The population biology of tropical birds is known for a only small sample of species; especially in the Neotropics. Robust estimates of parameters such as survival rate and finite rate of population change (A) are crucial for conservation purposes and useful for studies of avian life histories. We used methods developed by Pradel (1996, Biometrics 52:703-709) to estimate A for 10 species of tropical forest lowland birds using data from a long-term (> 20 yr) banding study in Panama. These species constitute a ecologically and phylogenetically diverse sample. We present these estimates and explore if they are consistent with what we know from selected studies of banded birds and from 5 yr of estimating nesting success (i.e., an important component of A). A major goal of these analyses is to assess if the mark-recapture methods generate reliable and reasonably precise estimates of population change than traditional methods that require more sampling effort.