GranAzul and introducing Daniel

Just before entering Cobachon we see on our right the impressive mountains of the national park Cerro Hoya, seemingly very close in the clear morning light.

Cerro Hoya

While visiting the pasture we saw a King Vulture and three Green Macaws at close range. The King Vulture was amongst many Black Vultures feeding on a dead snake. The Green Macaws were feeding on the fruits of a nearby Sandbox tree (Hura crepitans).

The next day Daniel showed me a turtle egg nursery where he has planted eggs that he had saved from poachers. He said it was a very rare species to be seen laying in this area, the Green sea turtle (Chelonias mydas).

Walking toward the beach we see tracks of a marine turtle that has come to lay its eggs. Daniel immediately erases with his slippers the tracks so poachers will not find the eggs– unfortunately still highly desired as being an aphrodisiac. By the look of the tracks, and the various holes the turtle dug, Daniel surmises it to be a Caguama ( I have to find the Latin name and apologize for not having done so yet). This incident with the turtle tracks gives me an opportunity to properly introduce Daniel Saenz. He is not only very valuable in doing the necessary manual labor such as building ranchos, fences, servicios (toilets) and water systems, but even more importantly he knows the fauna and flora of this area as few others do. Let me quote George R. Angehr in his book A Bird- Finding Guide to PANAMA, page 182, “ There are only a few houses in El Cobachon. Daniel Saenz, who lives there, is an excellent guide to the area. Daniel can help to hire horses and make other arrangements.”

Before leaving we all have lunch in our rancho. Daniel leafs through our new bird field guide ( A field guide to Birds of Panama, by Goerge R. Angher) which is a follow up on the book I mentioned earlier.

Daniel points out special birds he sees regularly on Gran Azul, such as the Azuero Parakeet (Phyrrhura eisenmann), and the Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus), of which a pair has a nest in one of the Cuipo trees. Apparently the poaching of these magnificent birds has decreased as Daniel regularly sees flocks flying over. Just last week he counted a flock of thirteen Green Macaws.

This entry was posted on at and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.