New Jersey Audubon’s Eco-Travel Program has taken participants around the world for over 30 years.

NJ Audubon staff design natural history and birding trips to a variety of domestic and foreign destination sites, ranging from relaxed nature getaways to relatively intensive birding adventures. Specific trip goals are stated in each trip’s itinerary, but one goal of every trip is for participants to better understand ecological systems both far and near, and from that understanding to maintain a high ethic concerning earth and resource stewardship in their daily lives. By traveling with New Jersey Audubon, you are helping preserve your natural heritage, since proceeds from our Eco-Travel Program directly support NJAudubon’s mission of conservation, environmental education, and wildlife research.

Program Goal

The goal of NJ Audubon’s Eco-Travel Program is to reflect our broad conservation mission through a balanced offering of natural history and birding ecotours for NJ Audubon members, New Jersey residents, and any other interested individuals.

These tours reflect natural systems education and maintain a high ethic concerning earth and resource stewardship.

NJ AUDUBON ECO-TOURS FEATURE:

  • Small group size (maximum 12 on most trips)
  • Leader to participant ratio of 1:6 or better on domestic tours
  • Destinations planned to coincide with greatest bird diversity
  • Window seats for all participants on most domestic tours

WE OFFER TOURS WITH A VARIETY OF PACES AND GOALS:

  • Relaxed vacations with nature
  • General ecology exploring a diversity of animal and plant groups, as well as geology
  • General ecology with a focus on birdlife
  • Intensive birding adventures

Learn about past Eco Travel tours

Hear from our guides and attendees, view stunning images and discover what species they encountered

Upcoming Tours

GENERAL INFORMATION

Michigan hosts the lion’s share of the world breeding population of Kirtland’s Warbler, has terrific migration hotspots without huge crowds, sought-after boreal breeding birds, and some beautiful scenery. We’ll switch back and forth between days scouring migrant traps for a wide range of Neotropic songbirds, plus late spring raptors, and shorebirds, to days spent enjoying the state’s diverse breeding birds—including Kirtland’s Warbler.

With the right weather conditions, we might see 20 species of warblers in a single day! Birds of note that we’ll make concerted efforts to view include Sharp-tailed & Spruce Grouse, Upland Sandpiper, Black Tern, Red-headed and Black-backed Woodpecker, Sedge Wren, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Mourning, Connecticut, and Golden-winged Warbler, LeConte’s Sparrow, and Evening Grosbeak, among others. We’ll also visit scenic Tahquemenon Falls—one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi with a 50’ drop and over 200’ wide.

Pace, Weather and Travel Conditions:

Our days in the field usually begin about 7:00 a.m. and will end no later than 6:00 p.m. The trip involves easy to moderate walking on mostly flat ground. On some days we may spend several hours on our feet, though there will be breaks for people to sit and rest.

Temperatures will be cool to warm. Expect a temperature range from lows around 40 to highs in the low-70’s. Rain or thunderstorms are always possible; bring a poncho or rain jacket. It may feel quite cool if the wind is blowing off one of the three Great Lakes we’ll be near, so a warm layer and windbreaker is worth packing. Biting insects such as mosquitoes and black flies will likely be present.

Dates:

Monday May 21 (evening introductions/orientation at our hotel) to Tuesday May 29 (flights home anytime that day), 2018.
Tour starts and ends in Detroit.

Activity Level:

EASY TO MODERATE

Tour Size:

Travel during this tour will be in vans, with no more than 7 participants plus a leader in one “12 person” van. Tour size is limited to 12 participants.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Additional information about the tour, with specific meeting times, a list of participants, addresses of motels, lists of things to bring, a reading list, a list of probable/possible birds, further information about weather, dress, etc., will be mailed to all participants well in advance of the tour.

PRICE

Cost for this tour is $2,295 based on double occupancy

Single supplement (if you request single occupancy, or we are unable to find you a suitable roommate) is $500.

A deposit of $500 will hold your place until Mar 21, 2018 when full payment becomes due.

