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The Carolina Bird Club is a non-profit organization that represents and supports the birding community in the Carolinas through its website, publications, meetings, workshops, trips, and partnerships, whose mission is


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The Carolina Bird Club, Inc., is a non-profit educational and scientific association open to anyone interested in the study and conservation of wildlife, particularly birds.

The Club meets each winter, spring, and fall at different locations in the Carolinas. Meeting sites are selected to give participants an opportunity to see many different kinds of birds. Guided field trips and informative programs are combined for an exciting weekend of meeting with people who share an enthusiasm and concern for birds.

The Club offers research grants in avian biology for undergraduate and graduate students, and scholarships for young birders.

The Club publishes two print publications (now also available online). The Chat is a quarterly ornithological journal that contains scientific articles, reports of bird records committees and bird counts, and general field notes on bird sightings. CBC Newsletter is published bimonthly and includes birding articles and information about meetings, field trips, and Club news.

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Carolina Bird Club Panama Trip, January 2018

Supertanker. Toucan. Quetzal. Bridge of the Americas.

What do these seemingly unrelated words have in common, and what, pray tell, do they have to do with the Carolina Bird Club? All are things spotted by members in Panama, host of an incredible CBC "bonus trip" in January 2018!

Searching high and low for birds (literally, from knees on the ground peering into the foliage for a White-bellied Antbird to earning a crick in the neck watching wintering warblers) eight members of the CBC tallied 300 species of birds, three types of monkey, two versions of sloth, and more happy memories than could fill a Shutterfly photobook while visiting locations in central and western Panama.

Our trip began with a meet and greet at the Radisson Summit golf resort situated atop the continental divide north of Panama City. In addition to reasonably luxurious surroundings for a birding adventure, the hotel grounds offered tantalizing tastes of birds to be seen including pairs of Amazon parrots flying to roost, more tanagers than a stick could shake, and visits with "our" wintering birds like Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Tennessee Warbler.

In the former Canal Zone area, we visited such hallowed-birding-ground sites as Pipeline Road, Summit Ponds, Ammo Dump Ponds, and spent an amazing afternoon at the Rainforest Discovery Center's canopy tower and hummingbird feeder set-up. With six species of hummingbird flitting literally inches away from observer and camera, it was hard to pick a favorite, although many would consider the male Rufous-crested Coquette perched nearby an entrant in the "Trip Top Five List".

Mammals managed to draw our attention away from the birds from time to time, with Hoffman's Two-toed Sloth, Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth, Geoffrey's Tamarind, White-headed Capuchin, and Mantled Howler earning spots on our "mammal list".

Taking a break from the humid jungle, Wednesday afternoon found the group standing in the shadow of Panama City skyscrapers scoping the Pacific Ocean shoreline for waders and shorebirds. Rare-for-the-area Cocoi Heron and American White Pelican take the cake for least-common birds, while the sheer number of shorebirds (we counted thousands) impressed.

Leaving the flats, we passed through the busy city once more before catching a late afternoon flight to David in Chiriquí Province. From David a van ride of just over an hour delivered us to Volcan, a tiny town perched on the western flanks of Volcan Baru, Panama's highest point. Trading the lowland heat and humidity for rushing mountain streams, cool breezes, and coffee plantations, our target the next morning was none other than what many consider the most spectacular species in Central America, Resplendent Quetzal. We planned two days to try and maximize our chances of seeing this incredible bird, but needed just the first morning, and a walk of about ten yards from the van, to enjoy crippling looks at a pair of quetzals munching on avocados.

The rest of the morning was gravy, but gravy with names like Flame-throated Warbler, Black-cheeked Warbler, Collared Redstart, and Blue-throated Toucanet. We ended the day relaxing beside a rushing mountain stream on the grounds of the Hotel Dos Rios with a refreshing beverage and a Long-billed Starthroat. Does it get any better than this?

Maybe. For some, the highlight of the trip may have been the next morning's visit to Paraiso Birding Paradise near the resort town of Boquette. With forty (!) hummingbird feeders, landowner and birder Mishael Rivera attracts not only hummingbirds like Lesser and Brown Violetear, but with native habitat optimized for birds, an impressive list of non-hummers as well. We tallied highlights including Sunbittern, Fiery-billed Aracaris (attending a feeding platform) and Lessor's Motmot while learning about land conservation issues and initiatives in this rapidly-growing area.

