Date: 11/3/17 11:11 am From: Alfred Maley <alfredmaley...> Subject: [NHBirds] Want Hawks? Visit Panama’s Canopy Tower.
After decades of frustration with New England’s hawk watches, we bit the
bullet and headed down to the Mother of All New World Hawk Watches - Panama
- for two weeks. We saw nearly a quarter of a million vultures and hawks,
and over 40 species of birds of prey.
The Canopy Tower has a hawk migration program that intersperses hawk
watching with local field trips, depending on the weather. Thus we spent
one morning at Cerro Ancon (close by Panama City) on a day when 100k birds
flew by the watch, and two half days at the tower when 90k birds flew by.
About 3 million raptors fly through Panama each Fall - roughly one million
each of Turkey Vulture, Swainson’s Hawk, and Broad-winged Hawk, with lesser
numbers of Mississippi Kites, Ospreys and Peregrine Falcons, among others.
At one time we were looking at a cloud of 10k Swainson’s Hawks.
After a week at the tower we went to Canopy Camp in the Darien, where there
is considerable primary forest still intact. There we saw all the
hawk-eagles, Great Curassow, four Aplomado Falcons and an endless variety
of small birds for Linda to photograph. I especially enjoyed a flock(!) of
five Prothonotary Warblers which are so rare here in NH. We also continued
to see migrating hawks almost every day in the Darien. For those who count,
we ended up seeing about 327 species for the trip.
There’s no need to book a big- (or small-) name tour to go there;
everything is arranged by the Canopy group and the costs are reasonable
during the “green” (wet) season that coincides with the raptor migration
($2k for a week at the tower, $1700 for six days at the camp). We flew Copa
Air’s direct flight from Logan (only one pass through security) for a
reasonable $604. r.t.
The program runs through the last two weeks of October, although there is
some migration even through December. Think October 2018.