Wildlife of Costa Rica and Panama

This 26 June 2020 video says about itself:

Tropical Natural Paradise: Panama & Costa Rica | Free Documentary Nature

Whoever wants to experience Central America as a nature paradise in a small area, should explore Costa Rica. Almost half of the country is covered by rain forest. Numerous animal species are to be found here like the White-faced Capuchin, colourful parrots like the Macaw, Veruga Parakeets and Tapirs.

Also, lizards from primeval times have their habitat in this region of the planet. The small central American nation not only fascinates with rich fauna and flora but also with a wonder world under water. Insights into the fascinating world of the jungle show examples like the epiphytes that make their way to the sky at the expense of their host plants.

A view into the culture of the Indian inhabitants of the rain forest, of course, does not come too briefly either. A diving excursion through the ocean waters of Cocos Island is the highlight of the journey. The spectator will get flesh crawl while watching hundreds of dangerous hammerhead sharks gliding past the camera.

Mantled howler monkeys in Panama

This 7 June 2020 video says about itself:

The Mantled Howler Monkey is the loudest animal of the rainforest

The Mantled Howler Monkey (Alouatta palliata) is one of the most prominent species of monkeys in the beautiful country of Panama. It thrives in deep lush jungles along the Canal of Panama and spends most of the day in the canopy of large mature tropical trees. Its home is typically the hostile and busy rain forests of most of Central and South America.

Like most of its cousins, the Mantled Howler will likely eat anything smaller than its own size. On the other hand, its natural predators are mainly feline like the jaguar and puma among other big predatory cats. The infamous loud and threatening sounding call of the Mantled Howler Monkey resonates over the thick dramatic and stunning vegetation of the Gamboa region and can be heard far in the distance through the jungle.

Among 5 other relatives of monkey species present in Panama, the Mantled Howler also shares its beautiful natural habitat with dozens of other mammal species and hundreds of bird species. Footage in this two-hour continuous uninterrupted calm and relaxing compilation was filmed in 4K Ultra High Definition in the evergreen humid rain forest of the lush Pipeline Road hiking trail in Gamboa, Panama.

Yellow-billed cacique in Panama

This video says about itself:

Panama Fruit Feeder New Cam Species: Yellow-billed Cacique – June 1, 2020

This has been a busy “slow season” at the Panama Fruit Feeder. Yet another new-to-the-cam species has visited. The Yellow-billed Cacique is a retiring blackbird of thickets and tangles that is heard far more often than seen. Note the pale ivory-yellow bill, that all but shines in the densely-vegetated habitats they occupy, and their staring yellow eyes.

Orange nectar bats at Panama fruit feeder

This video says about itself:

Many Nectar Bats Taking Their Evening Meal At The Panama Fruit Feeder – May 23, 2020

Orange Nectar Bats aren’t the only mammals to visit the Panama Fruit Feeder at night, though they are certainly the most active. These bats have unique mouth physiology that allows them to use their muscles, as well as capillary action, to draw nectar from plants and feeders. Their tongues have a pair of grooves, lined many small muscles, that are used to force the nectar up and into their mouths.

Shiny cowbird, new species at Panama feeder

This video says about itself:

Panama Fruit Feeder Cam New Species: Shiny Cowbird – May 9, 2020

A female Shiny Cowbird visited the platform for a brief look around. Shiny Cowbirds are obligate brood parasites whose diet consists mainly of insects and seeds. Males are glossy black with blue and purple iridescence. This cowbird’s range has shifted north from South America and it has been documented breeding as far north as Florida.

New bird species at Panama feeder, videos

This video says about itself:

Panama Fruit Feeder Cam New Species: Tawny-crested Tanager – April 29, 2020

We can happily add another tanager to the list of species seen on the Panama Fruit Feeder Cam! A male Tawny-crested Tanager made a cautious visit this morning. Males are all black with a conspicuous yellow-orange crest. Females can be confusing as they are a dark, dull brown, though males are usually nearby to help with identification. This tanager is often seen in noisy flocks in the dense forests that line the road that Canopy Lodge is on, though they are not very common near the Lodge itself.

This video says about itself:

Panama Fruit Feeder Cam New Species: Black-headed Saltator – April 29, 2020

Black-headed Saltators are not considered common around the Canopy Lodge, so we count ourselves lucky to have seen one at the feeder! We have already seen Streaked and Buff-throated Saltators on cam, with the Buff-throated being a somewhat common visitor to the platform. The Black-headed Saltator can be told from the others by the stark transition from golden-green to black at the nape. Their song is a loud string of cackling, scratchy squawks that ends in a whistle. Both sexes sing, often in duet.

Young red-crowned woodpecker in Panama

This video says about itself:

Juvenile Red-crowned Woodpecker Makes Solo Visit To The Panama Fruit Feeder – Apr 28, 2020

Recently we’ve seen the Red-crowned Woodpeckers visiting in what appears to be a family group. Today a juvenile came to the feeder on its own for a meal. Juvenile Red-crowned Woodpeckers lack the rich red coloration on the nape or crown that the adults exhibit.

Harpy eagle in Panama, video

This January 2020 video says about itself:

Raw footage in Ultra High Definition 4K of the beautiful and majestic stunning Harpy Eagle bird of prey in Panama. The Harpy Eagle is neotropical and lives in the rain forest and jungles of Central America and some northern parts of South America. This large predatory bird has some of the most powerful talons of the avian world and measures up to 7 feet in wingspan.

