There is a large iguana who has been visiting the birdbath in the afternoons. It’s the hottest part of the day so I am usually at my table on the terrace doing quiet things, and that is how I have seen him quite a few times. Usually though, he is very shy. If I move a muscle he runs, and sometimes I have stayed absolutely still and he still ran as soon as he saw me. I have been keeping my camera set up on the end of the table and got a few shots a couple days ago. I wasn’t happy with them though, and I really needed some zoom for more clarity.

Today, I got lucky! He came first for a bit of the banana I had left out for the birds, and then he came back for some water. He was calmer than usual both times. I reached for the camera on the first visit and he only walked away quietly instead of running. When he came back for water I not only turned on the camera and snapped a photo, I adjusted the zoom and snapped a few more before he quietly walked off. Maybe he is getting used to me.


We have seen this iguana with the pink face in the yard before when he was stuck behind the chain link fence. He’s too big to get through, so we watched him try to solve the situation and eventually climb up the fence and jump down on the other side. Maybe he has found the small opening in the fence on the other side of the house now so he can come and go as he pleases.


It is an educated guess on my part that this is a male iguana based on his large size, and the big jowls on the side of his face. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

It is so cool to see these big, interesting lizards in the wild and I really appreciate this one visiting me. I happened across some kids yesterday trying to get an iguana out of a tree so they could eat it. They said iguana is delicious, but I was very happy to see the iguana escape their efforts. I’d much rather have them alive to enjoy every day.

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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20 Responses to Iguana!

  1. indacampo says:

    Holy crapalini that is a big one. And yes, I was just saying to Eric yesterday that I was wondering if the iguana that was paraded around as part of one of the carts during the Desfile de Carretas in October made it into somebody’s stew pot…


  2. ME BE in Panama says:

    I have heard of people eating them too, and no surprise, they said it tasted like pollo.


  3. oldsalt1942 says:

    Iguana is the one thing I’ve ever had that people say “it tastes like chicken” that ACTUALLY tastes like chicken.


  4. jiminpanama says:

    That’s like whatever you season it like has been my experience. And no, that’s not a big one. Medium! Love your work. Thanks for sharing.


  5. cAROLE says:

    We have iguanas here also, I saw a medium one in front of our house. In the center of the road when I was pulling into the driveway, had to stop to let it go by. It is always nice to see them. The younger ones are the ones with color, as they get older they have less color. This is what I noticed anyway. Nice to see yours.


    • The young ones here are bright green and really pretty. The older ones seem to come in a variety and mixture of colors though from gray, brown, to green and like this one, pink on the face sometimes. They look more varied and interesting.


  6. Wow! He/she is a beauty. How do you sex an iguana?


  7. marimarg says:

    I saw one of these very fleetingly at the last place I stayed in Panama out in the country near La Chorrera. What I did see was the front of the body very upright as in your first photo and the banded tail as it disappeared. I thought it was an iguana so thanks for the ID.


  8. Sunni Morris says:

    Very nice pics. Patience and persistence pays off.


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