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Worldwide Birding Tours - Birding Ecotours






Birding Tour USA: Arizona - Desert and the Grand Canyon 2018



Welcome to our next ‘Birding Tour USA’ adventure. Southeast Arizona is a land of stark contrast and spectacular scenery. In the lowlands, granite outcroppings, towering saguaro cactus, and sandy washes typify the Sonoran Desert, a landscape featured in so many ‘western’ movies. This fabled desert is the home of such iconic desert species as Greater Roadrunner and Gambel’s Quail. Rising from this desert, isolated mountain ranges clad in Madrean pine-oak woodland provide a habitat found nowhere else in the United States. These forested mountain islands, with provocative names such as the Huachucas and Chiricahuas, are the northernmost outposts for a long list of primarily Mexican species such as Elegant Trogon and Red-faced Warbler. The canyons ringing these mountains carry ephemeral streams to the parched lowlands below, creating ribbon-like groves of cottonwood that act as a conduit for even more tropical birds to enter southeastern Arizona, such as Thick-billed Kingbird and Violet-crowned Hummingbird. Together, these contrasting habitats make southeast Arizona one of the most exciting regions to bird in North America with more bird species than any other landbound area of comparable size in the United States. Only California, Texas, and Florida have state lists longer than this relatively small region! Of these birds, thirty-six species are not regular anywhere else within the United States, making it a must for North American birders.

The area north of the Mogollon Rim, an escarpment that defines the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau, presents a completely different impression of Arizona with its extensive ponderosa pine forests, permanently snow-capped peaks, and steep canyons. The most famous of these canyons, the Grand Canyon, is one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. The birds in this region are more typical of the Rocky Mountains, such as Lewis’s Woodpecker and Pinyon Jay.

We begin this Birding Tour USA adventure near the city of Phoenix, exploring the chaparral-juniper scrub of Mount Ord for two specialized and range-restricted species: Grey Vireo and Black-chinned Sparrow. In the southeast of the state, the Chiricahuas will provide us with our first true taste of birding the Madrean sky islands, with specialties such as Elegant Trogon, Olive Warbler, and Mexican Chickadee featuring prominently in these mountains. Further west, we will punctuate our time spent in the upper elevation sky islands with vigils at lowland hummingbird feeders for Violet-crowned Hummingbird and Lucifer Sheartail. Also on this Birding Tour USA excursion a visit to California Gulch, famous for its small population of Five-striped Sparrow, will also give us our best chance to see the exquisitely patterned Montezuma Quail. Near Tucson, we explore the Sonoran Desert via Saguaro National Park for classic desert species such as Cactus Wren and Pyrrhuloxia. We then head north out of the desert to the city of Flagstaff. Rising north of the city, the majestic San Francisco Peaks, the highest mountains in Arizona, are home to a long list of iconic Nearctic species such as the amazingly-hued Mountain Bluebird and bizarre Clark’s Nutcracker. We spend our final sunset in Arizona at the Grand Canyon with magnificent California Condor – a fitting end to what should be a memorable Birding Tour USA adventure.

Duration: 12 days

Limit (Group Size): 5 - 8

Date Start: May 21, 2018

Date End: June 01, 2018

Tour Start: Phoenix

Tour End: Phoenix

Price: US$3522 per person sharing

Single Supplement: US$852

Price includes:
Meals
Accommodation
Guiding fees
Entrance fees
All transport while on tour
Tolls

Price excludes:
International flights
Items of a personal nature, e.g. gifts
Alcoholic drinks
Personal insurance
Gratuities

Birding Tour USA - Black-throated Blue Warbler

Birding Tour USA: Tennessee - Spring Migration 2018

Duration: 11 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 6
Date Start: May 07, 2018
Date End: May 17, 2018
Price: US$2901 per person sharing, assuming 4-6 people on the tour.
Details: Welcome to our next ‘Birding Tour USA’ adventure. The Appalachian range of mountains running through east Tennessee is along the major eastern flyway and is a great spot to do some spring

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Birding Tour USA - Boreal Owl - Jari Peltomäki

