North America Tours 2018



Venture to Dauphin Island, Alabama

Spring Migration on the Gulf Coast
April 16–21, 2018

                                         Leader: Aaron Steed

     In the spring, bad weather can make the journey across the Gulf of Mexico a difficult one for migrating birds. Many will not survive. Those that do are likely to land on the first piece of terra firma they reach, often in large numbers, in order to eat, drink, rest, and gain strength for the continuing trip north. What is bad for the birds can be good for the birder, and Dauphin Island, a barrier island at the entrance to Alabama's Mobile Bay, is among the best places on the Gulf Coast to experience one of these "fallouts." Even without 'fallout,' Dauphin Island, with its variety of accessible bird habitats, such as the renowned Shell Mounds and the 160-acre Audubon Sanctuary, is generally considered to be an outstanding spring migration hot spot. We will explore the island thoroughly, and we also plan to take the ferry over to the Fort Morgan peninsula for additional birding opportunities along the shores of Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.


Spring in South Florida

May 5-11, 2018

                                         Leader: Carlos Sanchez

     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.


Northern Ohio

“Warblers in the Springtime”
May 15-21, 2018

                                         Leader: Simon Thompson

     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.

Minnesota & North Dakota

June 8-17, 2018

                                         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.


Newfoundland and Labrador

Puffins, boreal birds and spectacular scenery!
August 1-13, 2018

                                         Leader: Simon Thompson


     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 21-30, 2018

                                         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.

     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!