And what better way to celebrate another incredible morning of birding than with a cup of fresh Panamanian coffee from a shady hilltop patio? While visiting the Janson Coffee Farm we not only got to taste and enjoy the nuevo-popular Geisha Coffee, some of the most exclusive and expensive coffee in the world, but more trip ticks like the White-winged Tanager flitted in the trees just a few feet away!

After another impressive day in the highlands on Saturday, the group birded downslope to the David airport, picking up the world's second smallest raptor, Pearl Kite, just before catching the evening flight to Panama City. As the plane descended past the brilliantly lit Bridge of the Americas to a landing in the capital, we had to wonder: is this the best birding spot in Central America? Many would argue their favorite location, and may make a valid claim, but certainly a week with seven species of manakin, four each of motmot and trogon, the quetzal, and 21 species of warbler must be in the running!

And while this year's Panama trip is complete, and our twin offerings to Costa Rica are sold out, it's never too early to start planning your next birding adventure! The Carolina Bird Club endeavors to offer reasonably-priced, professional-quality bonus field trips to locations in the Carolinas and beyond. If you have an idea for a bonus trip, would like to lead or participate in an offering, or have any questions about our slate of upcoming trips, please contact any of the CBC Executive Committee members. Hope to see you in the field soon!

Photographs (by Steve Shultz except as noted)

Snowy-bellied Hummingbird
Snowy-bellied Hummingbird (Len Kopka)
Crowned Woodnymph
Crowned Woodnymph (Len Kopka)
Panama City Mudflats
Panama City Mudflats
White-necked Jacobin
White-necked Jacobin (Len Kopka)
Great Potoo
Great Potoo
Birding along the Canal
Birding along the Canal
Rufescent Tiger Heron
Rufescent Tiger Heron
Searching for an Antbird
Searching for an Antbird
Quetzal
Quetzal
Quetzal with streamers
Quetzal with streamers
Dinner at Hotel Dos Rios
Dinner at Hotel Dos Rios
Red headed Barbet
Red headed Barbet
Silver-throated Tanager
Silver-throated Tanager (Len Kopka)
Female Scaly-breasted Hummingbird
Female Scaly-breasted Hummingbird
Fiery-billed Aracari
Fiery-billed Aracari (Len Kopka)
Rufous-collared Sparrow
Rufous-collared Sparrow
Birding the Coffee Farm
Birding the Coffee Farm
Flight to David
Flight to David

