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Spot-crowned BarbetPANAMA
CANOPY CAMP
20th Anniversary Special!
August 8 - 15, 2019

Trip Cost and Travel Planning>     Registration Form>
Contact gina@sunrisebirding.com to reserve your space!


In 2019, Panama's Canopy Family will celebrate its 20th year!
The Canopy Family has extended a very special invitation
to Sunrise Birding to help celebrate this momentous occasion. 


If you've always wanted to visit the Canopy Camp in Panama's Darién Province, don't miss this chance!


Barred Puffbird. The Darién Province in eastern Panama has long been regarded as one of the most diverse and species-rich regions in all of Central America playing host to both Central American birds as well as South American species at the northern limit of their range. Renowned for rare and endemics species, access to this area has been limited but now with a new road and the fantastic new Canopy Camp opened in 2013, birders can enjoy the avian specialties of this rich area in comfort.

Built in a shaded clearing adjacent to the tall forests and hills of La Reserva Natural Filo del Tallo, the Canopy Camp incorporates the custom of Panama’s Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge offering the combination of comfortable accommodation, superb food and hospitality, and fabulous birding. The “camp” features a small number of permanent, well appointed, safari-type tents on raised metal platforms with wood decking and private baths positioned right on the doorstep of fabulous avian offerings of the Darién lowlands including 25 species restricted to eastern Panama. The habitats here house so many species and emphasis will be given to indigenous birds special to the Darién lowlands.

Some of the birds possible to see at the Camp and in the surrounding areas include Golden-collared Manakin, Barred Puffbird, Black Antshrike, Spot-breasted Woodpecker, Spectacled Parrotlet, Red-rumped Woodpecker, Beautiful Treerunner, Green-naped Tanager; Sooty-headed Wren, White-headed Wren, Gray-cheeked Nunlet, Red-throated Caracara, Blue-and-yellow Macaw, Dusky-backed Jacamar, Double-banded Graytail, Viridian Dacnis, Black Oropendola, and the stunning Orange-crowned Oriole to name a few.

CANOPY CAMP & ACCOMMODATIONS:
Luxury tent at Canopy Camp.The unique Canopy Camp has seven luxury African safari-style tents. This includes two Tent Suites and five Standard tents. Inside, the tents have a wood floor and screened windows with zip openings so they can close partially or completely. All of the tents have adjacent but private bathroom facilities including shower, sink, and flush toilet. Both Tent Suites, one of which has a queen bed while the other has two twin beds, have more space than a standard tent.

The Camp’s central building has a dining room, kitchen, and library (with a charging station for batteries, laptops, cameras, etc.), and a terrace overlooking the forest. Energy is provided by solar panels plus propane in the kitchen.

Trip Cost and Travel Planning>      Registration Form>

Spot-breasted Woodpecker.ITINERARY

Day 1 - AUGUST 8
If you are doing the Canopy Tower tour, we will leave bright and early to head to Canopy Camp.  If you are not doing the Canopy Tower tour, it is advised that you arrive in Panama City on August 7 and stay at the Riande Hotel to be ready for the early departure (around 6:30 am) on August 8.  This pre-trip night is not included, but we can book this for you, please inquire.
  The trip to the Darién takes about 5 hours and there will be birding and comfort stops along the way.

Darién is truly an adventurous region of the world, so expect the unexpected and be prepared for excitement around every corner! The Canopy Camp guides know this region very well, where to find the regional specialties that live here. The itinerary, therefore, is very flexible to our targets and current conditions. Regardless, the guides and staff of Canopy Camp are bound to show you many, many birds and a great experience in the wilderness of Darién!

 

The following are brief descriptions of some of the birding excursions and areas we may visit during our tour:

Harpy EagleHarpy Eagle Quest
Darién is a stronghold for the Harpy Eagles Panama's national bird, and holds Central America’s largest population of this rare and majestic bird. If there is a site available to visit, whether it be a nest site or a fledged juvenile in a reliable location, it will be included in the itinerary. Please consider that we can never guarantee the sighting of a Harpy Eagle (or anything in nature), even at a reliable site, but we will be sure to try if there is a chance! If there is no nest site or juvenile bird to visit, there is still always the chance to come across a Harpy Eagle during your stay. Over the past few years, there have been Harpy Eagle sightings at several of the birding sites described below, including a few times at the Canopy Camp itself!

