Beautiful Birds in Panama

By patrick on

We tend to associate tropical locales with certain “exotic” aspects that we hope to encounter. Usually, number one on that list of tropical requirements is a beautiful beach replete with clean sand flanked by coconut palms on one side and inviting turquoise water on the other.

Beyond the beach, brochures of tropical vacation hotspots like Panama also show picturesque colonial buildings, a mountain or two, horse back rides, and other outdoor adventure activities. They also show birds. Other animals can also make it onto a website or brochure but colorful birds are always present because we associate tropical places with colorful, “exotic” birdlife such as toucans, macaws, parrots, hummingbirds, Roseate Spoonbills, and so on.

Go birding in Panama or Costa Rica and you will quickly discover that the brochures weren’t making things up! Although macaws aren’t exactly common (except for Costa Rica where, yes, it is hard to miss seeing Scarlet Macaws), it’s not that tough to see lots of parakeets, parrots, a toucan or two, glittering hummingbirds, tanagers, and hundreds of other species. The following five are a mere handful of beautiful bird species that live in Panama:

  • ¬†Crowned Woodnymph: Talk about an evocative, exotic name! This hummingbird species lives up to that name with shades of purple and shining green. See this common beauty at any number of humid forest sites in Panama.
  • White-necked Jacobin: This is another common hummingbird in humid forest sites. Watch it visit feeders near the Pipeline Road.


  • Lance-tailed Manakin: This striking bird species is fairly common in many parts of the country. One of the best places to see it is in the heart of Panama City at Metropolitan Park.

This image was provided by Rafael Lau-

  • Keel-billed Toucan: This rainbow beaked bird is fairly common in many parts of the country, including the Canal Zone.
  • Red and Green Macaw: This spectacular bird is one of five macaw species that live in Panama. Although they aren’t that common, you should see a few if you stay at places like the Canopy Camp.

This image was provided by Cindy Beckman. She took it on one of her birding tours to Panama, Brazil, and other exciting destinations.

Want to learn more about these and 700 other bird species that live in Panama? Check out the Panama Birds Field Guide app to have a field guide for Panama birds on your phone, ipod Touch, or tablet. Download the lite version for free!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *