Support the Bocas de Toro HawkWatch in Panama!

The Bocas del Toro Community HawkWatch needs your help!
Your donation can help us provide training and income for local hawk counters so that we can continue monitoring at one of the most prolific hawk migration sites in the world, where nearly 2 million raptors were observed in fall 2021.

Millions of hawks, vultures, and other raptors migrate between North and South America every year. The narrow isthmus of Panama acts as a bottleneck for these migrating birds, causing exceptionally large concentrations of raptors to be observed in areas such as Bocas del Toro and creating a unique research opportunity.

In early October 2021, Karl Bardon, an experienced hawk counter from Duluth, MN, accepted an invitation to start monitoring the fall raptor migration in Bocas Ridge. Several researchers and indigenous interns at ADOPTA also joined in and continued the monitoring with plans for a long-term follow up.

A summary of our results can be found at the end of this page. Our observations were also submitted to the Hawk Migration Association of North America's Raptor Migration Database and can be viewed here:

Funding is required to train and equip new interns – including young indigenous women – in the methodology used in the raptor counts. Additionally, many members of the local communities, including the family who hosts our team, have no electricity or running water. Income from the stipends paid to local interns directly supports the local economy, which in turn further encourages habitat conservation.

Much of the funding for our research efforts has come from private donors, such as the Bocas Ridge Hotel & Residences, and income from ecotourism. Unfortunately, with the Covid-19 pandemic affecting tourism, these funding sources are struggling to cover all of our monitoring activities. As things currently stand, we may not have enough funds to continue the important work of this HawkWatch in 2022.

This fundraiser will allow us to recruit and train new interns for the 2022 spring migration season. Our current goal would support three interns for the 3-month study season.
If we receive enough support, we also hope to expand the scope of this fundraiser to include a full staff of interns - including indigenous women- for both the spring and fall migration seasons!

You can also support this project in other ways. We encourage anyone with birding experience to volunteer as a counter; we would also love to accept donations of used equipment (binoculars, spotting scopes, etc.). If these options interest you, please reach out to us via the contact option below or through a direct message on social media (@AdoptaBosque)

For more information on this project and the other exciting conservation activities being carried out by ADOPTA, we hope you will visit our website ( and follow us on instagram, facebook, and twitter @AdoptaBosque

Muchísimas gracias for your support!
Birds observed during the fall 2021 HawkWatch:
Migratory raptors:
  • Turkey Vulture: 1,272,910
  • Swainson’s Hawk: 389,876
  • Broad-winged Hawk: 273,881
  • Mississippi Kite: 747
  • Hook-billed Kite: 162
  • Osprey: 112
  • Peregrine Falcon: 66
  • Zone-tailed Hawk: 7
  • Red-tailed Hawk: 5
  • Cooper’s Hawk: 4
  • Merlin: 4
  • Northern Harrier: 3
  • American Kestrel: 2
  • Swallow-tailed Kite: 1
Other notable migratory species observed:
  • Chimney Swift: 1,528
  • Barn Swallow: 300
  • Wood stork: 3,474
Resident raptors (<1% of the total number of raptors seen!):
  • King Vulture: 47
  • Short-tailed Hawk: 13
  • Common Black-hawk: 12
  • Black Hawk-eagle: 9
  • Double-toothed Kite: 7
  • Crested Caracara: 5
  • Bat Falcon: 3
  • Gray-headed Kite: 2
  • Snail Kite: 1
  • White-tailed Hawk: 1
Other notable resident species observed:
  • White-collared Swift: 632
  • Gray-rumped Swift: 2
  • Jabiru: 2
  • Roseate Spoonbill: 1
  • Spot-fronted Swift: 1
  • Julia Auckland 
    • $100 
    • 23 d
  • UMW Biology Club 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Brian Elliott 
    • $250 
    • 3 mos
  • Laurie Doss 
    • $350 
    • 3 mos
  • Kristine Anderson 
    • $50 
    • 4 mos
See all


Jonathan Mills-Anderson 
Aliso Viejo, CA