• NEWS ARCHIVES


Fresh triplist: Great Rivers of the Amazon II 2017 (Madeira-Tapajos)

November 18th, 2017 by Field Guides

“An extended voyage into remote areas full of amazing birds but infrequently visited by birders? Yes, please! This two-week tour of the Madeira-Tapajos interfluvium (in Brazil, south of the Amazon) was chock-full of birds and lots of adventure in a comfortable setting with fantastic company.” So begins guide Tom Johnson’s report from our “Great Rivers of the Amazon II” tour that he co-led recently with Bret Whitney and Micah Riegner. We’ve plugged in just a few images from the trip in this post, but if you want to have some real fun, check out the complete triplist, including more pics and a bunch of fun video clips, on our website at this link! The tour returns to the Field Guides schedule in August 2019 with Bret and Tom again at the helm.

Brazil Great Rivers of the Amazon II tour with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

This great flight shot by guide Tom Johnson reveals the lovely pattern of Sand-colored Nighthawk, a species we saw flying over the boat several times our last few evenings on the boat.

Brazil Great Rivers of the Amazon II tour with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

When Guianan Red-Cotinga is on offer, everyone gathers around Bret! Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

Brazil Great Rivers of the Amazon II tour with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

This magnificent craft was our home for the majority of the tour: air-conditioned cabins, a beautiful dining room and bar on deck two, and that entire top deck that became a mobile cotinga-/swift-/raptor-/parrot-/antbird-/dolphin-watching platform whenever we needed it. What a wonderful vessel! Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

Brazil Great Rivers of the Amazon II tour with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

This “snethlageae” Red-billed Scythebill gave us the royal show in riverine forest on one of our final tour days. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

Brazil Great Rivers of the Amazon II tour with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

We had good views of Crimson-bellied Parakeet a couple of times, including some close flybys on the top deck as we were cruising one afternoon. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.


Fresh triplist: Brazil’s Mouth of the Amazon 2017

November 15th, 2017 by Field Guides

Recently we operated the second departure of our special tour to the mouth of the mighty Amazon. The tour is titled Brazil’s Mouth of the Amazon: Mexiana Island, the lower Xingu & Carajas, and co-leader Dave Stejskal notes what a treat it was for the group to be hosted by guide Marcelo Padua, who was born and raised in Belem and who knew each of our venues from both his childhood years and from his experience as a professional bird tour leader with Field Guides. We couldn’t have asked for a better host! And the tour itself? Weather was super throughout, the food and drink were excellent, the company was wonderful, and the birding was exceptional. Dave reports that he knew this was going to be a great birding tour after the first day near Belem, during which the group tallied great birds such as Willis’s Antbird, Band-tailed Manakin, White-browed Hawk, Para Foliage-gleaner, and Hooded Gnateater — what a start! With this post are a few highlight images below of other species from the spectacular Golden Parakeet and Collared Puffbird to huge Scarlet Macaws and Toco Toucan, all by guide Dave Stejskal.

Enjoy these images, then read all about the tour and enjoy additional images in the annotated triplist at this link.

Golden Parakeet with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

The spectacular Golden Parakeet is one of the specialties of this part of Brazil, and we saw it beautifully! Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

Collared Puffbird with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOUS

Collared Puffbird is one of the subtle beauties of the forest interior in Amazonia. Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

Scarlet Macaws with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

Açai palm fruits are all the rage among the health-conscious these days, and it turns out Scarlet Macaws love them too! Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.

Toco Toucan with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

The massive Toco Toucan (the largest toucan) really glows in full sunshine. Photo by guide Dave Stejskal.


October 2017 emailing

October 27th, 2017 by Field Guides

The holidays are almost upon us…hard to believe! It’s been a busy fall to date, and there’s a whole lot more coming in the final months of 2017 before we launch into our schedule of 150 tours for 2018. In this emailing you can catch up on a couple of schedule updates (Sacha and Rio Tapajos), learn about the mystery of Red Crossbills, and of course check out our October Recent Photos gallery for more than 80 fresh images from recent trips and scouting, including California, Arizona, Brazil, Ecuador, France, Morocco, and a sneak peak at pics for our new 2018 Oregon route. And speaking of new tours, scroll down for a slideshow of teaser photos for New Mexico, a new 2019 itinerary. Linked below we also bring you 10 recent illustrated triplists (lots of pics, videos, and anecdotes), 12 fresh itineraries for 2018, and spaces available during the November to March period. The photo below from one of our two September France: Camargue & Pyrenees trips is a sample from the Recent Photos. Enjoy reading and viewing, and good birding to all!

France with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

Schedule updates

Added Sacha II departure and Remote Rio Tapajos date change

You probably thought we were crazy to offer only one tour in 2018 to a very comfortable lodge in Amazonian Ecuador with an extensive network of canopy walkways and platforms. Well, don’t worry, we have come to our senses and are happy to announce a second departure to Amazonian Ecuador: Sacha Lodge with guide Mitch Lysinger, Jun 29-Jul 8, 2018. Our most recent trip to Sacha produced highlights such as Great Tinamou, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, White-browed Purpletuft, Paradise Tanager, Crested Owls on a day roost, Short-billed Leaftosser, and Cream-colored Woodpecker, to name a few. You can see the entire list and a summary of our adventure at this link.

Guide Bret Whitney reports a wonderfully successful first run of our new Brazil’s Remote Rio Tapajos tour. Exploring the upper reaches of a major tributary of the Amazon based out of a luxurious floating hotel was truly thrilling. Bret learned from this first run that slightly higher water levels in the river would be advantageous, so with that seasonality in mind he is shifting next year’s dates earlier, to Aug 4-15, 2018.

Red Crossbill

Birding news: Unraveling the mystery of Red Crossbills

Are you as confused as the next birder when it comes to deciphering the various “call types” of those confounding Red Crossbills across North America? Well, Matt Young and Tim Spahr from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have put together a very comprehensive article: Crossbills of North America: Species and Red Crossbill Call Types. We highly recommend this piece — just tackle it in small doses!

Small groups and singular spaces

Willy Perez and Marcelo Padua fans (who isn’t?), here’s a heads up. Both Willy and Marcelo have something rare in their schedules: tours in the first half of 2018 with space open! Not only that, but considering the short lead time these may well remain fabulous small-group experiences! Willy’s Jewels of Ecuador trip, Jan 20-Feb 6, has two currently booked and needs just a few more to be a go…then it’s you, Willy, and a few others seeing 60+ hummingbirds, a plethora of fabulous tanagers, not to mention some 450+ species. (And in case those dates don’t work, we have a second tour with Mitch Lysinger, Mar 17-Apr 3. Also, be sure to check out a cool slideshow all about the Jewels tour.) Marcelo’s Brazil Nutshell: Intervales, Iguazu Falls & the Pantanal trip has three currently and just needs two more to be a go to these three premier birding sites (not to mention the thunderously spectacular falls); dates are Mar 3-17.

