Watching the Azuero Parakeet (Pyrrhura eisenmanni)

Ornithologistst have recently given the Azuero parakeet the status of full species, and it has been baptized Pyrrhura eisenmanni. The Azuero parakeet is perhaps not particularly rare, but it occurs only in the Cerro Hoya mountains, on the southern tip of Panama’s Azuero peninsula.  The Cerro Hoya mountains are protected in the aptly named Cerro Hoya National Park.

Cerro Hoya National Park has three outstanding features: the Azuero Parakeet, the great green macaw and its inaccessibility. There are no facilities. No roads, no maintained tracks, no acomodation, no nothing. Finding the Azuero Parakeet is therefore no easy task. Except for the few times when the birds descent the mountains to feed in fig trees at the park’s edge. June-July is one of those times.

Azuero Parakeet - Pyrrhura eisenmanni

During this time, flocks of 15 to 50 parakeets arrive in the early morning to feast on the figs and then spend some time sunning and grooming themselves and each other. The Azuero parakeet is not very shy and you can watch them for hours during this time.
 
Last week we organised the first two trips from our hotel heliconia (www.hotelheliconiapanama.com) to look for the parakeets. And with success. On both days, we were able to watch the birds for several hours and/or on several occasions. At the moment there are two small flocks visiting the area, one of about 15 birds and anpother of about 25 birds. In the course of the next weeks, we expect more birds to come in.
 
Apart from the Azuero Parakeet, we also saw king vultures (Sarcoramphus papa), great green macaws (Ara ambiguus) and orange-colared manakins (Manacus aurantiacus).

Orange-collared Manakin - Manacus aurantiacus

 
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