Harpy Eagles live in remote mature forest, and a full day trip is required to visit the site available. The following description gives you an idea of what a Harpy Eagle excursion entails:

We will start very early, long before sunrise, and drive to Yaviza, at the end of the Pan-American Highway. Arriving at dawn in Yaviza, we will board a “piragua”—a dugout canoe, and traverse the still waters of the Chucunaque and Tuira rivers. The river edges offer shrub and grass habitat, as well as mudflats and beaches depending on the water level. There are plenty of birds to see along the riverside: Neotropic Cormorant, Anhinga, Great Blue, Cocoi, Little Blue, Tricolored, Striated and Capped herons, Snowy Egret, White Ibis, Green Ibis, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Pied Water-Tyrant, Bronzed Cowbird, Yellow-hooded Blackbird and both Crested and Black Oropendolas. White-tailed Kite, Black-collared Hawk and Common Black-Hawk may be found cruising overhead.

River trip.Upon arrival in El Real, we can scan the open areas for Spot-breasted Woodpecker and Great Potoo. We will meet a local truck and head south out of town past the airstrip, to the trail head toward the border of Darién National Park! This trail is wide, traversing through lowland rainforest and alongside a river. If very lucky, we may see Harpy Eagle or Crested Eagle, both of these magnificent raptors roam the dense forests here. Hopefully with some success this morning, we can rest and have a picnic lunch in the field, and continue to bird along the trail. Other large forest eagles, including Ornate Hawk-Eagle and Crested Eagle, can also be found in the area, as well as Gray-cheeked Nunlet, White-fronted Nunbird, Green-and-rufous Kingfisher, Agami Heron, Red-throated Caracara, Chestnut-backed Antbird (the eastern Panama race shows white dots on the wings), Chestnut-fronted and Great Green macaws, Scarlet-browed Tanager and more. After lunch and a break, we will retrace our steps and start our way back to El Real, then head back to Yaviza by river. Along the Pan-American Highway, we can scan for bird activity as the sun sets in the horizon.

Bayano Lake Area & Torti Area
Golden-collared Manakin.As we drive along the Pan-American Highway, we will scan for roadside birds and open-field raptors including Savanna Hawk and Crested Caracara. At the bridge at Bayano Lake, a great opportunity awaits to see what we can see along the lakeside. This reservoir supports great amounts of water birds, including a large colony of Neotropic Cormorants, as well as Anhinga, Cocoi Heron and the rare Bare-throated Tiger-Heron. We will scan the water’s edge for Purple Gallinule, Pied Water-Tyrant, Smooth-billed Ani and Ruddy-breasted Seedeater. A short trail leading from the water’s edge is a great place to search for Black Antshrike, Bare-crowned Antbird, Rufous-winged Antwren and Golden-collared Manakin. Just 10 minutes down the road at Río Mono Bridge, the surrounding forest is home to One-colored Becard, Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Blue Cotinga, Pied Puffbird, Orange-crowned Oriole, Blue Ground-Dove and more. We will also scan the river below for Green-and-rufous Kingfisher and the elusive Fasciated Tiger-Heron. The forest edge and scrubby roadsides around Rio Torti offer good opportunities to see Pacific Antwren, Double-banded Graytail and Little Cuckoo. At a lovely Panamanian restaurant in Torti, the hummingbirds at the feeders will no doubt capture our attention, as Long-billed Starthroat, Sapphire-throated Hummingbird, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, Black-throated Mango and more take their lunch as well; great hummingbird photo opportunities all throughout this Panama wildlife tour!


Canopy Camp Grounds & Nando’s Trail
Gray-cheeked NunletYellow-throated and Keel-billed toucans call from the towering Cuipo trees; Red-lored and Mealy parrots fly overhead; White-bellied Antbird, Bright-rumped Attila, White-headed Wren and Golden-collared Manakin sing from the surrounding forests; while Pale-bellied Hermit and Sapphire-throated Hummingbird visit the flowers around camp. Rufous-tailed Jacamar and Barred Puffbird are also seen frequently around the grounds. We will work our way into the forest on “Nando’s Trail,” in hopes of finding Tiny Hawk, Black Antshrike, Great Antshrike, Olive-backed Quail-Dove, Cinnamon Becard, Black-tailed Trogon, Double-banded Graytail, Gray-cheeked Nunlet, Yellow-breasted Flycatcher, Royal Flycatcher and Russet-winged Schiffornis. We will also be looking for groups of Red-throated Caracara, King Vulture and Short-tailed Hawk overhead in the clearings. Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Plumbeous and Zone-tailed hawks are also possible.