Now, about those singular (“referring to one person” or “exceptionally good or great” — both definitions work!) spaces: Megan Edwards Crewe has one each on Guyana II (Jan 27-Feb 7), Bhutan (where she’s joining Richard Webster, Apr 7-26) and Classical Greece (May 5-19); Dave Stejskal‘s got one on Borneo (Feb 27-Mar 16); Jay VanderGaast one on Costa Rica (Mar 10-25); and Jesse Fagan one on Western Panama (Mar 18-27). If you’d like to share with a roommate, check with our office to see if they can pair you up with another participant.

Holiday spaces: Just a few left

Just three of our dozen 2017 holiday tours have openings still. Is there a Thanksgiving or New Year’s birding escape in your future?
  • Colombia: Cali Escape, Nov 18-27 with Richard Webster, for the cloudforests of two Colombian cordilleras and their rich assortment of hummingbirds and tanagers (3 spaces)
  • Holiday Mexico: Yucatan & Cozumel, Nov 18-27 with Chris Benesh & Cory Gregory, for the most interesting birds of the Yucatan peninsula amidst attractive Mayan archaeology (4 spaces)
  • Arizona Winter Specialties, Dec 27-Jan 2 with Tom Johnson, for exceptional winter birding with numerous specialties and potential rarities (1 space)

Triplists from recent tours

Click on any image or link below to see our annotated and illustrated online triplist. (And be sure also to see our October Recent Photos gallery for other great images.)

Mouth of the Amazon, Brazil with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS
MOUTH OF THE AMAZON, BRAZIL

Great Rivers of the Amazon II with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS
GREAT RIVERS OF THE AMAZON II

Peru's Magnetic North with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS
PERU’S MAGNETIC NORTH

Cloudforests of Ecuador with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS
CLOUDFORESTS OF ECUADOR

Borneo with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS
BORNEO II

Sacha Lodge, Ecuador with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS
AMAZONIAN ECUADOR: SACHA LODGE III

Ecuador with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS
ECUADOR: RAINFOREST & ANDES

Papua New Guinea with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS
PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Iquitos, Peru with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS
IQUITOS, PERU

Arizona with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS
ARIZONA’S SECOND SPRING II

Comments from our travelers

Your post-tour comments on our evaluation form help us ensure that we offer the best possible tour experience and service, in the field and from our office.

“I’ve traveled with Field Guides on three other trips. I like the people-centered philosophy of your company. The trips are beautifully organized and thought out, and the guides are superb. I chose this trip because I was looking for more western bird species for my ABA list. Guide Tom Johnson was super in every way. The office staff is a big reason I like Field Guides. Again, it goes back to the people-centered aspect of the company. They are very responsive, patient, and no question is too trivial.” A.H., SLICE OF CALIFORNIA 2017

“The group experience was extremely good; better than I had anticipated. Guide Megan Crewe’s knowledge and enthusiasm really make a difference; on some days we interfaced with other tour groups and guides, and the difference was exponentially better.” M.L., CAPE MAY MEGAN’S WAY 2017

“An incredible, fantastic, wonderful, great experience!! I had a truly fine time throughout the whole trip. Not only is guide Willy Perez an outstanding guide, he also has great people skills and engages the entire group in conversations. He has a great sense of humor and many interesting stories. Office service was great. It was a pleasure working with Tour Manager Mandy Mantzel.” W.K., ECUADOR: RAINFOREST & ANDES 2017

Private tours: plan your own

Want to organize your own tour with a group of special birding friends and one of our staff guides? We regularly put together private departures for groups of 6 or more, and they are invariably a big hit. Here’s an example of an illustrated triplist from one such recent tour, a wonderful Thailand survey with guides Dave Stejskal and John Rowlett. You can start planning your group’s next great birding trip — just contact our office.

Tour openings: November to March

Colombia with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

Guide Richard Webster captured the scaly iridescence on the gorget of this Crowned Woodnymph beautifully during our Colombia: Santa Marta Escape tour this year, which he led with Cory Gregory. Richard and Cory are teaming up again next March. If you’d like to hold a space, contact our office.

New Mexico with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

Teaser Pics for the new 2019 New Mexico tour

Stick your lobed toes in the air (like this Western Grebe photographed by guide Doug Gochfeld) if you are excited about a new short North American tour: New Mexico: Wintering Specialties. Guides Doug Gochfeld and Cory Gregory will be headed there Jan 26-Feb 1, 2019. To get a sense of the special birds we hope to encounter, have a look at this slideshow Doug just put together.

Recently posted 2018 itineraries

 


September 2017 emailing

September 22nd, 2017 by Field Guides

After an August break from emailings (while we were busy with our Field Guides annual staff meeting and more), we have a whole lot of news for you. Here you can catch up on recent Field Guides tours with nearly 100 fresh images from trips including New Guinea, East Africa, Arizona, Peru, and Galapagos in our September Recent Photos gallery. Linked below we also bring you schedule additions (Guyana III in 2018, 6 new itineraries in 2019), office news, two cool bird-related items, 15 recent illustrated triplists (lots of pics, videos, and anecdotes), 20 fresh itineraries for 2018, and spaces available during the October to February period. The photo below is of our Field Guides “family” — guides and office staff at our recent annual meeting in Colorado, which was wonderful. We’ve included a few pics from the meeting in the Recent Photos. Enjoy reading and viewing, and good birding to all!

The Field Guides Birding Tours "family"

Schedule updates: fall ’18 Guyana, new ’19 tours

Guide John Coons has added a fall 2018 Guyana: Wilderness Paradise tour to his schedule. Dates are Dec 1-12, 2018. Guianan Cock-of-the-rock, Capuchinbird, Rufous Crab-Hawk, Blood-colored Woodpecker, and even Harpy Eagle are among the many exciting possibilities in this country with vast wilderness areas. (And by the way, as we send this emailing, we’ve just added a second departure of John’s popular Northern Arizona’s Canyons & Condor trip, this one scheduled for Jun 8-13, 2018 — grab a space while you can.)

We have scheduled the following 6 exciting new itineraries for 2019. We have basic pages online for each of the tours below, with more details to come soon. But the tour names alone should give you a fair idea of what each one is all about.

If you would like to hold a space on one or more of these tours, with no obligation until the itinerary is ready, just contact our office.

We also have two additional new 2019 itineraries, one in January to Northeast Brazil and the Araguaia River with Bret & Micah, the other in May to Great Britain with Megan & Willy, for which we’ll have more details next month.

Office news: direct phone lines to your tour managers

Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the recent hurricanes and earthquakes. In areas where we offer 2018 tours — Texas, Florida, Mexico, the Bahamas, and Puerto Rico — we are working with local suppliers to determine the extent of the damage and will keep participants booked on those tours informed.  As a company, we will be making charitable donations in the coming weeks to the organizations that we feel will do the most good for these affected regions. Moreover, your participation on these tours will help support parks, hotels, airports, restaurants, and van rental companies to keep their people employed.

With this recent spate of natural disasters causing travel havoc, Field Guides clients have come especially to appreciate having their tour manager’s direct phone numbers at hand. Dialing this number routes them directly to their tour manager during business hours, and after hours gives them the number for the agent on call dealing with emergencies during hours when our office is closed. After depositing for a tour, each participant receives this number on their confirmation letter and the information is also at the bottom of every email you receive from the tour manager. Your tour manager is always happy to speak with you, even if havoc is not involved!

Cool news: “Windy” weather app, Harlem bird art

Two particularly interesting items this month:

  • A very cool website and smartphone app that helps birders identify key weather factors (wind, dew point, temp, and much more), affecting in particular bird migration, but also giving you a very cool visual layout of local, regional, or even continental weather. Explore the windy.com website at this link, and you can download the app for your phone by searching for windy.com in your app supplier for iOS or Android.
  • The Audubon Mural Project: A lovely effort in Harlem to bring together awareness of North America’s climate-threatened bird species via some cool and sometimes whimsical modern murals in John James Audubon’s old haunts. Check out the project, the paintings, the artists, and the conservation challenges of each species via this link: http://www.audubon.org/amp

Visit us at the American Birding Expo in Philly next week

Guides Megan Edwards Crewe, Jesse Fagan, and Doug Gochfeld, along with Jan Pierson, will be at the American Birding Expo being held in Philadelphia at the end of the month, Friday to Sunday, Sep 29-Oct 1. You can check out all the details of the event on the Expo website. Admission is $10 for the whole event. There will be about 100 exhibitors of everything from optics and tours to bird books and birding festivals. Field Guides will be in booth E14, and if you are in the Greater Philly area, we hope you’ll stop in to say hi!

Lots of fresh Instagram posts

For a little extra fun, check out our Instagram page for a variety of beautiful photos by our guides and participants and info from our tours (you can see it from your smartphone or tablet app or on your computer). Become one of our 1000+ followers if you’d like to keep up with new posts, which now appear on a regular basis. Enjoy!

Triplists from recent tours

Click on any image or link below to see our annotated and illustrated online triplist. (And be sure also to see our September Recent Photos gallery for other great images.)

Pennsylvania with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

PENNSYLVANIA’S WARBLERS & MORE 2017

Spain with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

SPAIN 2017

Alaska with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

ALASKA I (Part One)

Alaska with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

ALASKA II (Part One)

Alaska with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

ALASKA II (Part Two)

Ecuador with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

CLOUDFORESTS OF ECUADOR I 2017

Kenya & Tanzania with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

EAST AFRICA HIGHLIGHTS II 2017

Galapagos with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

GALAPAGOS I 2017

Galapagos with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

GALAPAGOS II 2017

Arizona with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

ARIZONA’S SECOND SPRING I 2017

Iceland with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

ICELAND 2017

Brazil with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

BRAZIL’S RIO ROOSEVELT 2017

Peru with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

MACHU PICCHU & ABRA MALAGA II

Newfoundland & Nova Scotia with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

NEWFOUNDLAND & NOVA SCOTIA 2017

Peru with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

MACHU PICCHU & ABRA MALAGA I 2017

Comments from our travelers

Your post-tour comments on our evaluation form help us ensure that we offer the best possible tour experience and service, in the field and from our office.

“Chris Benesh is beyond awesome. Some of us were talking about him and we agreed that we’d need a thesaurus to come up with enough superlatives to describe him. He makes guiding look easy even though we know it’s not. He’s a good teacher. And he is a very funny man—we laughed a lot.” J.P., ARIZONA’S SECOND SPRING 2017

“This was my 19th tour with Field Guides and my 4th with Willy Perez. Willy is a national treasure. Of course he knows the birds, but his additional knowledge about everything and anything is fantastic. He has more energy than 10 people and a great sense of humor. He adds so much to the overall experience. The office staff is one of the reasons I keep traveling with FG. They are the best. Every time I stray from Field Guides I regret it.” J.H., CLOUDFORESTS OF ECUADOR 2017

“This was my first birding tour company experience. The trip was fantastic. Couldn’t have been better. Not only did guide Mitch Lysinger and our local guides possess superior birding skills and check that we all saw the birds, but they were always mindful of our safety and welfare. And Tour Manager Ruth Kuhl was always prompt in responding to our questions and timely in sending information.” J.L., AMAZONIAN ECUADOR: SACHA LODGE 2017

“It was wonderful, our first trip with Field Guides and to South America. The whole trip was well planned and thought out, we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Guide Jesse Fagan is very helpful and great with people, not to mention a great birder!” M.W., MACHU PICCHU & ABRA MALAGA, PERU 2017

Tour openings: October to February

Costa Rica with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

Guide Tom Johnson brought home this cool shot of a Crane Hawk overhead on our 2017 Costa Rica: Birding the Edges tour, which we offer in two parts and was co-led by Tom with Cory Gregory this year. Tom and Cory are headed back this coming January, and there is still space available–take just one part, or combine the two…either way it’ll be a lot of fun with these guys, and you’ll see a lot of birds. Each part recorded more than 300 species in 2017, and if you want to have a preview, have a look at their entertaining illustrated triplists for Part One and Part Two. If you’d like to hold a space, contact our office.

Recently posted 2018 itineraries


July 2017 emailing

July 31st, 2017 by Field Guides

With our August tours and annual meeting coming up in the next few weeks, it won’t be long till our fall schedule takes off. That will bring various of our Australasia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru tours to the fore, as well as jaunts to Colombia, France, Madagascar, Vietnam, and more. In this emailing you can catch up on recent Field Guides tours with 100 fresh images from 14 departures in our June/July Recent Photos gallery. Linked below we also bring you 14 recent illustrated triplists (lots of pics and anecdotes), 13 fresh itineraries ready for 2018, and spaces available on our holiday tours (4 of 12 still open) as well as during the September to January period. The Blackburnian Warbler above by guide Doug Gochfeld is from our inaugural Pennsylvania’s Warblers & More tour co-led by Tom Johnson and Doug, and the pic below of guide Willy Perez (l.) and his group on our recent Cloudforests of Ecuador: All the Best of the Wild Northwest tour (by Tour Manager Mandy Mantzel, who came along) are samples from the Recent Photos. Enjoy reading and viewing, and good birding to all!

Recent Photos from FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

 

New Zealand: see birds…and seabirds!

Guide Dan Lane will be returning to New Zealand with our group this Nov 15-Dec 3, and not only will they be checking out the numerous wonderful landbird endemics from Tui and Stitchbird to Rifleman and Kea–they’ll have numerous opportunities to study seabirds as well. Dan’s put together a nice post about it on our news page…check it out. There’s an embedded slideshow, and of course lots more information on our tour page. There are still spaces available.

Cool bird news: egg patterns & colors

We love discovering new things about birds and their behavior and biology. This month on the All About Birds website there’s an interesting article about bird eggs: how they develop, how they get their colors and patterns, and what function, if any, these might have. It’s a fun and informative read.

