Birds and Critters

My “office” is the table on the patio where I can enjoy the birds and other wildlife in our yard. These are a few recent photos of some visitors I have seen in the last few days.

There are so many birds in Panama! We have put out a couple pans of water and a lot of birds come to drink and bathe. I think this one is a clay colored thrush. They are frequent visitors who bathe enthusiastically until soaking wet, and then go up in the tree to flap vigorously to dry off, only to come back and bathe again.

There are a number of other birds that also visit, but to name them all would take some thinking and looking in my bird book! It is interesting that some just come to drink, others to bathe, some come solo, others in pairs, and occasionally there is a group, even a mixed species group that manages to visit peacefully. At other times one bird will claim the birdbath and until he’s done, no one else is allowed to approach.

There are also birds in the trees. I see quite a few and hear a lot more who I can’t identify by their songs. We see the paisanas (or chachalaca in English) quite often. Usually they are very quiet but once in a while they get all wound up and make quite a racket. I came out one morning and there was a group of them in a tree behind our yard calling loudly!

Of course birds aren’t the only wildlife around here. There are a variety of reptiles as well, and I often see these beautiful lizards in the grass. I believe they are a type of whiptail.

The newest thing here is a frog. I have heard these frogs in many areas but never in our yard until a few nights ago when I heard chirping that seemed to be coming from the birdbath.

(there is nothing to see here but turn up your sound to hear the frog, and the rain in the background)

Then, the other night, Joel went out with his new flashlight and managed to spot the little frog!

Photos of wiggly creatures by flashlight don't come out very well, but at least you can see the little frog.

Photos of wiggly creatures by flashlight don’t come out very well, but at least you can see the little frog.

Other than hanging out on the patio and watching the wildlife, I’m not sure where the days go but they keep flying by! We’ve had some more cyclists staying with us on their way from Alaska to Argentina. (Check out their interesting website). We’ve spent a little time with friends. We’ve done the usually shopping and chores. I’ve spent a while working in the yard, and I always seem to have things on line to read, emails to answer, and other blogs to visit.

I’ve also been spending more time on the bicycle to get in shape for traveling. I met a young woman who plans to bike from Panama City to Mexico. ( Check out her website.) I plan to join here when she arrives in David and bike at least as far as Ometepe Island, Nicaragua.  She is less than half my age though so I’d better get in shape PDQ! She’s very interesting person and I am really looking forward to getting to know her better.

That’s pretty much what is going on with us here in Panama. It continues to be a very good life and we both feel so very fortunate.



About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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8 Responses to Birds and Critters

  1. Sunni Morris says:


    We have pans of water out too for the birds and whoever else happens by. I had to laugh at seeing your rocks in the pans because we do that too so the wind doesn’t carry them off into the desert.

    Our birdbath gets loaded with birds and they are shoulder-to-shoulder in there and others lined up waiting for some space to get in. Al the species get along well here and usually never squabble.

    We have desert toads too that get into the water pans late at night. They can’t come out in the desert heat so are strictly night visitors.

    We also have lots of lizards and some snakes that come by for a drink and then slither away back into the desert.

    Right now we’re busy watching the baby quail and baby chipmunks passing through with their parents and siblings all day long. I always have the camera close by.

    I enjoyed your post.

    How far is your bike trip to Ometepe Island? My husband would never let me embark on such a trip so you’re lucky there. I would definitely have to get in shape as well to keep up with someone half my age and not kill myself doing it.



    • Wow, it sounds like you have a fantastic time with your bird baths! How great that you have so many visitors.
      I think it’s about 400 miles from here to Ometepe Island. Thankfully I am my own boss, and I think my biking partner is flexible and understanding.


  2. Kat McKay says:

    Always enjoy your posts Kris. I always learn something new.


  3. Hugo Ernst says:

    Be careful, it’s not the distance, it’s the dangers of getting hit by a unattentative driver. That and a few potholes here and there.


    • Thankfully the drivers here are used to sharing the road with bikes, pedestrians, horses, and who knows what so they are considerate. I’ll wear bright colors and keep an eye on my rear view mirror just to be on the safe side.


  4. schuttzie says:

    Great post, Kris, I always love to see wildlife and nature shots of other parts of the world 🙂


  5. oldsalt1942 says:

    The birds here are fantastic. I read somewhere, long ago, that there are more varieties of birds here in Panama than anywhere else (a noisy flock of parrots just flew overhead) in the world. That’s because of the country’s location between the two great continents.

    At my house there are three nesting pairs of wrens. During the day I have the back door open and they often come hopping inside to look around and see if they can find any critters to eat. And HUMMINGBIRDS…wow!

    My late uncle Howard, my mom’s brother, was a great birder. He roamed around New England with his binoculars and kept a log of his sightings. I think of him quite often when I see a new, colorful bird.


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