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Birding Panama 2016

BIRDING panama

january 21 to 31, 2016  

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Note: A valid passport with an expiration date at least six months beyond travel dates is required for this tour.

General Information
Few places in the world offer a variety of natural habitats in such a small area.  Within its mere 29,159 square miles (smaller than the state of South Carolina), Panama contains more than 978 different species of birds.  Habitats range from dry "deserts" with cacti, to lush tropical rain forests and mountain cloud forests where moss-covered epiphyte-laden trees abound.  

A diverse topography from coastal wetlands to mountain peaks rising more than 11,000 feet offers a rich avifauna that includes everything from massive wintering shorebird flocks to secretive treerunners and tapaculos in fog-shrouded montane environments.

 Additionally, Panama’s location at the crossroads of the Americas attracts bird species from both continents and is rich in endemic or near-endemic birds.

TOUR SIZE:  This tour is limited to 12 participants.  Travel throughout the tour will be in comfortable vans. 

ACTIVITY LEVEL;  Moderate
The trip involves easy-to-moderate walking over flat to hilly terrain.  On many days we will spend up to 6-7 hours walking and/or on our feet.  






PACE, WEATHER AND TRAVEL CONDITIONS:
Our days in the field will usually begin about 6:30 a.m. and will end about 6:00 p.m.  On many days, we’ll have an early breakfast followed by several hours of birding before lunch; on some days we may have an afternoon siesta to ride out the mid-day heat before returning to the field for late afternoon birding.  
Temperatures will be warm to hot (and humid).  Expect a temperature range from approximately 75-95 degrees.  Rain or thunderstorms are a possibility, so raingear and or an umbrella is advised.  Many tropical birders prefer an umbrella and fast-drying clothing as raingear doesn’t usually breathe—causing you to be as wet through perspiration as you would be through precipitation.  The sun is very strong, especially in the Darien region: sunscreen and a brimmed hat are advised.  Biting insects such as mosquitoes may be present at several locations.

DATES: Thursday, January 21 (meet at our hotel in Panama City) to Sunday, January 31, 2016 (flights home any time that day)

PRICE:  Cost for this tour is $2,750.00 per person, based on double occupancy.  Single supplement (should you request single occupancy, or we are unable to find you a suitable roommate) is $400.  A deposit of $500, along with a completed registration form, will secure your space until November 15, 2015, when full payment is due.

PRICE INCLUDES:  Accommodations for 10 nights, local guides & tour leadership, most meals while in Panama, and ground and water transport within Panama.  Price does not include travel between home and Panama City, gratuities, or any items of a personal nature.

SEND DEPOSITS & OTHER PAYMENTS TO:
NJ Audubon Eco-Travel
c/o Center for Research and Education
600 Route 47 North
Cape May Court House, NJ  08210

Please make checks payable to: New Jersey Audubon

OR
 by email to travel@njaudubon.org


Photos courtesy John E. Afdem
TOUR LEADERS:
Scott Barnes began birding more than thirty years ago, and has been an avid naturalist ever since. Encouragement and learning came from his parents and many birders, including members of the Delaware Valley and Urner Ornithological Clubs and staff of New Jersey Audubon. An interest in travel and natural history has led him from the Bering Sea in Alaska to the thorn scrub deserts of Arizona to the remote tropical forests of Darien Province in Panama. Scott is an eBird regional editor, compiles the Sandy Hook Christmas Bird Count, leads on See Life Paulagics boat trips, and served for 13 years as a voting member of the New Jersey Bird Records Committee. He is the assistant director for the NJ Audubon Eco-Travel program. Scott has led NJ Audubon tours to twenty-six US states and six countries, from northwestern Alaska to the desert southwest to Trinidad and Tobago in search of plants and animals. 

Guido C. Berguido operates Advantage Tours Panama, a birding and ecotourism company.  Guido is native to Panama City, Panama. He has a degree in Biology from the University of Panama and is a Certified Guide through the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) in the USA. For more than 15 years, he has lead nature and birdwatching tours for the most important tour operators of the region and has been involved in environmental education and conservation activities with the Smithsonian Institution and the Panama Audubon Society. Moreover he has travelled in Europe, Asia and the United States.
Listed in the Top Guides section of Panama's Lonely Planet Guidebook as "....one of the country's most patient, qualified, and enthusiastic all-around guides". Guido can take you through some of the region's most interesting and wildlife-rich habitats