Panama  is especially well known for its incredible number and diversity of bird species. Besides its vast local populations, more than 120 species are migrants that regularly cross the isthmus on the way to and from their winter homes.
The famous (among birders) “raptor migration” of broad-winged hawks, Swainson’s hawks, and turkey vultures is absolutely spectacular. During the fall and spring, particularly October–mid-November and March–early April, they pass overhead in flocks that can number in the many thousands. It’s an unbelievable sight.
The first comprehensive study of the migration was conducted in fall 2004, when researchers tallied more than 2.7 million raptors. One researcher counted 92,000 in a single day. They are easiest to spot around the former Canal Zone . Good places to see them include Cerro Ancón , the Canopy Tower , and the top of the aerial tram at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort .
Other species likely to impress nonbirders include five species of macaws (blue-and-yellow, chestnut-fronted, great green, red-and-green, and the rare scarlet); several species of toucans and toucanets; the harpy eagle, the world’s most powerful bird of prey; and the resplendent quetzal, which has been called the most beautiful bird on the planet.