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CHECKLIST

FORTUNA ROAD

PANAMA
LOCALE

# Species*:176
# Excl Vagrants*:176
# Endemics*:1
# Near Endemics*:26
*Based on partial or incomplete data.
Habitat: Middle elevation forest, roadsides

ABOUT THE BIRDING

Fortuna Road is a famed and very productive birding destination in western Panama. The road crosses the Continental Divide at a maximum elevation of about 3500 ft in an altitudinal transect that offers great bird diversity. Several birding locales are found near the Fortuna Dam and especially on the Caribbean side. Much of the birding is along the roadside, where many sites remain forested, especially around the Continental Divide around Fortuna National Forest and Palo Seco National Forest.

A side road near the Continental Divide and a narrow trail off that side road are well worth birding in morning or late afternoon. It's sometimes possible to find Three-wattled Bellbird there, as well as other specialty birds of the area. Willie Mazoo Tent Camp on the Caribbean slope is a fine place to view hummingbirds coming in to feeders and to look for forest birds such as Lattice-tailed Trogon. Farther downslope is the Mali Marsh, where several wetland birds can be found including Green-breasted Mango, Olive-crowned Yellowthroat, White-collared Seedeater, and Red-breasted Blackbird. Several other unmarked trails into the national forests provide access to the forest interior.

At the far end of the road are several lowland sites near Chiriqui Grande. Of particular interest is the area around Oil Terminal Company, where one can typically find Gray-headed Kite, Chestnut-colored Woodpecker, and Black-chested Jay.

LOCATION OF SITE

Fortuna Road is the only road connecting the Pacific Ocean with the Caribbean in western Panama. It connects the town of Chiriqui on the Pacific side to Chiriui Grande on the Caribbean side.