PANAMA - CANOPY TOWER
From Panama City we moved to the renowned CANOPY TOWER about thirty minutes north, and perfectly positioned on top of Semaphore Hill. This was my third visit to the tower, but it was Kathi's first.
After lunch we spent about an hour watching for raptors from the top of the tower. Kathi was thrilled to see a flight of SWALLOW-TAILED KITES on the move. They had already begun their southward migration, and we tallied over 150 of them in just an hour.
Even better than the kites were two stunning adult KING VULTURES that soared low over the tower for nearly half an hour! I have seen this bird many times over the years but this was certainly THE best view I had ever had.
One of the great aspects of a visit to the tower is an early morning spent on the viewing deck. Even in the rainy season, when we were visiting, the mornings are usually fairly clear. The view below gives an idea of the magical feeling of being up there listening to the world come to life. All around you there are incredible sounds - howler monkeys roaring.... the tremelo whistles of great tinamous... and a host of antbirds and others greeting the day.
Every time I have visited the tower, the dynamic has been a bit different. On this occasion there was a CECROPIA tree right next to the tower which was fruiting. This attracted a parade of wonderful birds for incredible close views as they fed only a few feet away and below us! Again below the COLLARED ARACARI is a common bird, but I was thrilled to get a series of great images.
We spent five days at the Canopy Tower exploring the surrounding sites. One of my top memories was a crystal clear morning with a full moon visible from the top of the tower just before dawn.