In the open areas, the verbenas are full of hummingbird and butterfly activity, where we hope to see Violet-bellied Hummingbird, Pale-bellied Hermit, Long-billed Starthroat, Blue-throated Goldentail and if lucky, a stunning Ruby-Topaz Hummingbird feeding here. Spot-crowned Barbet, Olivaceous Piculet, White-headed Wren, Red-rumped Woodpecker and Streak-headed Woodcreeper are birds we may encounter. If desired, we can hike up the slope to stand in the shadows of two giant Cuipo trees, standing like gates to rich mature forest.

There will be an opportunity during the week to explore the grounds of the Canopy Camp at night in search of nocturnal birds and mammals, including Black-and-white and Mottled Owls, Great and Common Potoos, Ruddy-breasted Seedeater.Kinkajous, Central American Woolly Opossum and more!


Birding the Pan-American Highway
We will head southeast and will bird the forests and swampy meadows along the road toward Yaviza, to the end of the Pan-American Highway! Black-billed Flycatcher, Sooty-headed Tyrannulet, Jet Antbird, Black Oropendola, Pied Water-Tyrant, Bicolored Hawk, Black-collared Hawk, Pearl Kite, White-tailed Kite, Limpkin, Spot-breasted Woodpecker, Ruddy-breasted Seedeater, Yellow-hooded Blackbird, Black-capped Donacobius and Red-breasted Blackbird can all be found as we head further into Darién.


El Salto Road
Black-breasted Puffbird.El Salto Road extends 6 km north from the Pan-American Highway and ends at the mighty Río Chucunaque. This open road and surrounding dry forest is a great place to search for regional specialties including Golden-green Woodpecker, Double-banded Graytail, Blue-and-gold and Chestnut-fronted Macaws, Black and Crested Oropendolas, Blue Cotinga, White-eared Conebill, Black-breasted Puffbird, Orange-crowned Oriole and the majestic King Vulture. A trail at the end of the road will take us into low-canopy forest, where we hope to find Bare-crowned Antbird, Pale-bellied Hermit, Olivaceous Piculet, Streak-headed Woodcreeper and Forest Elaenia.


Tierra Nueva Foundation
Adjacent to EL Salto Road is the property of the Tierra Nueva Foundation. Fundación Tierra Nueva is a non-profit organization whose main mission is “working towards the sustainable development of people of the Darién Rainforest.” The property is the home of a technical school focusing on applications in agriculture. We will explore the trails of this large, forested property, in hopes of finding Streak-headed Woodcreeper, Yellow-breasted and Black-billed flycatchers, Red-rumped Woodpecker, Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon, Cinnamon, Cinereous and One-colored Becards, White-eared Conebill, White-headed Wren and the magnificent Great Curassow. We will also search for the eastern race of the Chestnut-backed Antbird, which shows white spots on the wings.


Capped HeronLas Lagunas Road (Aguas Calientes) & Aruza Lagoons

This road extends 12 km south off the Pan-American Highway through open farmland, dry scrub and roadside habitat. The road eventually crosses a small stream and ends at small ponds. Along the roadsides, we hope to find Red-breasted Blackbird, Spot-breasted Woodpecker, Yellow-breasted Flycatcher, White-headed Wren, Smooth-billed and Greater Ani, Muscovy Duck, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Southern Lapwing, Blue-headed Parrot, Striped Cuckoo, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, Ringed and Amazon Kingfishers, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Buff-breasted Wren, Bananaquit, Giant and Shiny Cowbirds, Crested Oropendola, Laughing Falcon and Aplomado Falcon. If we’re lucky, we may get a glimpse of a Chestnut-fronted Macaw or a shy Little Cuckoo, both having been seen along this road. At the lagoons, we hope to find Pied Water-Tyrant, Capped Heron, the beautiful Yellow-hooded Blackbird and the extraordinary Black-capped Donacobius, a great habitat for all these wonderful species.