Birding Tour USA: Owls and Other Winter Birds of Minnesota 2018

Duration: 6 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Date Start: January 11, 2018
Date End: January 16, 2018
Price: $1986 per person sharing, assuming 4-8 participants
Details: One of the best places for owls in the US winter is in Duluth, Minnesota. This is our destination for this Birding Tour USA adventure. Up here there is a chance for irruptive Owls like Snowy and Borea

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Birding Tour USA - Roseate Spoonbill

Birding Tour USA: Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys 2018

Duration: 10 days
Limit (Group Size): 3 - 8
Spaces Available: 5
Date Start: April 24, 2018
Date End: May 03, 2018
Price: US$3320 per person sharing assuming 5 – 8 participants; US$3849 per person sharing assuming 3 – 4 participants
Details: Welcome to the next tour in our Birding Tour USA collection. On a map, the finger-like state of Florida protrudes prominently from the continental United States, reaching south towards the Caribbean u

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Birding Tour USA - Sage Grouse

Birding Tour USA: Colorado - Lekking Grouse and Rocky Mountains 2018

Duration: 12 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 6
Date Start: April 06, 2018
Date End: April 17, 2018
Price: $3737 per person sharing
Details: Colorado offers one of the most spectacular North American birding spectacles with the spring lekking season of several grouse species, which we’ll see on this Birding Tour USA adventure. Churri

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What our clients say

Chris I sent a longer analysis of the Florida trip to Stephan, which I will forward to you. Again, my thanks for a truly memorable experience. The trip was spectacularly successful. I chose Birding Ecotours because other trips were full, and I couldn’t be happier. On a purely practical note, with three rather inexperienced birders as the participants we picked up a variety of birds missed by other birders. But the final bird list doesn’t really cover why this tour was so vastly superior. This was my first birding trip ever with less than 12 participants, and the advantages of a small group are monumental – no battling for seats, no squabbling over who saw what, no battles to get to the leader’s scope when the Resplendent Quetzal finally comes into view. In fact, there were no squabbles at all on our trip Hotels were quite well chosen, despite some early problems with accepting South African addresses, etc., and the restaurants worked out quite nicely. Mexican restaurant would be my only quibble – a bit heavy for our over 60s group. One of us simply said he wouldn’t be on the lookout for Mexican restaurants in the future. But then he also discovered Key Lime pie and had it four nights, not to mention the Key Lime ice cream along the way. The balance of Cuban unique restaurants with seafood and steak houses worked out quite nicely, and the final two nights at Cracker Barrel were a big hit. Big hit too were the home-made lunches – they were actually better than the Subway lunches of the last few days and they extended our birding times quite dramatically But the tour only really worked because of Stephan – he’s a gifted birder – that’s a given on any tour these days, but he’s also extremely good with people. In my note to him I mentioned how impressed I was with his interactions with the other participants. They were new to American birding, so we had lots of initial sightings of grackles and starlings. But Stephan patiently looked at all their sightings, and soon they were finding some rather wonderful birds. Main point – he never made them feel bad – something many guides need to learn, believe me. And Stephan really knew the territory – I have no qualms about any of his choices, though I might have questioned a few at the time. There were virtually no migrating birds, and we still got 20 warblers. We also got close to 180 species without that much luck either. We missed the Thick-billed Vireo by one day, and others easily picked up the Smooth-billed Ani at the same location we has scoured a day earlier. But then we got all three cowbirds in an afternoon and had great looks at multiple Prothonotary Warblers, a bird everyone else missed this year. And we birded both the first day and the last – not something most tours do, and he even saved the Spot-breasted Oriole for our last bird. Bottom line, Stephan is equal in his birding skills to any guide I’ve been with. More importantly, he’s the best overall guide I have ever experienced – a people-person who knows birds.  I highly recommend him on any tour he might be leading and love to bird with him again. So, I had never heard of your tour company and only signed on because it was all that was available on dates my wife had to be in Florida. The serendipitous result was one of the most rewarding birding experiences of my rather long birding career. I strongly recommend your company to anyone and even more strongly recommend the value of small group tours – they are worth every extra penny. My thanks for all your help, and I hope to be on one of your tours in the future. Kieran

John Kieran Kealy, Canada
05/20/2016



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