Panama Day 5: Canopy Tower: A Visit To The Metropolitan Natural Park And Causeway In Panama City

Panama Day 5: Canopy Tower: A Visit To The Metropolitan Natural Park And Causeway In Panama City

Panama Day Five r Canopy Tower morning (25 of 55)
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I was up early again on Friday, my fourth morning during  my stay at the Canopy Tower ecolodge in Panama. We were leaving the lodge and driving to Panama City to visit the Metropolitan  Natural  Park.  Our breakfast was served at 6:30 a.m. but all of the guest in the lodge ( 6 of us)  were on the rooftop  at sunrise, around 6 a.m.  We enjoyed  the view,  and looked  for birds and other wildlife. It was cloudy so we didn’t see a sunrise but the view of the mist rising over the rainforest with the famous Panama Canal in the distance was just as breathtaking. 

There were a few critters already awake in the rainforest including this red -lored parrot 

and a few palm tanagers. 

We enjoyed another hearty breakfast and were soon on our way to the Metropolitan Natural Park located about 15 miles from the lodge in the center of Panama City. This 585 acre tropical rainforest is the largest rainforest located in a city in Central America. I was aware  of this park since I was staying in a nearby hotel the following day.  OI planned to explore it for a the next two  days . I was glad to get an introduction to the park on this tour with our experienced guide Jorge. 

We encountered some traffic in the city because of  local protests but were soon at the Visitor Center of the park.  We  walking through some  beautiful flower  gardens near the entrance,  displaying  many exotic tropical flowers,

and enjoyed watching the many colorful butterflies they attracted. I am not positive of the identifications, I am relying on my iPhone insect App, but I think this is a tropical checkered skipper butterfly

this a white peacock butterfly

and this a banded peacock butterfly. 

We left the gardens and  followed a narrow stone trail into the rainforest. 

It was lush and green under the canopy of towering trees and large ferns along the trail. 

It didn’t take long to see a wide variety wildlife, the first bird we saw was this orange chinned parakeet feeding on a termite nest. 

We saw this bird, one very familiar to me. I almost always see one on my walks near my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania. They migrate as far as South America. 

There was a small pond along the trail with  mesoamerican slider  turtles in the water and on logs in the pond. 

We soon saw a group of the third species of monkeys I saw on this visit to Panama, Geoffroy’s Tamarin monkeys. We watched as they scurried quickly through the tree tops. 

And I saw my second sloth species a Hoffman’s two toed sloth, it looked like the cousin It character from the Adam’s Family movies. 

We  also saw a brown-throated three toed sloth. 

And it wasn’t only in the tree tops were we saw  wildlife on our hike, this yellow-headed gecko 

and this brown basilisk lizard were seen on branches near the ground. 

We continued on the trail walking past large trees, 

and abandoned military buildings  from when the United States military was stationed in Panama.

Our guide Jorge pointed out an animal I am very familiar with, but is rarely seen in the park, a white tailed deer. I have many of these deer visit my backyard in Pennsylvania every evening.  

And we continued to see some of the hundreds of species of birds that live in the park, this is a olivaceous woodcreeper , 

this a cocoa woodcreeper , 

a summer tanager,

a lance tailed manakin, 

a red-headed ant tanager  

a streaked flycatcher, 

and my favorite a yellow billed cuckoo. I have only seen a few of these beautiful birds on my hikes near my home. They are one of my favorite summer visitors from the tropics. 

We had walked for about a mile when we turned back and returned to the Visitor Center seeing a few more birds in the tree tops,,

and these  mushrooms along the trail. 

We left the Metropolitan Natural Park and drove out along  a Causeway to the Punta Culebra Nature Center.

Unfortunately the center was closed to the public since there  was a large group of students visiting  the center. We drove to the nearby Biomuseum located at the beginning of the Causeway,

and left our vehicle  look for birds and wildlife in the surrounding park  gardens. There were great views of the modern skyline of  Panama City from the Causeway. 

We walked to the large bay the Causeway created to protect the Panama Canal from the waves of the Pacific Ocean. It was built with material excavated from the building of the Canal.

As we  walked  along the tree lined path and saw quite a few birds in the tree tops including this great kiskadee, 

a crimson backed tanager, 

an Isthmian wren

a rufous-tailed hummingbird

both a female and

male barred antshrike.The males and femalers  of this  bird  look  different. 

As do  the male, 

and female great tailed grackles . I was surprised with the numder of different species of birds we saw in this open and heavily travled area. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos of the birds I saw on our morning visit to Metropolitan Natural Park. Panama Day 5 Canopy Tower Metropolitan Natural Park birds October 20 2023. 

And it wasn’t only birds we saw on our short walk on the Causeway. We also saw a few lizards including green iguanas both on the ground and in the tree tops

and brown anoles scampering on the branches near the ground. 

There were many flower gardens in the area,

wih beuaitful topical flowers 

and which attracted many butterflies including this silver spotted skipper, 

 and many white peacock butterflies. 

And , of course, we saw another sloth. They are everywhere in PanamaHere is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photo  from our morning visit to Metropolitan Natural Park  . Panama Day 5 Canopy Tower Metropolitan Natural Park  October 20 2023.

We finished are short visit to the Causeway and drove back to the Canopy Tower for lunch. It was another excing ,and educational  adventure. It was a birding tour and we sure saw a lot of new and beautiful birds and learned more about this wonderful country and it’s plant and animal life. 

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharial Nehru








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