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As the coronavirus pandemic has devastated the birdwatching and ecotourism travel industry worldwide, a number of tour guide providers are offering virtual tours of birdwatching sites for free or for a small fee. These events provide a glimpse of the wildlife of faraway destinations from the comfort of home while generating some income for the guides.
On Friday, August 7, our friends at Panama City-based Panama Day Trips bring you Bird watching drives an exclusive live birding tour via Zoom from the famous pipeline route in Soberanía National Park. The tour begins at 7:00 AM Eastern (6:00 AM Central, 5:00 AM Mountain, 4:00 AM Pacific) and will last approximately 2.5 hours. It will include two hours of birding and a 30-minute driving tour of the town of Gamboa in the Panama Canal Zone which is home to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.
Tour guide Jerin Tate and her fellow guides are offering virtual birding tours five days a week for $8.99. The tour for Bird watching Readers is free and has a 90 screen limit, first come, first served.
To register, go to this page and click on “Book Now”. Even though the website lists the price as $8.99, you can reserve a spot for free without entering your credit card details. Just provide an email address so the company can send you the login details. Booking is per screen, not per viewer, so if you plan on sharing your computer with someone else, just book for one screen.
The tour will be streamed live via Zoom, and viewers will see the birds in real time through the guides’ screens.
Pipeline Road is one of the most biodiverse birdwatching sites in Central America. An Audubon survey found no less than 385 bird species in just 24 hours, and eBird lists 399 species for the site – from tinamous to trogons to toucans. If you wish to keep a list of the birds seen during the tour, the guides will post photos of the birds in addition to the live images.
Hope you can join us!
See photos of Panama’s birds