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PIPELINE ROAD

PANAMA
LOCALE

# Species:308
# Excl Vagrants:308
# Endemics:1
# Near Endemics:6
Habitat: Primary rainforest

ABOUT THE BIRDING

Pipeline Road is considered by many to be one of the best birding locations in all of Central America if not the world. It's possible to see 300 species in a single day. A world record 450 species were seen there in a 24-hour period in 1985. The road is on the Caribbean side of the Canal Zone, originating near Gamboa and leading northeast from there toward Madden Lake. As a result, the species composition is somewhat different from the old Gamboa Road which more or less parallels the Panama Canal between Panama City and Gamboa.

The 17 km. road provides access to both forest and wetland birds. Numerous side trails plus 11 creeks and rivers can be followed into the forest. Army ant swarms often attended by antbirds and occasionally Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo are found frequently. Red-capped and Golden-collared Manakin are reliably seen displaying on leks along the road. Among the many other possibilities are 8 species of wrens, 5 species of trogons, 4 species of puffbirds, and 3 species of motmots. All 3 species of secretive forest falcons are possible though rarely seen. Hawks such as Tiny Hawk, Plumbeous Hawk, and Ornate Hawk-Eagle are sometimes seen. Certainly a major attraction are the Harpy Eagles re-introduced along Pipeline Road and now regularly seen. Nearby wetlands are home to Rufescent Tiger-Heron, White-throated Crake, Wattled Jacana, Purple Gallinule, and other wetland birds. Mammals including monkeys and even an occasional Ocelot are also present, as are various species of frogs.

LOCATION OF SITE

Pipeline Road is situated in Soberania National Park. It is reached by taking the main road from Panama City to the Miraflores Locks. Continue straight past Paraiso and the interchange for the Centennial Bridge. Just past the Summit Golf Course on the right you will go under an old railroad bridge. Take the next left and go straight until you reach the entrance to the road.