September 2015 e-mailing
September 28th, 2015 by Field Guides
Hello, birding friends! In this month’s e-mailing we have a fresh Morocco slideshow, a couple of interesting video clips pondering the evolution of avian beauty, our September Recent Photos gallery (a few examples of the fresh images from recent tours in the banner below…can you identify them?), spaces on upcoming tours, and of course recently posted 2015 triplists and 2016 itineraries. Enjoy reading, and good birding to all!
New Morocco Slideshow
Guide Jesse Fagan has created an annotated slideshow for his Morocco tour as a fun preview of what this great destination offers birders, including the Northern Bald Ibis pictured here. The slideshow includes everything from great birds to the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara to famous mosques and scenes in Marrakesh.
Jesse returns to Morocco May 21-June 7, 2016 — there is still space if you’d like to join him!
You can also see more about this trip on our tour page.
Cool bird news: The evolution of beauty in birds?
Guide Bret Whitney attended the 2015 Neotropical Ornithological Congress in Manaus, Brazil — a gathering of 600 ornithologists from around the globe! — and particularly enjoyed a talk by Yale University ornithologist Richard Prum sharing his thesis on the evolution of beauty. Rick sent us links to earlier versions of his talk, including an 18-minute TEDx clip and a longer clip at St. Olaf College (Rick speaks from 4 minutes to 60 minutes in). It’s a stimulating topic (and not uncontroversial, as Rick will note) — enjoy!
Boreal Birds Need Half
You’ll find Field Guides among the endorsing organizations for the Boreal Birds Need Half campaign.
The numerous other supporters of the campaign include Ducks Unlimited, the American Bird Conservancy, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
What is it? A conservation initiative to help protect at least half of the boreal forest region — which provides critical breeding grounds for billions of birds and so many of the migrants we see on our North American tours and breeders (like this Gray Jay by guide Eric Hynes) on our trips from Maine and Newfoundland to Alaska!
Find out more (and become part of the intiative yourself, if you’d like) at the BBNH website.
Fresh Triplists From 2015 Tours
Click on any image to see our annotated and illustrated online triplist for recent tours from Arctic Norway and New Guinea to Brazil, Borneo, Alaska, and more. (And be sure also to see our September Recent Photos gallery for other great images.)
November to February tour openings
We have space still open on the following tours through February, for great experiences such as the fabulous Araripe Manakin shown here from participant Kathy Brown on our 2015 Nowhere but Northeast Brazil tour. Contact our office to hold a space.
- China: Yunnan Province, Nov 6-28 with Dave Stejskal & Jesper Hornskov (1 open)
- New Zealand, Nov 8-26 with Dan Lane & local guide (4 open)
- Namibia & Botswana, Nov 10-29 with Terry Stevenson (3 open)
- Holiday at San Isidro, Ecuador, Nov 21-30 with Mitch Lysinger (1 open)
- Mysteries of Southern Peru, Nov 21-Dec 5 with Jesse Fagan (4 open)
- Holiday Peru: Iquitos, Dec 19-30 with Pepe Rojas & Dan Lane
- Holiday Trinidad & Tobago, Dec 27-Jan 5 with Tom Johnson (1 open)
- Oman & the UAE: Birding Arabia, Jan 7-23 with Phil Gregory (1 open)
- Nowhere but Northeast Brazil, Jan 8-26 with Bret Whitney & Pepe Rojas (3 open)
- South Texas Rarities I, Jan 16-22 with Chris Benesh
- East Africa Highlights, Jan 16-Feb 5 with Terry Stevenson (1 open)
- Thailand, Jan 16-Feb 6 with Dave Stejskal & Uthai Treesucon (1 open)
- South Texas Rarities II, Jan 23-29 with Chris Benesh (3 open)
- Colombia: Cauca Valley, Western & Central Andes, Feb 5-20 with Richard Webster
- Panama’s Canopy Tower I, Feb 7-13 with John Coons