Price Includes:

Hotel accommodations for 8 nights, tour leadership, ground transportation while in Michigan, and entry fees.

It does not include meals or airfare to/from Detroit.

Send Deposits and Payment To:

NJ Audubon Eco-Travel
c/o Center for Research and Education
600 Route 47 North
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
Phone: (609) 400-3852
Please make checks payable to New Jersey Audubon
OR
by email to travel@njaudubon.org

TOUR LEADERS

Scott Barnes: Scott began birding in the mid-1980’s and has been an avid naturalist ever since.  Encouragement and learning came from his parents and many birders, including members of the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club and staff of New Jersey Audubon.  An interest in travel and natural history has led him from the Bering Sea to the desert southwest to the tropics of Central America in search of birds and other wildlife. Scott compiles the Sandy Hook Christmas Bird Count, served for thirteen years on the New Jersey Bird Records Committee, leads on See Life Paulagics boat trips, and is an eBird reviewer for NJ. He is the assistant director of the NJ Audubon Travel Program.  Scott has led NJ Audubon tours in 23 states in the U.S., and Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Linda Mack: Linda’s interest in birding began more than twenty-five years ago on a Cape May Weekend and she has been hooked ever since. She served as a member of New Jersey Audubon’s Board of Directors for fourteen years and is an Associate Naturalist for All Things Birds. She is a past President, Program Chair, and Conservation Chair for Monmouth County Audubon Society and currently serves as a voting member of the New Jersey Bird Records Committee. Linda has traveled extensively throughout North America and to Trinidad & Tobago, Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama in Central America. Her infectious enthusiasm and willingness to share knowledge are well known. She has co-led tours to 22 states in the U.S., and is a regular leader on long weekend trips to coastal Massachusetts, the Adirondack Mountains, and Bombay Hook, as well as the Cape May Fall Weekend

Cuba’s Western Mountains, Zapata Swamp, Atlantic Archipelago, Escambray Valley and Colonial Havana

January – 6 – 16/21*, 2019

*With Havana Jazz Festival Extension

 

You are invited to join Dr. David La Puma, Director of New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory on an exclusive, U.S. led and managed birding program to Cuba! The program is managed by the Caribbean Conservation Trust, Inc. (CCT), based in Connecticut. In early 2018 CCT staff began their 22nd year of managing bird conservation and natural history programs in Cuba. Along with David, our team will include Cuban biologist and museum curator Dr. Giraldo Alayon, a bilingual Cuban tour leader and local naturalists in 4 different birding regions. They will guide you through some of the best bird habitat in Cuba, the Caribbean’s largest and most ecologically diverse island nation.

CCT designed this itinerary to take you to Cuba’s finest bird habitats, most beautiful national parks, diverse biosphere reserves, and unique natural areas. We will interact with local scientists and naturalists who work in research and conservation. In addition to birding, we will learn about the ecology and history of regions we visit. Finally, and especially given the ongoing changes in U.S. – Cuban relations, we can expect some degree of inquiry into fascinating aspects of Cuban culture, history, and daily living during our visit.

CUBA’S BIRDS

According to BirdLife International, which has designated 28 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Cuba, “Over 370 bird species have been recorded in Cuba, including 27 which are endemic to the island and 29 considered globally threatened. Due to its large land area and geographical position within the Caribbean, Cuba represents one of the most important countries for Neotropical migratory birds – both birds passing through on their way south (75 species) and those spending the winter on the island (86 species).“

Our itinerary provides opportunities to see many of Cuba’s endemic species and subspecies, as listed below. This trip will also focus on the many neotropical migrant species that migrate south to Cuba in the fall (endemic species and endemic subspecies in italics):

Bare-legged Owl, Cuban Oriole, Bee Hummingbird, Blue-headed Quail-Dove, Gray-fronted Quail-Dove, Cuban

