As I've done several times in the past (Costa Rica in 1996, Ecuador in 1998, Venezuela in 2000, Ecuador in 2002), I organized a birding trip for a group of local and not-so-local friends who share an interest in birds, and in particular hummingbirds. This year's destination was Panama, centered around the Canopy Tower and the newly opened Canopy Lodge. The owners of these lodges, Raul Arias de Para (and his staff) was responsible for all our arrangements in Panama. The trip included side trips to several other birding locations as well. Participants included Sue, Diana, Stella, and me from Michigan, Jeff and Cheri from Ohio, and Mike from Maryland.
We had 346 species for the trip (I personally had 344), with all 4 vultures, 16 hawks, 10 falcons, all 8 expected parrots, 2 owls at day roosts, 2 potoos, 23 hummingbirds, all 6 expected trogons, all 4 expected motmots, all 4 expected puffbirds, all 5 expected toucans, 7 woodcreepers, 15 antbirds, all 6 expected manakins, 46 flycatchers (wowie!), all 13 expected wrens, and 30 tanagers. I personally had 10 "lifers," including two from the "longshot" category (Blue-fronted Parrotlet and Veraguas Mango). The other lifers were Violet-capped Hummingbird, Garden Emerald, Tody Momot, Black-crowned Antpitta, Speckled Mourner, Rosy Thrush-Tanager, Fulvous-vented Euphonia, and Shining Honeycreeper. We also had great views of a number of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and orchids. As I work my way through the 1000+ photos taken on this trip, I'll post daily summaries here.