Wednesday, January 18, 2023

View the Action at Tropical Feeding Stations

A favorite tropical tanager among many birders is the Golden-hooded Tanager (photo by Alexander Montero).
A variety of hummingbirds can be observed at the Ecuador and Panama hummingbird feeders (Violet-tailed Sylph photo by Ben Lucking).
Green Honeycreepers are most commonly seen on the Gringo Curt’s videos (photo by Tim Lenz).

We would probably all enjoy a visit to a lush tropical birding hotspot, especially birders who live in northern latitudes where a winter white landscape persists. But even Sunbelt birders are game for a rainforest experience. The next best thing to visiting a feeding station in a tropical rainforest is to monitor live-streaming cameras positioned at feeders in Panama, Ecuador, and Costa Rica. Start by checking out the feeding station at the Canopy Lodge in central Panama where you will be treated to views of visiting tanagers, toucans, motmots, and more. Then, if hummingbirds are among your favorites, you must check on the Sachatama Lodge feeders, located in a cloud forest in the Mindo Valley of Ecuador. And then there is the Costa Rican bird buffet to complete a bird feeding tour of 3 prime tropical locations.

To Panama We Go!

A primary destination for many birders interested in viewing a tropical feeding station is the Panama Fruit Feeder Cam, hosted on the grounds of the Canopy Lodge in El Valle de Anton, provided via the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The feeding platform and hummingbird feeder is positioned about 40 feet from the main lodge, one of several feeding stations on the property for guests to view many of the remarkable tropical birds found in area. A small stream called the Rio Guayabo flows past the feeders, which you can often hear in the background along with bird songs that permeate the lush landscape of the Canopy Lodge grounds and surrounding rainforest. Be sure to view some of the spectacular birds of tropical Panama live at

To learn more about some of the interesting birds you see, you can continue scrolling down from the live cam screen to the “Species Info” section, which shows photos of birds that you may see while watching the Panama rainforest feeding station. Then to learn more about the species, just click on the photo and you will be provided with an eBird description, range map, more photos, and sound recordings. Then, if you want more information, you can visit the ultimate birding website “Birds of the World” and type in the bird’s name to get a wealth of information. (If you’re not already a subscriber to this remarkable website, consider subscribing for just $8 per month at Birds of the World - Cornell Lab of Ornithology). Use it a month and discontinue, or better yet, become a longer term subscriber to improve your knowledge of birds you see season to season.

It is great fun to check back to this and other websites regularly to get another view and another perspective on the area birds that visit the feeding station. Also, beneath the live cam screen there are a number of “Video Highlights” that provide excellent views of stunning birds that visit these tropical feeders, such as the recent video showing Keel-billed Toucans, Black-chested Jays, and a Chestnut-headed Oropendola at

Ecuador Too!

Revel in the sights of hummingbirds visiting feeders in Ecuador at Sachatama Lodge, located in a cloud forest in the Mindo Valley. See the live view at Live Hummingbird Feeders Webcam Sachatamia Lodge, Ecuador ( (You can enlarge the view to full screen by clicking on the small square in the lower right corner of the viewing screen.)

To identify the species of hummingbirds, you may need to refer to the field guide, The Birds of Ecuador, but to give you a head start, during a short viewing session we observed Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds, Velvet-purple Coronets, Violet-tailed Sylphs with extra-long tails, Great Sapphirewings, and White-booted Racket-tails with 2 long wiry tail feathers tipped with “rackets.” You can expect other species over time too at this very active hummingbird feeding station positioned in a beautiful cloud forest setting.

Costa Rica Tropical Buffet

In some ways, possibly even better than the live camera feeds, an impressive series of video cuts shows a surprising variety of birds filmed at a Costa Rica fruit feeder outside Gringo Curt’s Restaurant at Drake Bay. The first video continues for about 35 minutes at Gringo Curt's Restaurant Bird Feeder - YouTube (You can skip the YouTube ads by clicking the Skip Ads button that appears after 5 seconds in the lower right side of the video screen.)

You will see wintering Baltimore Orioles and Prothonotary Warblers with resident Green Honeycreepers, Golden-hooded Tanagers, Blue-gray Tanagers, Great Kiskadees, Bananaquits, Yellow-throated Toucans, Blue-crowned Motmots, Thick-billed Euphonias, Golden-naped Woodpeckers, Palm Tanagers, Buff-throated Saltators, Clay-colored Thrushes, Tropical Mockingbirds, and more.

To watch the avian action another 15 minutes from a little different angle, see Gringo Curt's Bird Feeder, Drake Bay, Costa Rica (Part 2) - YouTube And you can view the birds from an overhead angle in a third 22 minute video at Gringo Curt's Bird Feeder Drake Bay, Costa Rica (part 3) - YouTube

We hope you enjoy taking a look at these exciting tropical feeding stations and the birds they attract, and on a snowy winter day, a quick internet trip to Panama, Ecuador, or Costa Rica can change your outlook as well as transport you visually to another avian realm – Enjoy!

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