Holiday 2017 tours: Thanksgiving and late December

Our 7-day to 11-day tours over the holidays are always popular, so if you are pondering a birding escape with us over Thanksgiving or the Christmas/New Year period and haven’t already booked a spot, here’s a heads up for you. Planning ahead and securing your flight plans in these busy periods for the airlines is a good idea, too! We have space still available on the following 4 of our 12 short holiday tours:

Lots of fresh Instagram posts

For a little extra fun, check out our Instagram page for a variety of beautiful photos by our guides and participants and info from our tours (you can see it from your smartphone or tablet app or on your computer). Become one of our 1000+ followers if you’d like to keep up with new posts, which now appear on a regular basis. Enjoy!

Triplists from recent tours

Click on any image or link below to see our annotated and illustrated online triplist. (And be sure also to see our June/July Recent Photos gallery for other great images.)

Spitsbergen with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

SPITSBERGEN 2017

Mongolia with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

MONGOLIA 2017

Arizona with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

ARIZONA NIGHTBIRDS I 2017

Arizona with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

ARIZONA NIGHTBIRDS II 2017

Cape May with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

SPRING IN CAPE MAY 2017

Arizona with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

ARIZONA: BIRDING THE BORDER II 2017

Big Bend with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

TEXAS’S BIG BEND & HILL COUNTRY 2017

Brazil with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

SAFARI BRAZIL: THE PANTANAL & MORE 2016

Montana with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

MONTANA 2017

Colorado Grouse with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

COLORADO GROUSE II 2017

Arizona with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

NORTHERN ARIZONA CANYONS & CONDOR I 2017

Arizona with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

NORTHERN ARIZONA CANYONS & CONDOR II 2017

Point Pelee with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

POINT PELEE MIGRATION SPECTACLE I 2017

Point Pelee with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

POINT PELEE MIGRATION SPECTACLE II 2017

Comments from our travelers

Your post-tour comments on our evaluation form help us ensure that we offer the best possible tour experience and service, in the field and from our office.

“An excellent experience. I can’t get enough oBret Whitney‘s superb abilities to locate and identify birds and other creatures in the wild. My fourth Field Guides tour to Brazil.” V.G., BRAZIL’S RIO ROOSEVELT: BIRDING THE RIVER OF DOUBT 2017

“An excellent experience! It was well organized and very interesting. Guides Eric Hynes and Cory Gregory were a highlight. Both were very patient and service-oriented. Office service was top-notch.” S.R., MAINE 2017

“A sensational tour. Great success finding the birds, logistics handled smoothly, congenial company, even the weather cooperated. It was a congenial, knowledgeable, and considerate group. I appreciated how the guides, Dan Lane and Doug Gochfeld, coached us in birding etiquette, including some tips I hadn’t heard before. I’m amazed by the range of skills Dan and Doug brought to the job: birds, people, muddy jeep roads… all in a day’s work. Your office service was the best. Someone was always quick (and accurate) to handle my needs. The folks in your Austin office are one of the reasons I plan to continue to take your tours.” N.N., HAWAII 2017
 
“An outstanding tour in every way: great birding, good accommodations, a very compatible and polite group, and two truly outstanding guides in Chris Benesh and Godfried Schreur. Your office service was, as always, outstanding.” C.H., SPAIN: LA MANCHA, COTO DONANA & EXTREMADURA 2017

Private tours: plan your own

Want to organize your own tour with a group of special birding friends and one of our staff guides? We regularly put together just such private departures for groups of 6 or more, and they are invariably a big hit. Here’s an example of an illustrated triplist from one such recent tour, a wonderful Thailand survey with guides Dave Stejskal and John Rowlett. You can start planning your group’s next great birding trip — just contact our office.

Tour openings: September to January

Madagascar with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS
Participant Sheila Vince brought back this fine image of a Short-legged Ground-Roller from our fall 2016 Madagascar tour, where we spotted all 5 species of this wonderful endemic family of birds. Our next departure is coming up this November 4-27 with Phil Gregory & Doug Gochfeld guiding. If you’d like to hold the one space still open on this tour, just contact our office.

Recently posted 2018 itineraries


New Zealand: see birds…seabirds!

July 23rd, 2017 by Dan Lane

Seabirds are some of the most remarkable and wonderful avian species on earth, yet the average birder doesn’t get to see many of them. But a trip to New Zealand–in addition to introducing you to a wonderful variety of endemic landbirds, from kiwis to stitchbirds–offers an unusual opportunity. Would you like to try out a little pelagic birding with a few shorter trips on the water to “find your sea legs”? If so, our November New Zealand itinerary makes for the perfect tour.

Have you noticed the diversity of tubenoses in the Pacific (say, off California), but ever wondered, “where do they nest”? For many, New Zealand is the answer. New Zealand is among the last large landmasses to have been colonized by terrestrial mammals (including humans), and as such the islands provided some of the safest nesting grounds for seabirds in the world. Today, the many smaller offshore islands of the country are still home to huge colonies of seabirds: shearwaters, petrels, prions, albatrosses, storm-petrels, penguins, gannets, and cormorants (or as they are called by most Kiwis, shags). Our main tour of the country includes not only much wonderful landbirding but also 8 boat rides, virtually all under half a day in length, and seabirds are a major target of those outings. We have had good luck with three species of penguins (Little, Fiordland, and Yellow-eyed), at least four albatrosses (Salvin’s, White-capped, Royal, and Wandering–these last two sometimes split into additional species by some authorities, in which case we can easily add another species of Royal to the tally), several larger petrels (Northern Giant, Cape, Westland, and White-chinned, for starters), Fairy Prion, and several shearwaters (including the endemic Fluttering and Hutton’s, as well as Flesh-footed). A pelagic on our optional Hauraki Gulf extension also has been very successful in netting two storm-petrels, including the endemic New Zealand Storm-Petrel, a species believed extinct until rediscovered a little more than a decade ago!

Of course, New Zealand is more than just seabirds. As a “land of birds” for so many millennia, the islands fostered the evolution of several endemic bird families: Kiwis (of course!), New Zealand parrots, wattlebirds, stitchbird, mohouas, and the adorable New Zealand wrens. Our tour route is designed to maximize our opportunities to see members of each of these families, and we usually see them well! There are additional endemics that make for a special tour to these enchanted islands, such as the odd Blue Duck, the orchestral endemic honeyeaters Tui and New Zealand Bellbird, the dinosaur-like flightless rail–the Weka–and a host of interesting and unusual shorebirds, perhaps most notably the unique Wrybill. And of course, if you ever wondered where Alaska’s Bar-tailed Godwits spend their winter, the answer may surprise you: New Zealand. And they get there via a non-stop flight every autumn!

Yes, the country of New Zealand is a fine destination if you want to experience something quite different from your “normal,” yet it seems oddly familiar. Besides the fact that New Zealanders speak English (with a lovely twist), you may recognize the epic landscapes we pass through from several blockbuster movie sets. And there is always something to look at as we travel from the bottom to the top of this impressive country. Interested yet? If so, consider joining me this November 15 for a visit to Aotearoa (“the Land of the Long Cloud,” the Maori name for the country), and see it for yourself. And see the seabirds!