Bird List

  1. Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
  2. Gray-headed Chachalaca
  3. Black Guan
  4. Least Grebe
  5. Wood Stork
  6. Magnificent Frigatebird
  7. Blue-footed Booby
  8. Neotropic Cormorant
  9. Anhinga
  10. American White Pelican
  11. Brown Pelican
  12. Rufescent Tiger-Heron
  13. Great Blue Heron
  14. Cocoi Heron
  15. Great Egret
  16. Snowy Egret
  17. Little Blue Heron
  18. Tricolored Heron
  19. Cattle Egret
  20. Green Heron
  21. Striated Heron
  22. Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
  23. White Ibis
  24. Black Vulture
  25. Turkey Vulture
  26. Osprey
  27. Swallow-tailed Kite
  28. Pearl Kite
  29. Snail Kite
  30. Common Black-Hawk
  31. Great Black-Hawk
  32. Roadside Hawk
  33. Broad-winged Hawk
  34. Gray-lined (Gray) Hawk
  35. Short-tailed Hawk
  36. White-tailed Hawk
  37. Zone-tailed Hawk
  38. Red-tailed Hawk
  39. Sunbittern
  40. Gray-necked Wood-Rail
  41. Purple Gallinule
  42. Common Moorhen
  43. American Coot
  44. Southern Lapwing
  45. Black-bellied Plover
  46. Collared Plover
  47. Northern Jacana
  48. Wattled Jacana
  49. Spotted Sandpiper
  50. Greater Yellowlegs
  51. Willet
  52. Whimbrel
  53. Marbled Godwit
  54. Western Sandpiper
  55. Ruddy Turnstone
  56. Least Sandpiper
  57. Dunlin
  58. Short-billed Dowitcher
  59. Laughing Gull
  60. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  61. Gull-billed Tern
  62. Caspian Tern
  63. Royal Tern
  64. Sandwich Tern
  65. Rock Pigeon
  66. Pale-vented Pigeon
  67. Band-tailed Pigeon
  68. White-winged Dove
  69. Mourning Dove
  70. Ruddy Ground-Dove
  71. White-tipped Dove
  72. Squirrel Cuckoo
  73. Pheasant Cuckoo
  74. Smooth-billed Ani
  75. Common Pauraque
  76. Great Potoo
  77. Vaux's Swift
  78. Short-tailed Swift
  79. White-necked Jacobin
  80. Green Hermit
  81. Long-billed Hermit
  82. Brown Violetear
  83. Lessor Violetear
  84. Black-throated Mango
  85. Rufous-crested Coquette
  86. Magnificent Hummingbird
  87. Long-billed Starthroat
  88. White-throated Mountain-gem
  89. Scintillant Hummingbird
  90. Volcano Hummingbird
  91. Scaly-breasted Hummingbird
  92. Violet Sabrewing
  93. Stripe-tailed Hummingbird
  94. White-vented Plumeleteer
  95. Violet-crowned Woodnymph
  96. Blue-chested Hummingbird
  97. Charming Hummingbird
  98. Snowy-bellied Hummingbird
  99. Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
  100. Sapphire-throated Hummingbird
  101. Violet-bellied Hummingbird
  102. Slaty-tailed Trogon
  103. Gartered (Violaceous) Trogon
  104. Black-throated Trogon
  105. Collared Trogon
  106. Resplendent Quetzal
  107. Whooping (Blue-crowned) Motmot
  108. Lesson's Motmot
  109. Rufous Motmot
  110. Broad-billed Motmot
  111. Ringed Kingfisher
  112. Amazon Kingfisher
  113. American Pygmy Kingfisher
  114. White-necked Puffbird
  115. White-whiskered Puffbird
  116. Red-headed Barbet
  117. Blue-throated Toucanet
  118. Collared Aracari
  119. Fiery-billed Aracari
  120. Keel-billed Toucan
  121. Chestnut-mandibled Toucan
  122. Olivaceous Piculet
  123. Acorn Woodpecker
  124. Black-cheeked Woodpecker
  125. Red-crowned Woodpecker
  126. Cinnamon Woodpecker
  127. Lineated Woodpecker
  128. Crimson-crested Woodpecker
  129. Barred Forest-Falcon
  130. Yellow-headed Caracara
  131. Merlin
  132. Bat Falcon
  133. Peregrine Falcon
  134. Orange-chinned Parakeet
  135. Blue-headed Parrot
  136. White-crowned Parrot
  137. Red-lored (Amazon) Parrot
  138. Mealy (Amazon) Parrot
  139. Yellow-crowned (Amazon) Parrot
  140. Fasciated Antshrike
  141. Barred Antshrike
  142. Black-hooded Antshrike
  143. Western Slaty-Antshrike
  144. Checker-throated Antwren
  145. Dot-winged Antwren
  146. Dusky Antbird
  147. White-bellied Antbird
  148. Spotted Antbird
  149. Wedge-billed Woodcreeper
  150. Cocoa Woodcreeper
  151. Streak-headed Woodcreeper
  152. Black-striped Woodcreeper
  153. Plain Xenops
  154. Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner
  155. Ruddy Treerunner
  156. Red-faced Spinetail
  157. Slaty Spinetail
  158. Yellow-bellied Tyrannulet
  159. Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet
  160. Yellow Tyrannulet