- Guatemala: Shade-grown Birding, Feb 10-19 with Jesse Fagan (1 open)
- Sacha Lodge, Ecuador II, Feb 12-21 with Dan Lane (2 open)
- Cambodia, Feb 20-Mar 4 with Phil Gregory (1 open)
- Ecuador: Rainforest & Andes, Feb 28-Mar 13 with Willy Perez
2016 itineraries recently released
These itineraries for upcoming 2016 tours have recently been posted to our website:
- Guatemala: Shade-grown Birding, Feb 10-19 with Jesse Fagan
- Borneo I, Mar 15-Apr 1 with Dave Stejskal
- Western Panama: Chiriqui & Bocas del Toro, Mar 20-29 with Jesse Fagan
- Bahamas: Endemics & Kirtland’s Warbler, Apr 2-8 with Jesse Fagan
- Lesser Antilles: Parrots of the Caribbean, Apr 10-26 with Jesse Fagan
- Hungary & Romania, Apr 23-May 9 with Terry Stevenson & Lajos Nemeth-Boka
- Spain, May 14-26 with Marcelo Padua & Godried Schreur
- Ethiopia, May 20-Jun 9 with Terry Stevenson
- Uganda: Shoebill, Rift Endemics & Gorilla, May 21-Jun 10 with Phil Gregory
- Maine: Birding Downeast, May 21-29 with Eric Hynes
- Morocco, May 21-Jun 7 with Jesse Fagan
- Northern Arizona Canyons & Condor, Jun 4-9 with John Coons
- Montana: Yellowstone to Glacier, Jun 9-19 with Terry McEneaney
- Borneo II, Jun 2-19 with Megan Edwards Crewe
- Brazil’s Rio Roosevelt, Jun 10-24 with Bret Whitney
- Alta Floresta & the Northern Pantanal, Brazil, Jun 11-27 with Marcelo Padua
- Galapagos I, Jun 11-21 with Willy Perez
- Newfoundland & Nova Scotia, Jun 26-Jul 6 with Chris Benesh
- Spitsbergen & Svalbard Archipelago, Jul 6-18 with John Coons
- Galapagos II, Jul 9-19 with Pepe Rojas
A great new Morocco slideshow
August 27th, 2015 by Field Guides
Guide Jesse Fagan has just posted a fresh Morocco slideshow of about 80 images that will give you a wonderful feel for the birding, landscapes, and culture of this great destination — and the fun of doing the tour with Jesse. Have a look at the link below or click on the Bald Ibis photo — it’s just one of the many unusual things we expect to see on our upcoming May 2016 tour.
See the gallery (click on the “slideshow” button once there)
Recent tour reports to cool down with!
August 13th, 2015 by Field Guides
Been sweltering in the summer heat? Then you might enjoy looking through two of our recent tour reports from the high latitudes: guide John Coons’s trip to Spitsbergen in the Norwegian Arctic, and guide Tom Johnson’s report on the Alaska tour he and Chris Benesh co-led to Nome and Barrow — lots of cool climes, landscapes, birds, and mammals!
July e-mailing & fresh photos
August 3rd, 2015 by Field Guides
Our July 2015 e-mailing is online and includes 2016 schedule additions for Panama and Ecuador, a fun article by a participant on one of our Northern Arizona: Canyons & Condor tours earlier this summer, a fresh collection of great images in our Recent Photos gallery, plus recently posted triplists and itineraries. Click below to see it all — and enjoy!
Mysteries of Southern Peru: a new slideshow
July 4th, 2015 by Field Guides
Check out guide Jesse Fagan’s fresh, annotated slideshow for his new tour, scheduled for Nov 21-Dec 5, 2015, when he’ll be joined by fellow Field Guide Chris Benesh. It will give you a nice sense of the tour and the special sights to be seen and sites to be visited. And did you know there are three as-yet undescribed species possible on the tour? Cool!
You can see the slideshow at this link.
For more information about the tour, visit our Mysteries of Southern Peru tour page.
June e-mailing & fresh photos
June 26th, 2015 by Field Guides
Our June 2015 e-mailing is online and includes birding news items about bird calls, sage-grouse, nests, and a photo ID app, an offer to join our September California pelagic, an update by Jesse Fagan on his new 2016 Western Panama tour, a fresh collection of great images in our Recent Photos gallery, plus recently posted triplists and itineraries. Click below to see it all — and enjoy!
