North America Tours 2017





Grand Alaska

Anchorage, Kenai, Denali, Nome and Barrow

May 31 - June 16, 2017

                                         Leader: Simon Thompson

   In these varied biogeographic regions we will explore Alaska's biodiversity, encountering breeding birds (many are seldom, if ever, seen in their breeding plumage), mammals (including Sea Otter, Arctic Fox, Musk Ox, Steller's Sea Lion, Pika, marmot, Moose, Caribou, and Grizzly Bear), and overwhelmingly beautiful scenery. An outstanding feature of this trip will be our time spent in the northern outposts of Nome and Barrow, havens for northern breeding species.


Minnesota & North Dakota

North Woods to the Prairie Potholes
June 1-10, 2017

Leader: Carlos Sanchez

     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.


Mt. Rogers, Virginia

July 21-23, 2017

                                         Leader: Simon Thompson

     The focal point of our weekend venture will be a hike along a section of the Appalachian Trail to the summit of Mt. Rogers to seek "northern" bird species (such as Magnolia Warbler, Hermit Thrush, Swainson's Thrush & Purple Finch) which breed here at the higher elevations. In fact, this is the southernmost point in the Appalachian Mountains for breeding Swainson's Thrush and Purple Finch. Starting out in a grassy meadow, we will ascend through a northern hardwood forest, to the spruce-fir forest at the top. There should also be a fine wildflower and butterfly show along the way.


Newfoundland and Labrador

Puffins, boreal birds and spectacular scenery!
August 2-14, 2017

                                         Leader: Simon Thompson

Trip is Full


     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.


Washington State

August 22-31, 2017

                                         Leader: Kevin Burke

     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.

     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!


Golden Isles of Georgia

October 13-16, 2017

                                         Leader: Aaron Steed

     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. 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.


Huntington Beach State Park, SC

January 4-7, 2018

                                         Leader: Simon Thompson

     The park has a variety of habitats, including maritime forest, fresh & salt water marshes, and seashore. In mid-winter we should have a good selection of wintering ducks and shorebirds, as well as the chance for some more unusual species, such as alcids (Razorbill, Thick-billed Murre), Purple Sandpiper and Snow Bunting. Huntington Beach is also an excellent location for Bald Eagle, Painted Bunting (sometimes in the winter), Least Bittern (usually the summer months), Common Ground Dove, Cave Swallow (rare) and the endangered Piping Plover.


Northern Minnesota

Owls & Winter Finches
February 2-7, 2018

                                         Leader: Aaron Steed

     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, Northern Saw-whet, and sometimes Boreal). Winter finches provide additional highlights with Common & Hoary Redpolls, Pine & Evening Grosbeaks, and Red Crossbill all likely. Winter also 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.