  161. Forest Elaenia
  162. Yellow-bellied Elaenia
  163. Lesser Elaenia
  164. Mountain Elaenia
  165. Ochre-bellied Flycatcher
  166. Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant
  167. Southern Bentbill
  168. Common Tody-Flycatcher
  169. Yellow-margined Flycatcher
  170. Black-tailed Flycatcher
  171. Dark Pewee
  172. Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
  173. Yellowish Flycatcher
  174. Black-capped Flycatcher
  175. Black Phoebe
  176. Dusky-capped Flycatcher
  177. Panama Flycatcher
  178. Lesser Kiskadee
  179. Great Kiskadee
  180. Boat-billed Flycatcher
  181. Rusty-margined Flycatcher
  182. Social Flycatcher
  183. Streaked Flycatcher
  184. Piratic Flycatcher
  185. Tropical Kingbird
  186. Fork-tailed Flycatcher
  187. White-winged Becard
  188. Rose-throated Becard
  189. Masked Tityra
  190. Black-crowned Tityra
  191. Purple-throated Fruitcrow
  192. Orange-collared Manakin
  193. Golden-collared Manakin
  194. White-ruffed Manakin
  195. Lance-tailed Manakin
  196. Blue-crowned Manakin
  197. Golden-headed Manakin
  198. Red-capped Manakin
  199. Yellow-throated Vireo
  200. Yellow-winged Vireo
  201. Brown-capped Vireo
  202. Philadelphia Vireo
  203. Golden-fronted Greenlet
  204. Green Shrike-Vireo
  205. Gray-breasted Martin
  206. Mangrove Swallow
  207. Blue-and-white Swallow
  208. Southern Rough-winged Swallow
  209. House Wren
  210. Ochraceous Wren
  211. Rufous-breasted Wren
  212. Black-bellied Wren
  213. Isthmian (Plain) Wren
  214. Buff-breasted Wren
  215. Gray-breasted Wood-Wren
  216. Tropical Gnatcatcher
  217. Black-faced Solitaire
  218. Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush
  219. Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush
  220. Mountain Thrush
  221. Clay-colored Thrush
  222. Tropical Mockingbird
  223. Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher
  224. Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher
  225. Northern Waterthrush
  226. Golden-winged Warbler
  227. Black-and-white Warbler
  228. Prothonotary Warbler
  229. Flame-throated Warbler
  230. Tennessee Warbler
  231. Mourning Warbler
  232. Tropical Parula
  233. Magnolia Warbler
  234. Bay-breasted Warbler
  235. Blackburnian Warbler
  236. Yellow Warbler
  237. Chestnut-sided Warbler
  238. Black-throated Green Warbler
  239. Rufous-capped Warbler
  240. Black-cheeked Warbler
  241. Golden-crowned Warbler
  242. Three-striped Warbler
  243. Wilson's Warbler
  244. Slate-throated Redstart
  245. Collared Redstart
  246. Bananaquit
  247. Gray-headed Tanager
  248. White-shouldered Tanager
  249. White-lined Tanager
  250. Crimson-backed Tanager
  251. Cherrie's Tanager
  252. Blue-gray Tanager
  253. Palm Tanager
  254. Golden-hooded Tanager
  255. Plain-colored Tanager
  256. Bay-headed Tanager
  257. Silver-throated Tanager
  258. Scarlet-thighed Dacnis
  259. Blue Dacnis
  260. Green Honeycreeper
  261. Red-legged Honeycreeper
  262. Streaked Saltator
  263. Buff-throated Saltator
  264. Blue-black Grassquit
  265. Variable Seedeater
  266. Yellow-bellied Seedeater
  267. Thick-billed (Lesser) Seed-Finch
  268. Yellow-faced Grassquit
  269. Slaty Flowerpiercer
  270. Saffron Finch
  271. Yellow-thighed Finch
  272. Large-footed Finch
  273. Orange-billed Sparrow
  274. Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch
  275. Black-throated Sparrow
  276. Rufous-collared Sparrow
  277. Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager
  278. Summer Tanager
  279. Flame-colored Tanager
  280. White-winged Tanager
  281. Red-throated Ant-Tanager
  282. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  283. Blue-black Grosbeak
  284. Eastern Meadowlark
  285. Great-tailed Grackle
  286. Giant Cowbird
  287. Yellow-backed Oriole
  288. Yellow-tailed Oriole
  289. Baltimore Oriole
  290. Yellow-billed Cacique
  291. Scarlet-rumped Cacique
  292. Yellow-rumped Cacique
  293. Crested Oropendola
  294. Chestnut-headed Oropendola
  295. Yellow-crowned Euphonia
  296. Thick-billed Euphonia
  297. Fulvous-vented Euphonia
  298. Spot-crowned Euphonia
  299. Yellow-bellied Siskin
  300. Lesser Goldfinch
  301. House Sparrow