Black Hawk, Cuban Blackbird, Cuban Bullfinch, Cuban Gnatcatcher, Cuban Grassquit, Cuban Green Woodpecker, Cuban Parakeet, Cuban Parrot, Cuban Pewee, Cuban Pygmy-Owl, Cuban Solitaire, Cuban Tody, Cuban Trogon, Cuban Vireo, Fernandina’s Flicker, Giant Kingbird, Gundlach’s Hawk, Eastern Meadowlark, Cuban Nightjar, Red-shouldered Blackbird, Tawny-shouldered Blackbird, Oriente Warbler, Yellow-headed Warbler, Zapata Wren, Zapata Sparrow, Cuban Crow, Palm Crow, Cuban Emerald, Bahama Mockingbird, Thick-billed Vireo, & Western Spindalis.

Other species of interest include:
Great Lizard-Cuckoo, La Sagra’s Flycatcher, Loggerhead Kingbird, Olive-capped Warbler, Key West Quail-Dove, Ruddy Quail-Dove, Zenaida Dove, Stygian Owl, West Indian Whistling Duck, American Flamingo, Wood Stork, Roseate Spoonbill, and a great variety of wading birds, and numerous other migratory and resident species.


WHERE WE TRAVEL

Our Cuba Bird Survey begins in the forests surrounding Las Terrazas Community, established in 1968 as a re-forestation and community integrated development project. In Cuba’s post-revolutionary history, the community has blossomed as a model of sustainability, and is currently a prime destination for ecologically based tourism.

Cuba’s Western Mountains include two of the country’s most diverse and dramatic ranges: the Sierra de la Rosario, and Sierra de los Organos. We will explore an area common to both ranges in search of western range endemic species such as the Cuban Solitaire. A highlight of the trip, we will visit the magical, unusually beautiful karstic landscape of western Cuba, which features towering, lushly vegetated, flat-top limestone monoliths and extensive cave systems. This is the only region in which we will likely see the Cuban Solitaire, Cuban Grassquit, Giant Kingbird, & Olive-capped Warbler. Other potential endemic species for western Cuba include Cuban Oriole, Cuban Green Woodpecker, Cuban Pewee, Cuban Pygmy-Owl, Cuban Tody, Cuban Trogon, Cuban Vireo, & Yellow–headed Warbler ( 2 nights).

We will also explore the diverse wetland region of the Zapata Peninsula, Cuba’s richest and most important birding destination located in the historic Bay of Pigs. This peninsula is a Ramsar Convention (international conservation treaty) designated site, and is among the most important wetlands in the West Indies. Here, the best local guides will lead us through protected areas in Cienaga de Zapata National Park and other natural sites off the beaten track. The Zapata Peninsula covers more than 2800 square miles and features easily accessible, everglades-like ecology and habitat. Framed by the pristine Caribbean coastal environment of the Bay of Pigs, the peninsula features vast open swamp land, low coastal forests, sparkling white sand beaches, healthy and accessible coral reefs, and refreshing natural limestone pools called cenotes. Bee Hummingbird, Cuban Black Hawk, Zapata Wren, Zapata Sparrow, Fernandina’s Flicker, Bare-legged Owl, Tawny- shouldered and Blue-headed and Grey-fronted Quail Doves, Red-shouldered Blackbird are among the many birds we will hope to find (3 nights).
Cayo Coco and Cuba’s Atlantic Archipelago provide excellent birding opportunities on Cuba’s Atlantic coast. These previously uninhabited and relatively unexplored islands were connected to the mainland by an 18+ mile causeway completed in 1989. Cuba’s academy of sciences (CITMA) maintains a research facility here. These barrier islands and keys provide unique opportunities for: Cuban Gnatcatcher, Oriente Warbler, Thick-billed Vireo, West Indian Whistling Duck, as well as numerous shorebirds and aquatic birds. This region also provides additional opportunities to see rare endemics such as Zapata Sparrow & Gundlach’s Hawk. Accommodations are in a modern beachfront resort (2 nights).

Sancti Spiritus, the Escambray Valley and Colonial Trinidad
The outskirts of Sancti Spiritus in central Cuba provides a peaceful and welcome location as we move south and east from Cuba’s Atlantic coast. This lovely colonial town is surrounded by lush valleys and foothills of the Sierra de Escambray Mountains. From here we will bird the Escambray Valley, bordered on the north by dramatic vistas of Cuba’s third largest mountain range, and to the south by the Caribbean Sea and it’s picturesque coastline. A lunch stop in historic Trinidad, one of Cuba’s 5 original settlements (16th century) follows our search for Palm Crow and other resident birds. One night (in each location) will be spent on the outskirts of both Sancti Spiritus, and Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage site (2 nights total in S.Spiritus province).

THE CONSERVATION PROJECT

The U.S. Department of Treasury has provided a license for conducting bird conservation work in Cuba to the Caribbean Conservation Trust, Inc. (CCT), a U.S. based organization committed to the conservation of endemic and migratory birds and their habitats in the greater Caribbean region. The primary objective of CCT is to enhance the ability of North American and Caribbean ornithologists, naturalists, resource managers, conservation organizations, institutions, and local citizens to conduct research and initiate programs to help conserve the birds of the Caribbean and their habitats. CCT is dedicated to bird and habitat conservation through education and relationship building and, is in compliance with U.S. Treasury licensure for travel to Cuba.

For a glimpse of our program in action, go to: http://video.pbs.org/program/counting-birds/ for a link to the film COUNTING ON BIRDS, a 2013 Public Broadcasting System (www.pbs.org) production which describes the history of the Christmas Bird Count and features a segment on our program in Cuba as an example how birders can contribute to ‘citizen science’ based bird conservation efforts.

Program Leadership
Our program is designed and managed in the United States and is professionally staffed and field tested over 20 years in Cuba. We are dedicated to providing participants with informative nature oriented experiences with the help of our highly skilled local leaders.

Dr. David La Puma
David La Puma is the director of New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory and an avid birdwatcher with over 20 years of experience in the Neotropics. David received his PhD from Rutgers University where he studied the Effects of Fire on the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow in the Florida Everglades. Since then David’s research has focused on migrant songbird conservation, and specifically how we can use radar to quantify stopover habitat of nocturnal migrant songbirds. A native of Miami Florida, David has dreamed of visiting Cuba since he was a child. In 2018 David led the inaugural trip to Havana, also during the Havana International Jazz Festival, and since everyone had such a wonderful time he couldn’t resist returning in 2019! This tour will blend the scientific, natural and cultural experiences of Cuba like none other and promises to have your heart, mind and feet still moving for many days after your return home!

Our Cuban Naturalists
We work with a very competent team of biologists, museum curators and naturalists in Cuba. Our full time Cuban biologist and primary Cuban birding guide will be with us throughout the program in the field and will assist in finding and identifying birds, as well as providing a broad overview of Cuban natural history. He may share specific information relative to the flora, fauna, geology and Cuban Pygmy Owl other natural features of the environments we visit. Additionally, we will work with regional n naturalists from the national parks and biosphere reserves that we visit around the country.

A Bilingual Cuban Guide will be at our service throughout the program. Along with a professional driver, he or she will be with the group each day to tell us about Cuban history, culture, arts and lifestyle. He/she will also deal with logistics, meals, translation, and other nuts-and-bolts aspects of the travel experience.

Dr. Giraldo Alayon
Biologist Giraldo Alayon is well known in the Caribbean region as the foremost expert on spiders of the West Indies and Central America. He has published more than 100 papers on the systematics and biogeography of spiders and other insects in the region. Giraldo has been birding seriously since 1977, and has also published 15 papers related to avian biology and behavior. He is currently working on a book about the Ivory–billed Woodpecker, which he claims to have seen in eastern Cuba as recently as 1992. Dr. Alayon has traveled to various island nations in the Lesser Antilles, and has made many trips to the United States with grants from the American Museum of Natural History; Smithsonian Institution; Museum of Comparative Zoology (Harvard University); Field Museum; Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences; Peabody Museum (Yale University); Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor); and California Academy of Sciences. From 1995 to 2001, Dr. Alayon was president of the Cuban Zoological Society. He is currently curator of Arachnida at the National Museum of Natural History at Havana, where he has worked since 1988. Dr. Alayon earned a PhD from the University of Havana in 2000 and is fluent in English. Dr. Alayon will be with you throughout the program in the field and will assist in providing a broad overview of Cuban natural history as well as specific information relative to the flora, fauna, geology and other natural features of the environments we visit.

Accommodations
Accommodations feature hotels in Havana and 4 additional provinces. Our Cuban accommodations are staffed by friendly hosts and in the countryside represent the best Cuba has to offer in the regions we visit. These may include refurbished vintage hotels, modern resort hotels, and simple beach-front bungalows. All accommodations are safe, clean, air conditioned tourist facilities. It should be noted that standards in Cuba differ from those in the U.S. and other developed countries.

Additional Details
Following program registration, we will provide all participants with a bird list as well as details with regard to travel to Cuba, including all of the basics you need to know about travel documents, customs, facts about Cuba, currency, health and safety, food, flights, and what to bring. U.S. Government authorization documents and bird checklist will be provided following receipt of your final balance.

Physical Demands and Expectations
This program offers opportunities for several days of ambitious birding, early departure times on birding days, and occasional evening sessions. Birding days may provide leisure time after lunch and before our afternoon birding sessions. Physical exertion will be light to moderate most days, with the longest walks approximately 3 miles. Terrain is mostly flat and dry, with some hills present in western Cuba. Participants should be in reasonably good physical condition and prepared for strong sun, with temperatures in the mid 70s – 90s. Mosquitoes can be bothersome in Cayo Coco and the Zapata Region. Although unlikely, rain may occur as well, so bring adequate rain gear. Those with medical concerns should check with their physician before taking part in the program. Your health and well-being are very important to us!

Registration, Trip Costs, Terms, and Conditions
Land costs for the 11-day program are $5,700.00 per person for shared accommodations, with an additional $ 550.00 for Single supplements. Reservation forms are accepted on a first come, first served basis, and must be accompanied by a $ 700.00 deposit payable to New Jersey Audubon Society. Enrollment is limited to 14 travelers.

EXTENSION OPTIONS – 1 Day in Havana or, 5 Days at the Havana Jazz Festival

This year we are offering both the 1 day/night Havana extension option, and a 5 day/night accommodation package in Havana for attendance at the jazz festival (event admission not included).

A one day extension in Havana will include accommodation, breakfast, lunch, and a guided tour of Havana, including historic Old Havana, one of the best preserved colonial cities in the Americas. The walking tour will include a private interpretive exploration of some of colonial Havana’s most significant historical sites. This UNESCO World Heritage site is loaded with a variety of museums, a thriving arts scene, and a full range of architectural examples of both renovated and neglected structures, many opulent or otherwise unique, representing 5 centuries of human habitation. Lunch is in Old Havana. Late afternoon is open for independent exploration of this fascinating and historic small city. Accommodation in Havana. The one day extension cost is $ 325 per person sharing, or $ 395 per single room. This extension is included for those taking the 5 day Jazz Festival extension described below.

*OPTONAL 5 DAYS / NIGHTS HAVANAJAZZ FESTIVAL EXTENSION – Our regular program concludes with one night in HAVANA. You are invited to join David Lapuma for the 34th annual Havana International Jazz Festival, January 16 – 21 , 2019. This option includes 5 additional nights accommodation in Havana with breakfast each morning, festival and restaurant information, as well as transportation to the airport on January 21at 2019. All other meals and transportation costs to and from event venues will be on your own and payable separately. Festival programming and fee information will be provided at a later date.

