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Worldwide Birding Tours - Birding Ecotours






Birding Tour USA: A Texas Spring and Whooping Cranes 2017



Here’s our next exciting tour in the Birding Tour USA collection. Due to its proximity to the humid tropics of Mexico, the subtropical woodlands of the Rio Grande Valley of Texas boast over two dozen Neotropical bird species that just barely spill across the border. Here colorful Great Kiskadees and personable Green Jays mingle with temperate species from further north. These tropical species occur nowhere else in the United States. Along the coast, muddy lagoons and shallow wetlands throng with thousands of shorebirds, herons, waterfowl, terns, and cranes, including the magnificent and highly endangered Whooping Crane. Further inland, a rolling, arid plain covered in thorn-scrub harbors a collection of species more typical of the American Southwest, such as Cactus Wren and Pyrrhuloxia. Further north, the Hill Country stretches along the eastern flank of the Edwards Plateau, a land characterized by wooded hills, sunny slopes, and sparkling streams. In the spring the forests of the Hill Country ring with the song of Golden-cheeked Warbler, a Texas breeding endemic. Together, these widely disparate habitats give southern Texas one of the richest and most unique bird faunas in the United States. We time this tour just before the Whooping Cranes depart to their Canadian breeding grounds, but late enough in the spring for summer breeders and passage migrants to arrive.

This Birding Tour USA adventure begins in the city of Corpus Christi, where coastal wetlands and mudflats are home to an abundance of waterbirds, such as the spectacular Long-billed Curlew and stately American White Pelican. However, the true star of this coastal avifauna is the Whooping Crane, and we will make a special effort to see it. Further south, King Ranch preserves tall-grass savanna dotted with live-oak groves (mottes), which are the U.S. strongholds for Tropical Parula and Ferruginous Pygmy Owl. Afterwards we focus our attention on a long list of exciting tropical specialties found in the riparian woodlands of the lower Rio Grande Valley, such as Altamira Oriole, Long-billed Thrasher, and Pauraque. In the scenic Hill Country the range-restricted Black-capped Vireo and Golden-cheeked Warbler are our primary targets, but we also visit a site near Concan to witness the spectacle of thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats swirling out of a cave in the evening. The coastal areas of Texas are host to some of the most spectacular spring movements of raptors, shorebirds, and passerines on the continent, so we head back to Corpus Christi for a day in hopes of experiencing it, to round out this exciting itinerary.

This Birding Tour USA excursion can be combined with our Colorado: Lekking Grouse, Rocky Mountains, and Open Plains 2017 tour.

Duration: 12 days

Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8

Date Start: March 26, 2017

Date End: April 06, 2017

Tour Start: Corpus Christi

Tour End: Corpus Christi

Price: US$3695 per person sharing

Single Supplement: US$685

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 - Black-throated Blue Warbler

Birding Tour USA: Tennessee - Spring Migration 2017

Duration: 11 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 6
Date Start: May 07, 2017
Date End: May 17, 2017
Price: US$2686 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
Date Start: April 24, 2018
Date End: May 03, 2018
Price: US$3320 per perdon 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 - Roseate Spoonbill

Birding Tour USA: Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys 2017

Duration: 10 days
Limit (Group Size): 3 - 8
Date Start: April 24, 2017
Date End: May 03, 2017
Price: US$3074 per perdon sharing assuming 5 – 8 participants; US$3564 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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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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