Bird Coiba National Park / World Heritage Site: 

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Coiba Birds

Birds from Coiba National Park (Panamá).


The birds certainly are the best know zoological group in the Park.  The study of Coiba birds started with the material obtained by the professional collector Joseph H. Batty in his visit to the island in 1901.  This material allowed the description of four endemic subspecies.  Alexander Wetmore spent a month on Coiba in 1956 and published a monograph about the birds of the island, in which 16 new bird subspecies are described and up to 130 species reported.  Since then, additional visits by Wetmore, Eisenmann and Morton, Ridgely, and others have added, if not completed, the knowledge of the avifauna of Coiba and the neighboring islands, enlarging the checklist of birds up to 147 species: 96 residents, 40 migrants, and 12 accidentals.

Coiba Spinetail  Cranioleuca dissita
Regarding the composition, several authors have pointed out the remarkable absence of some typically forest-associated families as Tinamidae, Cracidae, Phasianidae, Trogonidae, Momotidae, Bucconidae, Galbulidae, Rhamphastidae or Dendrocolaptidae; as well as the meager representation of some other such as Picidae, Furnaridae, and Formicariidae.  This fact has been explained by differential colonization capabilities and extinction rates among bird families during the isolation process that took place along the last glacial period.  Recent studies although, point to that only the Bucconidae as being less represented than expected according to habitat disponibilities in both the island and the near mainland.
Brown-backed Dove  Leptotila battyi
In addition to the impressive list of endemics, Coiba National Park functions as a de facto Macaw preserve. Coiba’s population of Scarlet Macaws is the only secure one in Panama.  This beautiful parrot is just about extinct from its entire former mainland range; thus nationally endangered.
Scarlet Macaw  Ara macao
Wondering about the Three-wattled Bellbird?  In April 1976 Robert S. Ridgley reported the Three wattled-Bellbird common, ‘with many calling males through much of the hilly interior of Coiba Island.  Since then many birders have been able to clearly  observe and positively identify males in close proximity to the ANAM Station.  Calls from Bellbirds are fairly common at the ANAM Station from Jan.-April.
For many years, Coiba Island was an enigma for Panamanians and beyond.  This was principally because of the island’s history as a fierce prison colony (1918-1991).  Today, however, circumstances are quite different.  
In 2004, the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO] formally enrolled Coiba National Park and the adjacent Special Zone of Marine Protection on the list of World Heritage Sites.


Some of the attributes considered for such distinction include:


  • Formation of new species, as evidenced by high levels of endemism.

  • The Park holds the potential to be an exceptional natural laboratory for scientific research.

  • Its reefs are a key ecological link in the Marine Conservation Corridor of the Tropical Eastern Pacific allowing for the migration and survival of both pelagic fish and marine mammal species.

  • Coiba’s forests host a wide variety of birds, mammals, and plants that are not found anywhere else in the world.

  • Coiba is the last remaining refuge for innumerable endangered species.

Coiba National Park ranks as one of the most important protected areas in the Republic of Panama. Owing to its high level of biodiversity, varied ecosystems and species found no where else. Coiba becomes an environmental  sanctuary for the world at large.




                   Bird Coiba

Coiba Endemics:

-         Coiba Spinetail Cranieoleuca dissita

Colaespina                de Coiba


-     Brown-backed Dove

      Leptotila battyi (Panama national endemic found also on Cébaco Island, and SW Azuero Peninsula)

      Paloma de Coiba


 -       Scaly-breasted Hummingbird  Phaeochroa cuvierii saturatior

Colibrí pechiescamado

-         Red-crowned Woodpecker  Melanerpes rubricapillus subfusculus

Carpintero coronirrojo

-         Barred Antshrike  Thamnophilus doliatus eremus

Batará barreteado

-         Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet  Camptostoma  obsoletum orphnum

Tiranolete silbador sureño

-         Sepia-capped Flycatcher  Leptopogon amaurocephalus idus

Mosquerito gorrisepia

-         Tropical Pewee  Contopus cinereus aithalodes

Pibí tropical

-         Scrub Greenlet  Hylophilus flavipes xuthus

Verdillo matorralero

-         Rufous-browed Peppershrike  Cyclarhis gujanensis coibae

Vireón cejirrufo

-         House Wren  Troglodytes aedon carychrous

Soterrey común

-         Tropical Gnatcatcher  Polioptila plumbea cinericia

Perlita tropical

-         White-throated Thrush 

      Turdus assimilis coibensis

Mirlo gorguiblanco

-         Tropical Parula  Parula pitiayumi cirrah

Parula tropical

-         Rufous-capped Warbler  Basileuterus rufifrons actuosus

Reinita cabecicastaña

-         Crimson-backed Tanager  Ramphocelus dimidiatus arestus

Tangara dorsirroja

-         Blue-gray Tanager  Thraupis episcopus cumatilis

Tangara azuleja

-         Yellow-faced Grassquit 

      Tiaris olivacea ravida

Semillerito cariamarillo

-         Black-striped Sparrow  Arremonops conirostris viridicatus

Gorrión negrilistado

-         Streaked Saltator 

      Saltator albicollis scotinus

                Saltador listado