New for 2016! Western Panama — Chiriqui & Bocas del Toro
June 22nd, 2015 by Jesse Fagan
Our new Western Panama: Chiriqui & Bocas del Toro tour scheduled for March 2016 with guide Jesse Fagan promises to be a real Panamanian adventure. Imagine yourself spending four nights on a Caribbean tropical island, surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, turquoise blue waters, a birding tower for viewing challenging canopy flocks, and a three-toed sloth lazily feeding on Cecropia fruits over your most comfortable cabin. Now you’re beginning to understand the essence of what is Tranquilo Bay. Then you cross the Continental Divide, take a short 4X4 journey, and climb into the primary cloud forest at the edge of La Amistad National Park, where another premier birding lodge awaits. Bellbird Lodge in the Mount Totumas Cloud Forest Reserve will be our base for the final four nights of this fun new offering. Bellbirds and quetzals are not too far away!
Below is a selection of photos of the lodgings and from guide Jesse Fagan’s recent scouting trip. You can read more about the tour on our website’s tour page, and about Jesse’s upcoming schedule on his guide page.
May e-mailing & fresh photos
May 14th, 2015 by Field Guides
Our May 2015 e-mailing is online and includes birding news about migration and descriptions of 15 new Amazonian bird species, an update on the whereabouts of guides Pepe Rojas and Willy Perez, a fresh collection of great images in our Recent Photos gallery, plus recently posted triplists and itineraries. Click below to see it all — and enjoy!
April e-mailing & fresh photos
April 12th, 2015 by Field Guides
Our April 2015 e-mailing is online and includes schedule updates (Cape May II and Brazil’s Rio Roosevelt), birding news about fancy male birds and redpoll taxonomy, notes on our 2015 Holiday Southern Peru and Alaska tours, a fresh collection of great images in our Recent Photos gallery, plus recently posted triplists and itineraries. Click below to see it all — and enjoy!
Our new Holiday Southern Peru tour for November 2015: Big Country!
April 6th, 2015 by Jesse Fagan
Peru is Big Country (yes, I am hearing that popular 80’s song in my head right now), and like any big country (think Brazil, Mexico, or Australia) with lots of birds, it deserves complete coverage. I mean, Peru has more than 1850 species of birds, 139 or so endemics, and is twice the size of Texas. That equates to 20% of all bird species in the world (and second in total number), and it ranks fifth in number of endemics!
Why so much diversity? Isolation, topography (remember the Andes?), lots of different habitats and microclimates. Indeed, this is the very reason to visit Peru: variety. And we are not just talking about birds and landscapes, but also a rich indigenous culture (Inca and pre-Incan) and some of the best food in the world (where to get started?! aji de gallina, lomo saltado, ceviche, pisco sours,…).
Our new Holiday Southern Peru tour, schedule for Nov 21- Dec 3, is a comprehensive central Andes tour that visits most of the southern third of Peru. This includes many areas not reached on other tours, offering new birds and new sites. Several days around Lima will give us a chance at coastal specialties normally bypassed (Lima is usually a jumping off point, not a destination). The cold offshore currents are home to millions of seabirds including the lovely Inca Tern and playful, Humboldt Penguin. We will not ignore the coastal desert, however, and though low in diversity, it’s high in species endemism (most of them a sandy brown color!).
We’ll fly from Lima to Cusco and snake our way westerly up the Andes to Abancay. Here we will be after the “Apurimac” endemics including Apurimac Spinetail, a brush-finch, Vilcabamba Thistletail, and an undescribed tapaculo, “Apurimac” Tapaculo. It’s then on to Puno (but not before visiting impressive Sacsayhuaman), where the lake endemic Titicaca Grebe awaits.
South of Puno is the expansive Altiplano, the largest “high plain” or desert outside of Nepal. We will be attentive, scanning for Lesser Rhea or a sneedsnipe, while carefully searching bog edges for White-throated Sierra-Finch or a Puna Yellow-Finch. Around Arequipa we will have a night in the Colca Canyon, famous for close encounters with Andean Condor, but also a place to look for Diademed Sandpiper-Plover (and look we will). The La Mejia marsh site south of Arequipa is the only place in Peru to find Red-fronted Coot, which seems more like a gallinule.
Finally, we’ll drive north to Nazca, taking in the lunar-like landscape that is the spectacular Atacama Desert (now we are in the driest non-polar place in the world). Above Nazca we will find time to photograph the elegant Vicuña, the wild ancestor of the domestic llama, which will be around in good numbers. Other targets here will include Thick-billed Miner, “Dark-winged” Canastero, and Black-hooded Sierra-Finch (around the Polylepis). Then, of course, we will want to actually see the Nazca Lines. Strap in for the ride of your life!