak
Ruddy-breasted Seedeater
Velvet-fronted Grackle
Golden-tufted Mountain-Grackle*
Green Oropendula
All these were in Venezuela
In Panama:
Garden Emerald,
Red-lored Amazon
Slaty-tailed Trogon
Broad-billed Motmot
Silver-throated Tanager
Black-headed Saltator
Flame-rumped Tanager
Plain-colored Tanager
Chestnut-headed Oropendula
Black and Chestnut Jay
Golden-headed Tanager

Jim Day

Last update 27/08/2007