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CHECKLIST

WESTERN LOWLANDS

PANAMA
LOCALE

# Species*:235
# Excl Vagrants*:235
# Endemics*:0
# Near Endemics*:12
*Based on partial or incomplete data.
Habitat: Agricultural, pastures, remnant forests

ABOUT THE BIRDING

The western lowlands are usually not the main destination for birders visiting western Panama. Birding tours concentrate their efforts mainly in middle elevations along the Fortuna Road or middle to higher elevations on the western slopes of Volcan Baru.

The lowlands can be divided into Pacific and Caribbean lowlands. The lowlands are heavily impacted by agriculture on the Pacific side. On the Caribbean side the towns are poor and neglected with virtually no suitable accommodations available for visitors. There is a small eco-lodge an hour by boat north from Changuinola that was converted from being a jungle warfare school in the 1990's. The Rio Teribe protected area and the Caribbean entrance to La Amistad Heritage Park is located near this lodge. The area is remote and requires serious trekking to explore.

Most birders concentrate their efforts around the airport and immediate environs of David on the Pacific side. Here they look especially for the endemic Veraguan Mango and a few other lowland specialties such as Plain-breasted Ground-Dove, Orange-chinned Parakeet, White-crowned Parrot, Yellowish Pipit, and Ruddy-breasted Seedeater. On the Caribbean side birders mainly visit the Oil Terminal buildings around Changuinola and a few nearby areas. There they look especially for Pale-billed Woodpecker and Black-chested Jay.

LOCATION OF SITE

The western lowlands of Panama are best reached by flying from Panama City to the provincial capital of David. Several lowland areas are accessible around David and along the Pan American Highway north or south of David. The lowlands on the Caribbean slope are reached via the Fortuna Road from David or by flying into Bocas del Toro and taking a ferry across to the town of Chiriqui Grande.