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Gavin Bieber on his recently completed tour, Panama: The Darien Lowlands.

December 13: Gavin Bieber on his recently completed tour, Panama: The Darien Lowlands.

The vast and sparsely populated Darien Province in the far eastern part of Panama contains some of the most remote and wild lowland and montane wilderness remaining in Central America.  Our base for the week was the newly constructed and comfortable Canopy Camp.

We spent several days exploring the camp trails and various spots along the end of the Pan-American highway, where patches of forest and more open fields revealed widespread birds such as Great Potoo, here on a roadside day roost,

and more localized ones such as the impressive Barred Puffbird, the beautiful Spot-breasted Woodpecker, and globally scarce Black Oropendola. 


Taking dugout canoes into Embera territory past the end of the road allowed us to find a cooperative pair of Dusky-backed Jacamar, another globally range-restricted species and a wealth of kingfishers including Amazon and American Pygmy. 

Over the course of the week we encountered 280 species of birds including 19 species of antbirds and 31 species of everyone’s favorite bird family; the new world flycatchers!  These areas in the Darien are little explored and I am sure that the creation of a comfortable lodge here will bring more ornithologists and birders to the region resulting in a lot of new discoveries.  I very much look forward to being a part of the discovery process. 

Posted: December 13, 2017