June 2017 emailing

June 14th, 2017 by Field Guides

It’s full-on summer now, with current Alaska, Montana, Brazil, Borneo, and Galapagos tours almost complete, and Iceland, Spitsbergen, Peru, Ecuador, New Guinea, and much more coming right up. In this emailing you can catch up on recent Field Guides tours with 87 fresh images from 9 departures in our May Recent Photos gallery. Linked below we also bring you 12 recent illustrated triplists (lots of pics and anecdotes), 9 fresh itineraries ready for 2018, and spaces available in the next few months (including a few in July). The image of guide Chris Benesh with two of our group in Monfrague N.P. below, from our recent Spain: La Mancha, Coto Donana & Extremadura tour, is a sample photographed by participant Chuck Holliday. Enjoy reading and viewing, and good birding to all!

FIELD GUIDES Spain tour

Tour news: Ecuador ’17, Costa Rica Edges ’18

If you’re looking for an unusual opportunity to bird Ecuador, here’s one: We currently have 3 folks booked on guide Willy Perez’s ECUADOR: RAINFOREST & ANDES tour scheduled for Sep 3-17, 2017. We need just two more to confirm it as a “go” — and this close to departure if we get those two more it’s likely to remain a very small group with Willy (at left below). What might you see? Well, it’s Ecuador, and there are myriad new birds in every direction — our checklist for the tour lists more than 900 reasonable possibilities, of which Willy’s most recent tour recorded nearly 600! Are you tempted? Contact our office to hold a space or two.

We recently added a short slideshow to our COSTA RICA: BIRDING THE EDGES tour page, and you can see it in larger format here (click on the Play arrow there). Tom Johnson (center, above) and Cory Gregory (r.) guided our 2017 two-parted tour, and they are on tap for our January 2018 departures as well. Tom put together a fun photos-and-captions piece for our June newsletter, which is about to mail. Here’s a sneak preview in PDF format — check out page 3 to see Tom’s piece “Costa Rica from Top to Bottom.” Dates for the two parts are Jan 6-15, 2018 and Jan 14-23, 2018. Each part recorded more than 300 species in 2017, and you can see the richly illustrated triplists at these links:

Birding news: Little Bunting, podcast appearance & more

In one of the surprise finds of the season, guide Richard Webster discovered a Little Bunting while birding in extreme S.E. Arizona at the end of May! A very cool find that turned out to be a one-day wonder, but a few other folks were lucky enough also to see it. There’s a brief report on the ABA Blog.
 
Bill Thompson III (editor of Bird Watcher’s Digest) has been hosting a podcast called This Birding Life for the past 10 years, and the latest episode (#68) features an interview with our own Jan Pierson. Bill and Jan had a fun conversation, ranging from Jan’s beginning as a birder to the collaborative ownership of Field Guides to favorite birding destinations and fantasy birding companions. Have a listen at this link! (If you listen to it directly in your browser, you’ll see a bunch of FG photos from 1985 to now, too.)
 
Birders like to know what the wind is doing, especially during migration. In a past emailing, we mentioned the wind map for the US. Did you know you can also see one for the globe? It’s a pretty neat animation of what’s going on anywhere of interest to you at this time.
 
And speaking of migration, if you’ve been wondering how birds are affected by warmer and earlier springs, eBird data have been used in assessing a potential mismatch for many species between spring green-up and arrival dates. Read more about it here.

Lots of fresh Instagram posts

Fo a little additional fun, check out our recent Instagram posts for a variety of beautiful photos by our guides and participants and info from our tours (you can see it from your smartphone or tablet app or on your computer). Become one of our 1000+ followers if you’d like to keep up with new posts, which now appear most weekdays. Enjoy!

Triplists from recent tours

Click on any image below to see our annotated and illustrated online triplist. (And be sure also to see our May Recent Photos gallery for other great images.)


 

Comments from our travelers

Your post-tour comments on our evaluation form help us ensure that we offer the best possible tour experience and service, in the field and from our office.

“A great tour! Looking forward to another trip with guide Dave Stejskal. Dave demonstrates a good mix of professional behavior and a great sense of humor and fun.” M.S., ARIZONA: BIRDING THE BORDER 2017

“An excellent experience! It was well organized and very interesting. Guides Eric Hynes and Cory Gregory were a highlight. Both were very patient and service-oriented. Office service was top-notch.” S.R., MAINE: BIRDING DOWNEAST 2017

“An excellent tour! It went by too fast. Having Chris Benesh or Tom Johnson as a guide definitely plays into my decision to take a trip. Both together…..slam dunk. I always look to Field Guides first as you are consistent in outstanding service (office and guides) and exceed my expectations. I would say Field Guides outperforms the other tour companies in most trip aspects.” M.T., ALASKA 2017

“The whole experience was excellent. Megan Crewe is a first class guide with amazing eyes for birds. I was impressed with the excellent organization that Field Guides has put together to make the trip run smoothly. Megan knew all of the in-country support people, treated them well, and everyone was friendly. Field Guides, in my mind, is at the top of the heap when it comes to bird tours. Well organized,with superb guides.” E.T., GUYANA: WILDERNESS PARADISE 2017
 
“This was a wonderful, fun, extraordinary trip. Terry Stevenson is the creme de la creme of all the extraordinary guides at Field Guides. Terry’s style is simply the perfect way of building group cohesiveness and giving the trip a real sense of fun. He also interacts with everyone and keeps all informed. His knowledge and identification of birds are truly incredible. The way he interacted with all the local guides and others on the trip contributed to a fantastic trip.” D.T., HUNGARY & ROMANIA 2017

Private tours: plan your own

Want to organize your own tour with a group of special birding friends and one of our staff guides? We regularly put together just such private departures for groups of 6 or more, and they are invariably a big hit. Here’s an example of an illustrated triplist from one such recent tour, a wonderful Thailand survey with guides Dave Stejskal and John Rowlett. You can start planning your group’s next great birding trip — just contact our office.

Tour openings: July to November

Participant Steve Rannels caught this striking Lesser Bird-of-paradise in flight on our 2016 summer Papua New Guinea tour. Our next PNG departure is coming right up July 6-23 with Jay VanderGaast & Doug Gochfeld (1 space). Additionally, we’ll be visiting this land of birds-of-paradise and myriad other endemics on two other 2017 departures, Papua New Guinea & New Britain in Style with Phil Gregory, Sep 16-Oct 3 (1 space), and New Guinea & Australia with Jay VanderGaast, Oct 8-26 (4 spaces). Check out those tour pages for more details. If you’d like to hold a space on these trips or any of the ones listed below with space still open from July through November, just contact our office.

Recently posted 2018 itineraries


May 2017 Emailing

May 18th, 2017 by Field Guides

As our last spring migration tours wrap up, we’re excited to head into our summer schedule, beginning with Alaska, Mongolia, the Grand Canyon, and Borneo. In this emailing you can catch up on recent Field Guides tours with 108 eye-catching images from 15 departures in our April Recent Photos gallery. Linked below we also bring you 12 recent illustrated triplists (lots of pics, videos, and anecdotes), and 12 fresh itineraries, one for our added 2017 Vietnam departure, the others for early 2018. The Hawaii group image below is a sample, photographed by participant Maureen Phair. Enjoy reading and viewing, and good birding to all!

FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

Updates for 2017: June/July and the holidays

Are you hoping for a birding vacation this summer? Well, you can still grab one or two of the last spaces we have open on a few June and July tours…check out the listing below under “Tour openings” for everything from the Galapagos and New Guinea to Jaguar Spotting or Spatuletails.
 
And if the Nov-Dec holidays are already in your getaway dreams, it’s good to plan early, both for space and for flights. Eight of our holiday trips are already tentatively full, but the following still have openings:

We have an updated limit for a fall tour: We’ve reduced the limit of our Brazil’s Remote Rio Tapajos tour from 10 to 8 with Bret Whitney. For a visual taste of the area — where few birders have ever been — check out Bret’s slideshow preview for the tour. There are 3 spaces open.

For your bookshelf: Phil’s new New Guinea guide!

Have you heard the exciting news? Guide Phil Gregory’s hot-off-the-press field guide to Birds of New Guinea is due out May 25! From the Lynx Edicions website:

This is the first field guide to cover the entire New Guinea region, comprising Indonesian West Papua (including the West Papuan Islands, Geelvink Bay Islands and Aru Islands) and Papua New Guinea and its associated islands, the Bismarcks and Bougainville. All of the 943 species known to occur are covered, including the extraordinarily high total of 456 endemics, as well as 5 introduced species, 2 species yet to be formally described and a separate appendix with 75 vagrants. Subspecies are listed also to give a comprehensive overview of the remarkable regional avifauna.

You can order from Lynx Edicions — then you’ll be ready to head off for birds-of-paradise and more!

Bird news

From the All About Birds website of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology comes this recent piece by Scott Weidensaul on the wonders of migration (and note the several fine photos by guide Tom Johnson). Scott also touches on some of the technological innovations recently developed (e.g., the Motus network) and soon to be implemented (such as large-scale audio tracking) that assist scientists and birders in following migrating birds as well as help them identify the threats to their passage and the resources the migrants need most.
 
On a more sobering note, this article appeared recently in the Washington Post about a building strike by migrating birds in Houston. There’s an informative PDF linked from the article outlining best practices for reducing building and window collisions for structures of various sizes and, on pages 10-11, specific measures you can implement around your home.

Instagram posts

If you are on Instagram, check out our recent posts for a variety of beautiful photos by our guides and participants and info from our tours (you can see it from your smartphone or tablet app or on your computer). Become one of our followers if you’d like to keep up with new posts, which now appear most weekdays. Enjoy!

Triplists from recent tours

Click on any image below to see our annotated and illustrated online triplist. (And be sure also to see our April Recent Photos gallery for other great images.)

Comments from our travelers

Your post-tour comments on our evaluation form help us ensure that we offer the best possible tour experience and service, in the field and from our office.

“This experience was at least as good as I’ve had with other tour companies or organizations, if not the best. Field Guides has really got the art of group bird watching tours down to a science. Guide John Coons has a great leadership style and always kept us abreast of our flexible schedule changes as we followed the birds. Love the depth of his experience and bird knowledge.” J.H., TEXAS COAST MIGRATION SPECTACLE 2017

“Guides Tom Johnson and Doug Gochfeld were fantastic!!! Not only are they excellent birders, making sure that everyone saw every bird, but were solicitous in making sure everyone in the group had their expectations met and exceeded. Office service was excellent. Every detail was anticipated and met from registration to tour to airport drop-off. I have traveled with another organization, and I must admit that Field Guides was far superior in every aspect. I am looking forward to traveling with Field Guides again. The quality of the tour guides and their expertise is second to none.” C.M., PUERTO RICO 2017

“Really enjoyed this tour. We’d travel again with guide Jesse Fagan, without question. We’ve specifically asked about some of Jesse’s other tours so we could consider those possibilities. Every time we have asked for assistance, advice, etc., the office staff has been prompt, efficient, and cordial. We feel we know most of you well.” S.E., WESTERN PANAMA: CHIRIQUI & BOCAS DEL TORO 2017

“An absolutely excellent tour. Guide Willy Perez was one of the best we have had. He is knowledgeable, efficient, and very personable. The location on this tour is stunning, with good birding opportunities. As always, Field Guides office staff were very informative and helpful.” B.B., ECUADOR’S WILDSUMACO LODGE 2017

Private tours: plan your own

Want to organize your own tour with a group of special birding friends and one of our staff guides? We regularly put together just such private departures for groups of 6 or more, and they are invariably a big hit. Here’s an example of an illustrated triplist from one such recent tour, a wonderful Australia survey with guides John Coons and Rose Ann Rowlett. You can start planning your group’s next great birding trip — just contact our office.

Tour openings: June to October

“Eye-catching” is a good descriptor for Sword-billed Hummingbird on our PERU’S MAGNETIC NORTH tour, yet the marquee birds for the trip are two additional amazing creatures: Marvelous Spatuletail and Long-whiskered Owlet. Peru experts Dan Lane (of Peru field guide fame) and Jesse Fagan (based in Lima) will be guiding our upcoming summer tour, Jul 15-26, and there is still 1 space open. See our 2016 triplist here for all the highlights from that tour, including encounters with the owlet and spatuletail as well as many other wonderful endemics and specialties. Oh, and the landscape? Fabulous!
 
There are still opportunities to get away birding with us in the next few months on these select tours among the 53 on tap June to October. Contact our office to hold a space!

Recently posted 2017-2018 itineraries


April 2017 Emailing

April 13th, 2017 by Field Guides

Spring greetings, birding friends! We hope the birds are afield in full song, wherever you may be. In this emailing we bring you several just-added 2017 departures (June Cloudforests of Ecuador II, Vietnam and Louisiana II in early November), and we have now confirmed New Guinea & Australia II for October…details below. You can catch up on recent Field Guides tours with 95 fabulous images from 12 tours in our March Recent Photos gallery. Linked below we also bring you 14 recent illustrated triplists (lots of pics, videos, and anecdotes), and 15 fresh itineraries for late 2017 and early 2018. The lovely Bar-headed Geese below are a sample, photographed by participant Becky Hansen in Northern India. Enjoy reading and viewing, and good birding to all!

Bar-headed Geese by Northern India participant Becky Hansen

Four extra 2017 departures

Cloudforests of Ecuador II — New Guinea/Australia II — Louisiana II — Vietnam

Our scheduling folks have been busy again this past month, adding three more 2017 departures and confirming a fourth we mentioned in March — let us know if you are interested!
 
With his first departure fully booked, guide Willy Perez will be in the lead on CLOUDFORESTS OF ECUADOR: THE BEST OF THE WILD NORTHWEST II, Jul 17-27. This 11-day tour offers a great chance for such spectaculars as Long-wattled Umbrellabird and Andean Cock-of-the-rock, and possibly even Spectacled Bear, plus a large selection from the bird riches of Ecuador’s Andes and the Choco region of the northwest. Here’s a link to the itinerary.
 
