Tuesday, August 19, 2014

991 bird species for Panama!

At this point, you should know that some exciting new additions to the Panama's bird list showed up in the last couple of months, plus some rarities and range extensions too.  That's why I was invited by the Panama Audubon Society to give the lecture during the last monthly meeting.  The main objective was to talk about those new species recorded in Panama since the publication of Angehr and Dean's Field Guide to the Birds of Panama in 2010.
Photo by Rosabel Miró
I really enjoyed preparing this presentation.  First, I gave a short introduction about what a species is and the requisites to have a huge list of birds in a given area or country.  Saying this, Panama is really blessed by geographical situation, variety of habitats and more than 2000 km2 of territorial seas in two oceans... making this a 991-birds species country!  I know you have heard this before, but a country smaller than the state of South Carolina has more birds species than Alaska, Canada and United States together (with 984 species accepted by the American Birding Association).
Photo by Rosabel Miró
After this brief introduction, I talked about the stars of the night: the eleven new species of birds for the country since 2010.  One by one, I explained when, where and by whom these species were first recorded and then I added an update on the status of each species (confirmed or hypothetical, one or several records, etc...).  Personally, I have seen six of these species (Tahiti Petrel, Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, Whistling Heron, Pearly-breasted Cuckoo, Spot-fronted Swift and Melodious Blackbird), but certainly I have searched out the other species, dipping miserably in some occasions  (Maguari Stork, Gray-bellied Hawk, Variegated Flycatcher, Bicolored Wren and Clay-colored Sparrow)... not bad at all!
I finished the presentation with an incomplete list of the probable new additions to the list in the next months/years... who knows, probably you will be the next person adding a new bird species to the Panama's list!
PAS Executive Director Rosabel Miró at the end of the lecture (photo by Michele Caballero)


  1. Congratulations, great lecture

  2. Jan Axel, is there any possibility of getting a transcript of your talk? I'd love to know the details of the new species for Panama!