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Birding season begins in Panama

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  • Mon, 09/10/2018 - 09:52
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The season of watching migratory shorebirds and birds of prey began in Panama, where groups of volunteers and experts will be deployed in the capital and several areas of the country to witness the arrival of dozens of species.

The Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP) reported that since last Wednesday and until next Tuesday the World Shorebird Count, organized by the Audubon Society, will be held in the country, in the framework of the Month of the Oceans.

"The count began in Panama Viejo last Wednesday, but there is greatest expectation for this weekend, especially on Sunday, when different groups of volunteers will go out to watch, identify and count local and migratory shorebirds," said the governing body of tourism.

The best places to watch shorebirds in the capital are Panama Viejo, just behind the old museum, in the mudflats and mangroves; and at the Mirador de Aves on Avenida Paseo del Mar, in Urbanización Costa del Este located in front of the Bay of Panama.

The objective of the global counting of shorebirds is to raise public awareness of the plight of these birds, their threats, and the need to preserve them and promote their research, said the Panamanian public body.

"This count is part of a global effort to know the health of the birds of the planet, in this case those of the northern hemisphere, where there are populations that have decayed or disappeared," said the guide specialized in bird watching, Venicio Wilson.

The Tourism Authority said for the counting of shorebirds nationwide there are groups organized on the Pacific coast: in Pedasí integrated by community volunteers, and in Las Lajas, made up by professors and university students.

In Panama, 46 species of shorebirds can be watched, most of them passing by and coming from the United States -mainly Alaska-, Canada and the Arctic region.

They travel up to 30,000 kilometers in a year, during the winter season of the northern hemisphere, in search of warmer areas and greater feeding opportunities, said the Tourism Authority.

According to the Audubon Society, Panama is the Central American country most frequented by these birds, and annually in the Bay of Panama more than one million individuals feast in the extensive mudflats that are exposed when the tide goes down.

Between October 1 and November 16 the count of birds of prey will take place, from ocean to ocean, the fifteenth count since the bird watchers began to count from Cerro Ancón, in the capital.

Wilson said the first groups of birds of pray have already begun to arrive, such as fishermen hawks, but the vast majority begins to do so starting October 1.

"The best time is between the last two weeks of October and the Alligator Hawk, Swainson's Hawk and Red-breasted Grosbeak come abundantly," he said.

The best spot for observing birds of prey in the capital is the peak of Cerro Ancón, between 8 and 11 in the morning. On October 31, 2017, almost one million birds were counted, the Tourism Authority said on Friday.

EFE

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