Birding in Panama can be daunting. Exciting, fantastic, but sometimes daunting. It’s not because the birds are hiding in dense vegetation. Sure, some are but it’s more because there are literally hundreds of birds to look at. They don’t all live in the same place and some are common, others rare but there’ s still a heck of a lot of birds to keep in mind! That enticing, high bird diversity in Panama is why so many visiting birders hire a local guide, why every birder should do a trip to Panama at some point, and especially why it pays to study before your trip.
Some birds to study for a birding trip to Panama…
As in study a lot because the more you study before a birding trip to Panama, the better it will be. No matter where you go birding, getting a better idea of what you might see facilitates identifying those special new birds when you actually encounter them. For a place like Panama, studying those new birds also helps you become familiar with bird families you have never seen, or for which you have only seen a few times on previous trips to the Neotropical region.
With that in mind, we have updated our birding apps for Panama, Costa Rica, and Belize once or twice per year. Each update has been designed to improve identification, studying for birding trips, giving birders a birding app they can personalize, and just providing more overall information for all the birds on a country’s checklist. In the latest updates, we took things a step further and even included birds not on official checklists! These weren’t just any old species but the ones deemed most likely to eventually occur. Some are more likely than others and all would be mega rare but we think birders are better off with as much information as possible, including information about the birds that have some chance of occurring (and many of those probably already have).
Since Panama has a bird list with a 1000 species, it took a while to finish this update but it’s finally done, here’s what to expect:
Images for 983 Species on the Official Panama Checklist
The Panama Birds App now has information and range maps for 1,002 species and images for 983 of those birds. On the latest update, we added a number of images to help with identification as well as images for such tough and uncommon birds as Hooded and Yellow-backed Tanagers, Black-headed Brushfinch, and White-thighed Swallow. Two of the recent image additions:
Vocalizations for 907 Species
The Panama Birds Field Guide app now also has vocalizations for more than 900 species on the official checklist. We even included sounds for various ducks and as many birds as possible because more information about birds is always better.
50 Additional Species that May Eventually Occur in Panama
50 additional species are also now on the app. These include birds like Garganey (don’t laugh, one was recently found in Belize!), a few choice stints, certain pelagic species, and Shining-green Hummingbird (an edge species that may occur in the Darien). There are images for 47 of these species and vocalizations for 34 of them.
Major Habitats Feature
As with our birding apps for Costa Rica and Belize, the Panama app includes a filter for major habitats. This means that you can now filter/only show birds from lowland rainforest, second growth, and other habitats.
Updated Range Maps, Habitat Information, and More
To make the app more accurate and help you learn about and find more birds in Panama, we also edited some range maps, and included more information about habitat, behavior, field marks, similar species, and more.
With this latest update for our Panama birding app, we hope to give birders visiting Panama the tools they need to learn about and identify birds before, during, and after their trip. Don’t forget to make a target list, we hope to see you in the field!