On this tour, we cover the southern third of the state in search of the many specialty birds on offer. We begin by exploring Miami, a city with a decidedly Caribbean flair, in search of several ABA-countable exotics such as Spot-breasted Oriole, White-winged Parakeet and Red-whiskered Bulbul. A little further north, a series of well-planned wetlands are home to all of the Florida wetland specialties: Snail Kite, Wood Stork, Purple Gallinule, Limpkin, and more. We also explore nearby oak scrub for Florida's only endemic bird, the Florida Scrub-Jay. On the last leg of our journey, we explore the tropical hardwood hammocks and mangrove swamps of the Florida Keys in search of Caribbean specialties such as Mangrove Cuckoo, White-crowned Pigeon and Black-whiskered Vireo.
“Warblers in the Springtime”
May 15-21, 2018
The vast array of freshwater marshes, woodlots and fields of Northern Ohio are a must-see for North American birders. During spring migration thousands of birds pour through on their way north to breed in the extensive forests and wetlands of Canada; many will congregate in the lakeshore forests during rainy and windy conditions. Once the weather lifts the birds will continue their journey across the open water of Lake Erie.
Thousands of birders and nature-lovers now visit Northern Ohio in the springtime, hoping for a glimpse into the wonder of spring migration.
This 10-day Venture to the North Midwest takes us through a scenic range of habitats from the rolling, lush prairies and alkaline wetlands of North Dakota to the aromatic, coniferous forests and spruce bogs of the north woods of Minnesota. Spring is the perfect time to cover this region, as the woods will be alive with the songs of thrushes and wood warblers (15+ species are possible) while the prairie potholes teem with waterfowl, shorebirds, and sparrows. This tour is especially fantastic for sparrows, with over 10 species probable and including such gems as Baird's, Le Conte's, Henslow's, and Nelson's.
Puffins, boreal birds and spectacular scenery!
August 1-15, 2018
Newfoundland: August 1-9
Labrador Extension: August 9-15
The Canadian Maritime province of Newfoundland and Labrador offers rich maritime culture, spectacular scenery, and a bounty and beauty of birds and other wildlife. The cool coastal climate blends the Acadian, boreal and taiga habitats to produce a special mix of temperate and northern species unique in Canada. Sweeping vistas, rocky seacliffs, hidden fjords and boreal forests offer a rich selection of birdlife from Atlantic Puffin and Black-legged Kittiwake to Mourning and Blackpoll Warblers; all of which we hope to see on this 2-week Venture to this fascinating part of Canada.
Visit the spectacular Pacific Northwest in its finest season on a 10-day Venture to the state of Washington. We will visit the Olympic Peninsula, Whidbey Island, Puget Sound, the Cascade Mountains, and the Columbia River Basin, covering a vast variety of habitats, wet and dry, from scenic rocky cliff coastlines to above the tree-line, ocean to mountaintop, rain forest to high desert.
Highlights will include visits to both Olympic and Mt. Rainier national parks, where we will search the high elevations for such specialties as Gray-crowned Rosy Finch, Gray Jay, Mountain Bluebird and Sooty Grouse, plus an all-day pelagic trip exploring Gray's Canyon, a submarine canyon located on the edge of the Continental Shelf, where we should see an excellent variety of pelagic birds such as Black-footed Albatross, Red Phalarope, South Polar Skua as well as several species of shearwaters and storm-petrels, and marine mammals including whales, porpoises, sea lions and seals. Expect to see many new birds on this Venture which should yield over 200 species!
Raptor, Shorebird & Passerine Migration
September 19 – 25, 2018
In the fall, thousands of migrating raptors, representing as many as 18 different species, stream along the ridges of the Appalachian Mountains or down the Atlantic coast on their way south. Straddling eastern Pennsylvania’s Kittatinny Ridge is Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, a 2,380-acre preserve established in 1934 as the world’s first refuge devoted to birds of prey. The sanctuary’s North Lookout, a 1,521-foot high rocky promontory, provides a spectacular panorama of the Appalachian ridges and valleys, and, depending on wind patterns, often affords close-up views of raptors gliding along Hawk Mountain’s unique ridge topography.
Graham County, NC
September 21-28, 2018
Two miles from the lodge is the 3,800-acre Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, a wonderland of centuries-old hemlocks and tulip poplars, basswoods, beeches, oaks and flowering dogwoods, mosses, ferns and wildflowers -- a remnant of America's virgin wilderness and a fitting memorial to the poet who penned "Trees." The wildflowers will be blooming and the birds will be singing, including the trilling "snowbird" (Dark-eyed Junco) nesting at its mountain breeding ground. Join us in welcoming spring back to the mountains of western North Carolina.
Georgia's barrier islands, coastal marshes, and estuaries are home to many species of birds. On this long weekend Venture, we will base ourselves on historic Jekyll Island. Coastal Georgia comprises pine flatlands, marshes, sounds, rivers, barrier islands, and beaches, while the mainland is characterized by wide peninsulas formed by broad tidal rivers and salt marshes. The sea-islands, known as the "golden isles," are comprised of beaches, dunes, marshes, and small forested areas. Lying along the Atlantic flyway, the coastal area has large numbers of seasonally migrating shorebirds and songbirds, wintering waterfowl, and the expected permanent resident birds of the marshes, maritime forests, and beaches.
‘Owls & Winter Finches’
February 1-6, 2019
A trip to northern Minnesota in the dead of winter may beggar belief for the average person, but for birders, this is the best time of year to see the highly-sought after northern owls (Great Gray, Snowy, Northern Hawk, and sometimes Boreal and Northern Saw-whet). The list of winter finches adds additional highlights with Common & Hoary Redpolls, Pine & Evening Grosbeaks, and Red Crossbill all likely. Winter provides a much better chance of seeing things like Spruce Grouse in addition to the expected gamut of Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker, Northern Shrike, Bohemian Waxwing and more. We will also be on the lookout for any mammals, with moose and gray wolf both being possible.