panama, day 2: “there’s a cracker on your pants”

January 8, 2008

in Travel

An exhausting day yesterday, full of birds and bugs on only the first mile of Pipeline Road. The coolest life bird was a White-whiskered Puffbird sitting, still-life, by the side of the road. Like all other puffbirds I’ve ever seen, it didn’t move more than an inch. Kingfisher took this photo with his point-and-shoot:


Other memorable moments:

  • Watching a female Fasciated Antshrike a few yards away seemingly trying to pick up a 6-inch branch. It turned out to be an enormous grasshopper. She’s still digesting.
  • Finding three army ant swarms and their attending birds. I was studying where Sam Britton, our guide, was trying to get me on a Chestnut-backed Antbird, and instead saw a gray- and pigeon-headed fat bird with yellow legs strolling by — Little Tinamou. A bird most often heard than seen, and less common than Great Tinamou.
  • Watching one of many Bicolored Antbirds hunt in an ant swarm right at our feet, intent on finding lunch. Amazing.
  • Seeing at least four species of crackers, noise-making Neotropical butterflies I’ve written about before, one of which landed on my leg.
  • Sam taking to a location where he found a jaguar track in the mud, which was still recognizable as one big cat print.
  • Last lifer of the day, a gorgeous Green-and-rufous Kingfisher at Summit Ponds.
  • Hiking up to the new Pipeline Road visitors center (below) which is opening later this month. It’s about 2 km from the first gate at the beginning of the road, near the first stream crossing (Juan Grande).


We are picking up our rental car today, and I think we’re going back to Pipeline. More later

Patrick January 8, 2008 at 9:30 am

Sounds awesome!

I've had the same experience with Puffbirds. I've never seen one move.

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