We’ve confirmed our added NEW GUINEA & AUSTRALIA II departure proposed in last month’s emailing, scheduled with guide Jay VanderGaast for Oct 8-26. This long-popular sampler features the best of New Guinea and its birds-of-paradise plus some great Australian birding out of Cairns and Brisbane. We have a core group booked, but there are still some spaces open! Itinerary’s here.
 
Cajun country remains popular on our fall docket, and with our first departure sold out, guides Dan Lane and Cory Gregory are offering a follow-on LOUISIANA: YELLOW RAILS & CRAWFISH TAILS II tour, Nov 2-6. Who knows, you might even get to ride on a rice combine — the coolest rail-viewing platform!
 
To complement our many other fall choices, guide Dave Stejskal has added VIETNAM for Nov 3-25, a reprise of our highly successful 2016 tour. Lots of specialties and some spectacular scenery are on tap — check out our 2016 illustrated triplist here for a taste of what’s in store. The itinerary and tour fee should be available very soon; in the meantime you can hold a space with no obligation, just let our office know!

Added tours for 2018-2019, and new tour slideshows

Also just announced for those of you planning into next year and beyond:
  • A new OREGON tour scheduled for Sep 8-17, 2018, with Cory Gregory guiding. Lots of Pacific Northwest specialties amidst some inspiring landscapes and coastline. More text info coming soon, but meanwhile there’s a slideshow on the tour page — once there, click on the link for the slideshow in larger format, where you can play it full screen.
  • A new EMPEROR PENGUINS IN THE WEDDELL SEA cruise for that most iconic bird of the southern ice (Tom Johnson will guide; tentative dates are Nov 15-28, 2019, though these may shift a bit).
  • And a reprise of ANTARCTICA, SOUTH GEORGIA & THE FALKLANDS, scheduled for Jan 17-Feb 7, 2019. For some beautiful imagery, once on the tour page click on the link for the slideshow in larger format, then play it full screen…wow!

We’ve also added a slideshow of guide Doug Gochfeld‘s beautiful images from ISRAEL: SPRING MIGRATION SPECTACLE — again, on the tour page, click on the link for the slideshow in larger format, then hit the Play symbol for full-screen…some real lovelies in that gallery. There’s just one space currently open for this new 2018 offering.

Online: Watching migration progress northward

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s BirdCast has been a great migration resource for birders for some years now, and they’ve recently added a new tool to categorize a species’s progress northward. Take a look at their Forecast page and click on the latest week to watch what’s happening now…it’s a great way to see not only movement patterns but pick up some great info and analysis about bird migration.

Marcelo’s short alternatives to perennial faves

Our Alta Floresta & the Northern Pantanal tour in Brazil and our top-to-bottom Chile tour are both perenially popular, and indeed you may have been eyeing them. They do, however, require two-and-a-half and three weeks of time, respectively. Now guide Marcelo Padua is offering two shorter alternatives for those whose schedules are a little more restricted. He’s bringing back two great trips we have offered in the past at Field Guides: BRAZIL’S CRISTALINO JUNGLE LODGE, only 12 days and featuring just two sites, including a 7-night stay at Cristalino, and THE HEART OF CHILE, which at 15 days focuses on central Chile and in the process picks up most of the endemic and specialty birds. Cristalino is scheduled for Nov 4-15 and Heart of Chile for Jan 27-Feb 10, 2018. If your time is at a premium, have a look. Contact our office to hold a space.

Triplists from recent tours

Click on any image below to see our annotated and illustrated online triplist. (And be sure also to see our March Recent Photos gallery for other great images.)

Vietnam with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

Ecuador's Sacha Lodge with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

Jamaica with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

South Texas Rarities with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

Trinidad and Tobago with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

Guyana I with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

Colombia: Santa Marta Escape with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

Thailand with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

Northern India with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

Olwberta: Alberta's Owls and More with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

Panama's Canopy Tower and Lodge with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

Jewels of Ecuador I with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

Chile and Argentina Birds and Wine with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

Guatemala with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS

Comments from our travelers

Your post-tour comments on our evaluation form help us ensure that we offer the best possible tour experience and service, in the field and from our office.

“I was very happy with the overall experience. Your tours are so well-planned, your guides superb, the ground operations reliable, and I know that once I am on tour that I can relax and focus on seeing and enjoying the birds. I would most definitely travel with Jesse Fagan again. He’s such a fine guide in the field, insuring that participants have the best opportunities to see the birds, and he’s also a great companion. The tour manager was always prompt to answer any questions, and was very helpful.” B.M., JAMAICA 2017

“It was a pleasure to meet Marcelo Padua, who knows so much about birds and wines, and so nice to travel again with John Coons (my sixth trip with him), so yes indeed — would travel with both of them again anytime! This was a superb experience — one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. It had everything: birds, delicious wines and food, lovely hotels, a spacious and comfortable bus, and the grand Andes!” D.S., BIRDS & WINES OF CHILE AND ARGENTINA

Mitch Lysinger is one of the best guides I have ever traveled with. It turned out that I was the only one on the tour who had not been on tour with him before, and I quickly saw why people want to travel with him over and over. He has an amazing ability to hear birds and call in difficult birds. He is incredibly knowledgeable and personable. I will be looking to travel with Mitch again.” M.P., SOUTHWESTERN ECUADOR SPECIALTIES 2017

“Karen Turner and others in your Austin office did a great job with all our details and with communication. Guide Megan Edwards Crewe has a gift at human relations and it pays off in keeping the group experience good.” D.R., BORNEO 2017

Private tours: plan your own

Want to organize your own tour with a group of special birding friends and one of our staff guides? We regularly put together just such private departures for groups of 6 or more, and they are invariably a big hit. Here’s an example of an illustrated triplist from one such recent tour, a wonderful Australia survey with guides John Coons and Rose Ann Rowlett. You can start planning your group’s next great birding trip — just contact our office.

Tour openings: May to September

Galapagos with FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURSThat’s our 2016 Galapagos group above with guide Willy Perez (l.), having a great time cruising and birding through the “Islas Encantadas” aboard our vessel, the Nemo III. Jesse Fagan will be doing the guiding honors this Jun 10-20 for our GALAPAGOS I trip, and there are still 2 spaces open (our second tour, in July, is fully booked). See our 2016 triplist here for all the highlights from that tour, including the many wonderful endemics and such spectaculars as Waved Albatross, Blue-footed Booby, and Swallow-tailed Gull. And if you haven’t read these already, what better excuse to prep by diving into Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle and Jonathan Weiner’s The Beak of the Finch?
 
There are still opportunities to get away birding with us in the next few months on these select tours among the 53 on tap May to September. Contact our office to hold a space!

