Panama Day 4: Canopy Tower: A Sloth, A Snake And A Visit to Summit Ponds
My Thursday morning hike on the Plantation Road further convinced me that my decision to visit the Canopy Tower ecolodge in the Soberania National Park in Panama was an excellent one. Once again our experienced guide introduced us to many more of the wonders of the rainforest. It was only my third day at the lodge and I came to love the lodge and the surrounding rainforest. But the day wasn’t over. After our hike we went over a checklist of the birds and other wildlife we had seen and then enjoyed another delicious lunch. After a short break we were off on another birding adventure, this time to visit the Summit Ponds, another famous birding sight near the lodge.
On the way down the hill from Canopy Tower our guide stopoped the Birdmobile. I knew he saw something unusual. And he did. . We we delighted to see a sloth up close! I have always been intrigued by these amazing animals that look like the are from some alien planet. It was a brown throated Three-toed sloth, the same sloths we saw relaxing in the tree tops from the roof of the Canopy Tower. I enjoyed watching them from a distance and this one was absolutely amazing seen up close.
The sloth slowly crossed the road and began to inch it’s way down the steep slope. It clumsily rolled over a few time before slowly regaining it’s balance and proceeding on it’s snail pace down the hill. You could see the green moss that was growing on it’s fur. It was a truly wonderful experience. Here is a link to a video I took of the sloth. https://youtube.com/shorts/nD-46YXwNf0?si=_lAP3gsu7sWkq5K4
We left the slow moving sloth and drove to the Summit Ponds, another ebird hotspot. It is located across from the Summit Nature Park we visited on Tuesday along the old Gamboa Road. The ponds are across the road from SENAFRONT headquarters, the home of the Panama National Border Service.
It was cloudy when we began our hike but it didn’t take us long until we saw some wildlife, including this pretty lesser kiskadee,
and this prothonotary warbler. This warbler breeds in the United States but is not often seen in the woodlands in my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania. It migrates to South America for the Winter.
and a greater ani on another pond.
We continued on a wide grassy trail and saw a lineated woodpecker, which looks a lot my favorite woodpecker that lives in Pennsylvania, the pileated woodpecker, and
slaty tailed trugon in the trees above the trail.
We continued on the trail under the canopy of tall trees,
And we were also excited to see another sloth sighting, this one hanging from a branch over our trail. It was late, near sunset, which occurs at 6 p.m. when we drove back to the lodge. It was another wonderful hike. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with more photos from our afternoon birding adventure. Panama Canopy Tower Summit Ponds hike October 19 2023.
At the lodge we went over our check list and discussed the birds and wildlife we saw. The sloth was the highlight of our day. But the day wasn’t over, there is always something happening in the rainforest that surrounds Canopy Tower. After our usual delicious meal I was getting ready to retire to our room when our guide Igua said there was a snake in fron of the lodge. I ran down and was surprised and excited to see these large boa constrictor just outside of the fence,
“Every move a sloth makes is with purpose, which is more than most of us can say about 90% of the time.” —Ann Burton