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The adventure of birding in Panama is coming

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  • Mon, 08/20/2018 - 16:49
aves
  • AFP

Ornithology lovers and birding fans with their binoculars, cameras and lenses are almost ready to venture to observe millions of birds coming from North America in the Panamanian skies, to migrate south.

The flocking birds moving in a colossal journey that takes thousands of kilometers will migrate towards forests, coasts, mangroves and even urban areas of Mexico, Central and South America once the autumn cold starts, looking for places with the most suitable climate to rest, live, feed and reproduce.

The seasonal period in October and November when bird migration takes place will be the epicenter of an activity that has a more than 120-year history for Panama, called "birding", a segment that the country looks forward to unleash green tourism that has gained momentum in recent years.

During this movement there are three major migrations: that of birds of prey, shorebirds and song birds. All are counted by millions from places near the capital, said Venicio Wilson the specialized birding guide and member of the Society Audubon of Panama.

"In birding, people go as if collecting, and in that search for new species, Panama is located as a destination," said the guide.

The plumage of toucans, parrots, resplendent quetzal, harpy eagle, tanagers, and others such as the jumping yellow-cheeked tit, with its amazing yellow-green color, complements the great directory that can be observed and heard luckily even in the middle of Panamanian concrete capitals.

"There are good reasons why the destination that holds the title of the first country in Central America with some 1,010 species in bird diversity wishes to attract more and more visitors from North America, Europe and Asia," he said.

In May, at the international competition of birding known as the Global Big Day, the isthmus ranked number one in Central America and sixth among the top 10 in the world, with some 750 species of birds seen in one day, surpassing Costa Rica with 685.

Wilson added the territory has a favorable system of roads and circuits of nearby forests, although he points out other more frequented sites are the highlands of the province of Chiriquí, bordering Costa Rica; and the Darién jungle, which is almost inaccessible, but not for "bird-watchers".

"We have the challenge of making Panama more attractive with its more accessible national parks, boosting tourism infrastructure in other places outside the capital city, and expanding the information available in educational materials such as books and maps, which they are liked by the fans," he said.

He added that most of the customers are aware of sustainable tourism and environmental commitments, so he wants his money to be allocated for the preservation of resources.

The executive of the Department of International Communications of the Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP), Gilberto Alemancia, told Efe this sector that attracts mainly groups of great purchasing power and great potential, comes mostly from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Germany.

"Many people aimed at documenting exotic species are willing to travel to distant places, regardless of cost, since most are also specialists and researchers," said Alemancia, who has undertaken a number of tours with them.

He argues that amateurs and also experienced choose the natural circuits of the Panamanian capital such as the Metropolitan Natural Park, the Soberania National Park and the slopes of Cerro Ancón; without leaving behind the towns of the Atlantic province of Colón, and the Coiba National Park, located in the Pacific.

He said the key to making the tour successful is in the training provided to tour guides to help visitors find the animal they are looking for among the trees of the dense Panamanian forests.

Time is passing by and both representatives are waiting in their calendar to start the date to see the majesty of birds flying in the skies, being the object of curiosity and passion of thousands of tourists, people and experts who seek to understand a little about its beauty behavior.

Raquel Sánchez

EFE

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El guía especializado en observación de aves y miembro de la Sociedad Audubon de Panamá, Venicio Wilson, habla en una entrevista con Acan-Efe este 7 de agosto de 2018, en Ciudad de Panamá (Panamá). Los amantes de la ornitología y los aficionados a la observación junto a sus binoculares, cámaras y lentes están casi listos para aventurarse a contar en los cielos panameños las millones de aves procedentes de Norteamérica, que levantarán vuelo para iniciar su época migratoria rumbo al Sur. EFE/Arturo Wong

 

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