Quebrada Felix
Ocellated AntbirdQuebrada Felix—this newly discovered site awaits us to be explored! Quebrada Felix is nestled in the base of the Filo del Tallo Hydrological Reserve, and is just a short drive from the Canopy Camp. Surrounded by tall trees and mature lowland forest, we will walk the rocky stream in search of some of Panama’s most wanted species. On this Panama wildlife tour, we will try for Black-crowned Antpitta, Scaly-throated Leaftosser, Speckled Mourner, Ocellated Antbird, Rufous-winged and Moustached Antwrens, White-fronted Nunbird, Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, Royal Flycatcher and our endemic, the Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker. It is also a great spot to find Fasciated Tiger-Heron, Green-and-rufous Kingfisher, Bicolored Antbird, Golden-crowned Spadebill, Double-banded Graytail and much more. Crested and Solitary eagles have even been spotted here, a great testament to the mature forest of the area. Quebrada Felix is becoming a favorite spot among our guides and recent visitors!


Lajas Blancas
butterflyLajas Blancas is the closest Embera Indigenous community to the Canopy Camp, a large community with a population of over 1000 residents. Just 15 minutes away, the area around the community boasts great birding and the opportunity to find many Darién specialties! After turning off the Pan-American Highway, we drive through pasture and open farmland—a great place to see One-colored Becard, Great Potoo, Spot-breasted Woodpecker, Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet, Yellow-breasted Flycatcher, Black Antshrike and Black Oropendola. During the dry season, a bridge across the Chucunaque River provides us easy access to some mature secondary forest where Double-banded Graytail, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, White-winged and Cinnamon Becards, Cinnamon and Golden-green Woodpeckers, manakins and others can be found. Beyond the community, the road continues and there is much more forest, including primary forest at its far reaches, waiting to be explored on your Panama wildlife tour.


Nuevo Vigia
Embera craftsNuevo Vigia is another Embera indigenous community nestled north of the Pan-American Highway, surrounded by great secondary growth dry forest and two small lakes, all of which attract an enticing variety of birds. The community is accessible by "piragua", locally-made dugout canoes. As we coast along the Chucunaque and Tuquesa Rivers, we will keep our eyes and ears open for Chestnut-backed, Crested and Black Oropendolas, Spot-breasted Woodpecker, Common Black Hawk, Yellow-tailed Oriole, Red-billed Scythebill, Capped and Cocoi herons, White Ibis, Greater Ani, Solitary Sandpiper and other water birds. We will spend the majority of the morning birding a trail toward a small lagoon, a great place to see Black-collared Hawk, Bare-crowned and White-bellied Antbirds, Green Ibis, Gray-cheeked Nunlet, Spectacled Parrotlet, Black-tailed Trogon, Striped Cuckoo, Black-bellied Wren, Little Tinamou, Golden-green Woodpecker and Green-and-rufous Kingfisher! In the town of Nuevo Vigia, local artisans weave colorful decorative masks and plates out of palm fronds and carve cocobolo wood and tagua nuts into animals and plants, and we will have the opportunity to meet some of the community members and admire and purchase some of the beautiful products they make by hand. We will enjoy a satisfying picnic lunch in the village, followed by more great birding around the riversides and scrubby habitat surrounding Nuevo Vigia before heading back to the Canopy Camp.


Striped Cuckoo.Aligandi
Aligandi is a huge area with unique scrub forest and much to be explored. We head out from the Camp toward the end of the Pan-American Highway, taking a turn prior to reaching Yaviza. Along the roadsides here, we scan for Red-breasted Blackbird, Striped Cuckoo, Ruddy-breasted Seedeater, Thick-billed Seed-Finch, American Kestrel and other open area birds. A Great Green Macaw nest is tucked up in the canopy of a huge Cuipo tree, visible from the road, and if lucky, an adult or a chick may be seen poking its head out of the cavity. At Finca Doncella, we continue on foot along the road through the scrub forest, seeking out Spot-breasted Woodpecker, Bat Falcon, Giant Cowbird, Orange-crowned Oriole, Red-billed Scythebill, White-eared Conebill and mixed feeding flocks. It is possible to see the macaws often fly over as we further explore the area on this Panama wildlife tour.