Sloths in Panama, video

This 2020 video says about itself:

Video compilation of lovely hairy lazy looking sloths spending a calm and relaxing day in the exotic tropical jungles of Panama. Among other fascinating creatures that Central America’s rainforests have to offer, the sloth has to be one of the most unique and mystical of them all. Spending most of the day sleeping and hanging out in tree’s canopy, the two-toed and three-toed sloth are the most common species present in Panama. With a cute innocent face that almost looks like it is smiling, the sloth uses its infamous slow pace to save energy in the hot and humid climate of most Central American and northern South American countries neotropical climate.

Feeding on fruits, plants and insects, this adorable 50cm little beast in turn becomes prey to larger mammals like the jaguar as well as birds of prey like the Harpy Eagle. The 4K footage in this compilation was exclusively filmed in the wild in the rainforest of the lush and vibrant buzzing Pipeline Road in Panama during the month of February.

Hummingbirds and trees in Panamanian rainforest

This video says about itself:

Hummingbirds buzzing in sanctuary at Panama Rainforest Discovery Center

Extensive 22-minute compilation of stock footage in 4K of hummingbirds flying, feeding and perched at Panama Rainforest Discovery Center located at the end of Camino Del Oleoducto near the town of Gamboa about 20 kilometers north of Panama City filmed in November 2016. The hummingbird feeders at the Discovery Center are placed to attract a large variety of wild hummingbirds present in the jungles of the Soberania National park in a natural and unrestrained environment with no nets or cage.

Species seen in this compilation are Violet-bellied Hummingbird (Damophila julie), White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora), Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl), Long-billed Hermit (Phaethornis longirostris) and Semiplumbeous Hawk (Leucopternis semiplumbeus).

From the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences in the USA:

Hummingbirds show up when tropical trees fall down

April 23, 2020

When the tree fell that October in 2015, the tropical giant didn’t go down alone. Hundreds of neighboring trees went with it, opening a massive 2.5-acre gap in the Panamanian rainforest.

Treefalls happen all the time, but this one just happened to occur in the exact spot where a decades-long ecological study was in progress, giving University of Illinois researchers a rare look into tropical forest dynamics.

“I’ve been walking around that tree for 30 years now. It was just humongous,” says Jeff Brawn, Professor and Stuart L. and Nancy J. Levenick Chair in Sustainability in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at Illinois. “Here we are, running around on this plot for years and all of a sudden I couldn’t even find my way around. We just lucked into it.”

What’s lucky is that Brawn and his colleagues had amassed decades of data on the bird community in that exact spot, meaning they had a clear before-and-after view of what a treefall could mean for tropical birds.

This particular gap meant hummingbirds. Lots and lots of hummingbirds.

“After the treefall, we saw a very large spike in the total number of hummingbird species,” says Henry Pollock, a postdoctoral scholar working with Brawn and lead author on a study published in the Journal of Field Ornithology. “Within the previous 25 years of the study, we had only documented three or four hummingbird species, and they were usually present in low numbers. There was one species, the snowy-bellied hummingbird, which we had never captured on either of our two plots in 25 years of sampling. The year after the treefall happened, we got 16 unique individuals of this one species, and total diversity of hummingbirds more than doubled.”

The gap also attracted fruit-eating birds. The researchers documented a doubling of this group compared to pre-treefall numbers, with certain species being more than three times as abundant. Other species, including the thick-billed seed-finch, which typically inhabits grasslands, appeared as if out of thin air.

“They just swooped in,” Brawn says. “It’s analogous to a backyard bird feeder. As soon as you put one in, you’ll see species you’ve never seen before.”

And then, almost as quickly, the birds disappeared.

Within one to four years, depending on the species, the birds returned to pre-treefall numbers or were not detected again.

“What that suggests is these birds are incredibly mobile and opportunistic,” Pollock says. “They are probably just cruising around the landscape prospecting for their preferred food sources and habitats. Given the sheer size of this gap, it acted as a sort of magnet, pulling in species from potentially kilometers away. I mean, 16 snowy-bellied hummingbirds and we’ve never caught one before? It’s pretty astounding.”

Treefalls are a common and necessary occurrence in forests all over the world. As sunshine streams in from above, trees hunkered down in the understory finally get their chance to rise. Basking in the suddenly resource-rich environment, tropical trees and other plants produce nectar-filled flowers and fruit, important food sources for birds and other animals.

Previous research has hinted at how important these food sources are for tropical birds, but no one had documented before-and-after differences until now. Instead, researchers typically compared treefall gaps with intact forest areas at a single time point. That approach has its uses, but it can’t capture what Brawn and Pollock found: just how quickly the birds arrived on the scene, and how quickly they left.

“I was just really just astonished at how quickly and how efficiently these birds seem to be able to find and exploit a new source of food,” Brawn says.

Gaps don’t stay open long in the tropics. Understory trees shoot up, elbowing each other out of the way to take the top spot. Soon, there’s no evidence a gap — or its riotous array of feathered occupants — was there at all.

As short-lived as they may be, treefall gaps represent critical opportunities for species turnover, especially in the tropics where forest fires are comparatively rare.

“This kind of periodic disturbance is probably necessary for these birds to persist in the landscape matrix,” Pollock says. “That’s true for many organisms and ecosystems; our study provides evidence to back that up in these birds.”