Recently posted 2017-2018 itineraries


March 2017 Emailing

March 14th, 2017 by Field Guides

Greetings, birding friends! In this emailing we have an added Thanksgiving 2017 Jamaica departure (and possibilities for Western Panama and New Guinea & Australia), and we catch up on recent tours with 125 fabulous images from more than a dozen tours in our February Recent Photos gallery, and another 12 in our February Recent People Pics. Linked below we also bring you a slideshow for a new Remote Rio Tapajos tour in Brazil, 14 recent illustrated triplists (lots of pics, videos, and anecdotes), and 12 fresh itineraries for late 2017. The lovely northeast Brazil landscape above and Hooded Visorbearer below by guides Bret Whitney and Marcelo Barreiros are samples of recent photos in the gallery. Enjoy reading, and good birding to all!

Recent FIELD GUIDES Tour Photos

Extra fall 2017 departures: Jamaica III & more

Our scheduling folks have been busy…we’ve already added one fall departure to our 2017 schedule and are considering two additional ones — let us know if you are interested!
 
On the calendar already is JAMAICA III with guide Jesse Fagan, Nov 19-25. This is the same great itinerary as our Feb/Mar tours featuring 5 nights at Green Castle Estate (exciting birding, no moving hotels!) and a finale at Rocklands Bird Sanctuary near Montego Bay. It’ll make for a wonderful (and endemic-rich) birding escape over Thanksgiving. Streamertails on your fingers, anyone?
 
Also, we are gauging interest in two more departures we are considering adding:
 
–Our original NEW GUINEA & AUSTRALIA departure is fully booked and the itinerary went out last week. Once we have confirmed everyone on that tour, we will add NEW GUINEA & AUSTRALIA II with guide Jay VanderGaast for Oct 8-26. This long-popular sampler features the best of New Guinea and its birds-of-paradise plus some great Australian birding out of Cairns and Brisbane. If this sounds like a fun fall tour to you, let us know and we’ll pencil you in and keep you abreast of details as things firm up.
 
–We are also in the planning stages of an added WESTERN PANAMA: CHIRIQUI & BOCAS DEL TORO with guide Jesse FaganDec 8-17. This is our two-stop itinerary ranging from the Chiriqui Highlands to lovely Tranquilo Bay, and from Resplendent Quetzal and White-throated Mountain-gem to Snowy Cotinga and Golden-collared Manakin. If you’re interested in this December tour, let us know and we’ll pencil you in and keep you posted.

Bird news: Bret in The Atlantic

Striolated Puffbird article“Some ornithologists have very strong feelings about hyphens.”
 
That’s the somewhat tongue-in-cheek subtitle for author Andrew Jenner’s article on the world of bird taxonomy in the recent issue of The Atlantic. And who should appear in the opening sentence of the article but our own Bret Whitney while in the field in Brazil in 2008 and on the cusp of determining that Striolated Puffbird should be split into several taxa. The tale is spun around the 2013 description of the Western Striolated-Puffbird, Nystalus obamai, which Bret and Brazilian colleagues named for then-President Obama.
 
The article is much more about taxonomic debate than the subtitle, of course. Note that there are several embedded links that will be of interest to our Field Guides friends, in particular to the original paper by Whitney et al.
 
Bret will be doing some more exploring in Amazonia this Sep 30-Oct 11 — he and John Coons will be co-leading our new BRAZIL’S REMOTE RIO TAPAJOS tour. If you’d like a taste of the area, check out this slideshow of Bret’s images from his scouting for the tour…it’s going to be a great wilderness adventure based in a lovely, floating hotel!

Colombia November itinerary update

If Colombia has been on your radar as a travel destination, you’ll be interested to hear that guide Jesse Fagan has updated the itinerary for his COLOMBIA: THE LLANOS & MORE tour, shortening it to just 9 days and reducing the overlap with our other 4 Colombia itineraries. We have two spaces still open on this small-group tour (limited to 6) visiting the open areas of the eastern lowlands for some safari-like birding as well as several sites not far from the capital city of Bogota, where we’ll mine the Colombian Andes’ rich array of endemics and specialties. Dates are Nov 11-19contact our office to grab one or both of those last spaces.

Triplists from recent tours

Click on any image below to see our annotated and illustrated online triplist. (And be sure also to see our February Recent Photos gallery for other great images.)

Southeast Brazil birding tour with FIELD GUIDES

Sacha Lodge, Ecuador birding tour with FIELD GUIDES

Japan in Winter birding tour with FIELD GUIDES

Serra dos Tucanos, Brazil birding tour with FIELD GUIDES

Costa Rica: Birding the Edges birding tour with FIELD GUIDES

Costa Rica: Birding the Edges birding tour with FIELD GUIDES

Oaxaca, Mexico birding tour with FIELD GUIDES

Sri Lanka birding tour with FIELD GUIDES

Colombia birding tour with FIELD GUIDES

Cambodia birding tour with FIELD GUIDES

Holiday Costa Rica: Rancho Naturalista birding tour with FIELD GUIDES

Rio Negro Paradise, Brazil birding tour with FIELD GUIDES

Trinidad & Tobago birding tour with FIELD GUIDES

Australia Part One birding tour with FIELD GUIDES

Comments from our travelers

Your post-tour comments on our evaluation form help us ensure that we offer the best possible tour experience and service, in the field and from our office.

“Willy Perez as guide has the right combination of professionalism, an infectious passion for birding, patience with clients, and sense of humour that isn’t easy to find in one person. Your office service was excellent. You obviously care about your clients a great deal. We were taken care of from start to finish. I appreciate the care and professionalism that Field Guides puts into your tours.” N.D., AMAZONIAN ECUADOR: SACHA LODGE 2017

“The new birds, the beautiful scenery, a calm and relaxed leader in Richard Webster, and the quality of the birding skills and congeniality of the participants all worked to create an enjoyable experience. Field Guides has the best guides and offers the best value for the cost. The guides are professional and well-trained and Field Guides provides the support staff the guides need in order to focus on the birds and participants.” S.J., COLOMBIA: MEDELLIN ESCAPE 2017

“Field Guides is one of the best companies I have travelled with and everything always runs smoothly. The guides are great and everyone works as a team to make your experience the best. I have confidence traveling with Field Guides.” L.G., JEWELS OF ECUADOR 2017

Private tours: plan your own

Want to organize your own tour with a group of special birding friends and one of our staff guides? We regularly put together just such private departures for groups of 8 or more, and they are invariably a big hit. Here’s an example of an illustrated triplist from one such recent tour, a wonderful Australia survey with guides John Coons and Rose Ann Rowlett. You can start planning your group’s next great birding trip — just contact our office.

Tour openings: late March to July

Papua New Guinea birding tour with FIELD GUIDES

We do a deep dive into the amazing birds-of-paradise and a wide array of other island endemics on our PAPUA NEW GUINEA itinerary — a destination we’ve been visiting for more than 30 years. Guides Jay VanderGaast and Doug Gochfeld will be at the helm to share all those great birds. Dates are July 6-23 and there are four spaces open. See our 2016 triplist here for all the highlights from that tour.

Recently posted 2017-2018 itineraries


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