Cleveland or Panama? Migratory birds reveal all

Panama City is home to one of the world’s largest rain forests inside city limits. It’s beautiful. Great city and Pacific Ocean views on one side (like my picture the other day, taken from the park) and unbroken jungle-like views on the other side.

What’s strange about the Panama National Metropolitan Park is that it is a sister park to the Cleveland (Ohio) Metroparks system. USAID and the U.S. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation give some assistance to the park in Panama.

Why? It turns out that a few of Cleveland’s home-town birds winter every year right here in Panama City. Birds like the Baltimore Oriole (pictured), the Yellow Warbler, and the Barn Swallow all hang out from May to September in Ohio, then head to Panama for the winter.

Signs throughout the park tell of the parallels between the cities. Both are major cities. Both home to over a million inhabitants. Both are a terminus of an important canal (the Erie and the Panama). Unlike Cleveland, Panama’s park is home to 950 species of birds (227 of which can be found in the park), forty-six of which are migratory birds. Like Clevelend, Panama hasn’t had a winning sports team in approximately 342 years.