Choosing the Right Birdwatching Vacation
Suggested Tour Operators
North America based
- Brian Patteson,Inc. Pelagics (http://www.patteson.com, Tel. (252) 986-1363)
- Pelagic trips from North Carolina Outer Banks and Virginia Beach
- Fielding Guides Inc. (http://www.fieldguides.com, Tel. +1 800 728 4953)
- Recognized tour agency with trips to 100 destinations including Alaska, Antarctica, Asia and Australia.
- Victor Emmanuel Nature Tours (VENT) Birding Tours (http://www.VentBird.com, Tel. +1 800 328 8368)
- North American based with over 30 years of experience in birding to all seven continents.
- Sunbird (http://www.sunbirdtours.co.uk, Tel. +44 (0)1767 262522)
- Birdwatching tours, birding vacations and wildlife trips for novices or experienced twitchers.
- BirdQuest (http://www.birdquest.co.uk, Tel. +44 1254 826317)
- Guided birding tours worldwide.
- Surtrek (http://www.ecuadorbirding.com, Tel. + 593 2 250 0530)
- Tours in Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and South America.
- Endemic Guides (http://www.endemicguides.com, Tel. +6 (03) 55123012)
- Birding and nature tours in Malaysia and Borneo.
- Gavia Travel (http://www.gaviatravel.com)
- Established by Icelandic birders and nature enthusiasts to show guests Iceland’s unspoiled countryside and wildlife.
- Iberian Wildlife (http://www.iberianwildlife.com, Tel. + 34 942 735154)
- Butterflies, dragonflies, birds and birding in Spain.
- Nature Quest New Zealand (http://www.naturequest.co.nz, Tel. + 64 3 489 8444)
- Specialists in designing and guiding birdwatching, nature and study abroad programs in New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific.
There are plenty of ways you can conduct your own birdwatching tour. National Parks often have walking trails or viewing platforms so you can encounter birds by yourself. Lakes, rivers and waterways close to home will also contain a lot of birds if you get out on a canoe or boat particularly in the early morning or late evening.
For more remote locations self-run itineraries can be more difficult and expensive as you may need a lot more of your own equipment. For example you may need to hire or purchase a canoe, boat or camping equipment, binoculars, maps and field guides. You will also need the relevant experience to handle the equipment and for wilderness camping or trekking.
Doing it yourself won’t mean you won’t see the more exotic species but it will require you to be alert and to conduct as research as possible prior to the trip. If you are venturing into a national park or along a canoe trail talk to rangers or outfitters about where birdlife has been spotted recently. Get field guides to the area that can help you find species and identify them.
If you are undertaking your own tour you may need to hire or purchase your own equipment such as canoes and camping equipment if you plan to do a river safari, binoculars, maps and guides.