Broad-billed MotmotSan Francisco Reserve
San Francisco Nature Reserve is a private forest reserve owned and managed by the St. Francis Foundation, covering 1,300 acres in eastern Panama Province. The San Francisco Reserve was established in 2001 by Father Pablo Kasuboski, an American priest from Wisconsin who came to Panama in 1988. The reserve serves as a wildlife refuge and protects the headwaters of the main rivers of the area. The foundation created by Padre Pablo, as Father Kasuboski is called, also works on infrastructure development in the area by building and maintaining aqueducts, roads, schools and churches. In fact, the St. Francis Foundation built and maintains the largest private rural aqueduct in all of Panama and Central America. The reserve has a variety of habitats including primary, secondary and riparian forests, forest edge, fields, farmland, ponds and wetlands. During our morning here, we will explore the some of the different habitats along the short road that enters the reserve. We will hope to find Great Jacamar, Broad-billed Motmot, Collared Aracari, Sulphur-rumped Tanager, Russet-winged Schiffornis, Royal Flycatcher, White-fronted Nunbird, Brownish Twistwing, Yellow-green Tyrannulet, Central American Pygmy-Owl, Blue and Plain-breasted ground-doves, and if we’re very lucky, a Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle soaring overhead or a Wing-banded Antbird along the trails!

 

AUG 14 – Return to Panama City. Overnight Riande. Flights out Aug 15.


Please note that this itinerary may change without prior notice due to weather, alterations in habitat or other conditions. We'll do our best to show you as much as possible and flexibility is the key!


Leader:  Dan Berard and the superb Canopy Family guides

Chestnut-backed Antbird.PANAMA: CANOPY CAMP
20th Anniversary Special!
August 8 - 15, 2019
Registration Form>

TOUR PRICE
Main Tour:
$2125 per person from Panama City, Panama (Airport code: PTY).  Cost is for double occupancy and based on 8 passengers.  With less than 8, a supplement may apply. See the note below.

Single supplement: $395 per person based on availability.


Deposit: US$500.00 per person. Tour deposits can be paid by check or credit card via PayPal.  Use this link to make your credit card payment.  Please advise gina@sunrisebirding.com when you have made payment. 

Maximum Group Size:  12

Included in cost: Accommodation in /double twin tents, all meals from lunch on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 8, airport transfers by Hotel Riande, ground transport throughout, natural fruit juices, sodas, wine at dinner time, all taxes, WIFI, entrance fees to National Parks as mentioned in the itinerary, and bilingual professional guides.

Not included:  International flight to and from Panama City, Panama (Airport code: PTY), Travel or other insurance, passport fees, departure tax, insurance, drinks (except those mentioned), laundry, tips, and items of a personal nature.  Please do not book your flights until we tell you that the tour is confirmed and provide timing details.

**Please note: The tour price is based on a minimum of 8 passengers.  If there are less than 8, a small group supplement may be charged. Also, Tour prices are based on quoted costs from ground operators, estimated fuel costs, and the rate of exchange at the time of itinerary publication. The erratic nature to global financial markets makes it difficult to predict changes in costs and foreign currency exchange rates over the long term. Since tours are priced well in advance of the actual operation of the tour, tour costs, fuel costs and exchange rates can change, sometimes drastically. Depending on the extent of such changes, it may be necessary to implement a surcharge on this tour. If a surcharge is necessary, every effort will be made to minimize the amount.

RESERVATIONS: To reserve your place on this tour, contact gina@sunrisebirding.com to hold your space! Then follow up with your completed registration form and deposit within two weeks to secure your place. Instructions are on the form. Reservations are held with a deposit on a first-come, first-served basis.    >Download and print the Registration Form. 

Final payment is due April 8, 2019. Check or bank transfer are preferred but credit card payments are possible (surcharges of up to 5% are added depending on amount to cover credit card company fees). Please inquire.

 

Cancellations and Refunds: All cancellations must be made in writing. In the event that you must cancel your booking at any stage, all payments you have made to Sunrise Birding, LLC will be retained by us, except at our discretion. You may have the opportunity to transfer your booking to another tour or another person, provided you are unavoidably prevented from coming on the tour. In this case, you will bear any extra costs that such changes may incur. There are no refunds once the trip is confirmed to go ahead and no refunds will be made for unused meals, accommodations, or other trip features. Sunrise Birding, LLC cannot accept liability for airline cancellations or delays or penalties incurred by the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets or other expenses incurred by tour participants in preparing for this tour.

 

Insurance: Sunrise Birding, LLC recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.

For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 07-0025.

The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company. 11.17 E7N

Questions? Contact Gina Nichol at gina@sunrisebirding.com 
Phone: 203.453.6724

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