Extension option Cost (5 nights accommodation and breakfast) is $ 775.00 per person sharing, with an additional $195.00 single supplement. Costs are based on a minimum of 10 participants. Fewer than 10 fully paying participants may result in a modest small group supplement. This does not cover costs for festival admission and meals (other than breakfast). Accommodations are in private, good quality bed & breakfast style lodging, as an alternative to expensive government run hotel rooms. Event admission ranged in cost in 2018 from $ 335 to $ 495 for admission to unlimited festival performances, as well as recording studio visits and other extras for the premier package. Meals other than breakfast are not included in order to maximize individual mobility relative to festival events and individual interests. In 2018 these costs ranged from $ 10 and up for meals. Information regarding festival fees is pending but are not expected to differ significantly from 2018 prices.

What is included
CCT Cuba Bird Survey Programs include the following: all accommodations, all meals in Cuba beginning with dinner on day 1, ending with breakfast on the last day of the program, guide services, most tips (guides, drivers, naturalists and restaurant and bell staff), airport/hotel transfers, ground transportation, bottled water, some drinks, admission fees (itinerary only), U.S. Department of Treasury authorization documents, and program management services which include the provision of all pre- and post-program materials, a full-time Cuban bilingual guide, bilingual Cuban naturalists, and a fulltime driver. Program fees help support Caribbean Conservation Trust’s bird conservation efforts in Cuba.

Not Included
Travel to Havana, Cuba; Cuban Visa ($ 50) and Cuban health insurance (required by law and $3 per day); items of a personal nature such as laundry, phone calls, additional beverages, bar and housekeeping tips, etc., airport departure taxes ($ 30 departing Cuba), U.S. passport fees, meals or accommodations outside of Cuba, and other fees not listed in the program. Cost estimates are as of March, 2018 and are subject to change.

Flights
We fly directly between the U.S. and Havana, Cuba on U.S. based commercial airlines. As of early 2018, flight schedules and costs are unknown. We will provide all of the information necessary to make booking these flights simple & secure. Most direct departures to Cuba are from south Florida. Direct departures from JFK and Newark are possible, and flights from Philadelphia, Baltimore and various other cities with connections in Florida are widely available. Current round – trip airfare between JFK and Havana starts at $ 325 per person (not included).

Payment
Regarding payment for the land portion of the tour, a $ 700.00 deposit is due as soon as possible to reserve space on these programs. This can be paid by wire transfer, check or money order payable to:

New Jersey Audubon
600 Route 47 North
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
609-400-3852
Please do not write Cuba on the check memo.

Balance Payment and cancellation and refund policy *
Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure or by October 5, 2018. You will receive a detailed receipt/invoice following receipt of your deposit and reservation form. All cancellations must be done in writing and are effective upon receipt in the CCT office. Should it become necessary for you to cancel, all payments will be refunded after a deduction of our cancellation fee outlined below:

More than 90 days prior to the tour………….. $ 150.00 per person (land only)
Fewer than 90 days prior to the tour……….. FULL DEPOSIT
Fewer than 75 days prior to the tour………. NO REFUND (unless we can fill your place)

In the unlikely event that we must cancel the tour, a full refund less a $100.00 processing fee for your license application will be forwarded to you, should cancellation occur after your license has been processed. *Please be aware that the refund policies apply only to the land portion of the trip, and that airlines may have different policies that exist beyond our ability to control. Additional registration fees may apply. As with all international travel programs, we highly encourage trip cancellation and travel insurance policies.

Questions please contact us at travel@njaudubon.org or 609-400-3852

Join Scott Barnes and Linda Mack for a long weekend of great winter birding. It may be cold, but some of the hottest winter birding in the eastern US in early winter is centered around northeastern Massachusetts.  From our base in Amesbury, Massachusetts, we’ll visit a variety of coastal areas where scoters, eiders, loons, “white-winged” gulls, Razorbills, and raptors are found, while enjoying the quintessential rocky coastlines and scenic harbors emblematic of New England.  In some years, the birding is spiced with an unexpected alcid or two, higher than normal numbers of Rough-legged Hawks, or owls, or Northern Shrikes. We;ll keep our ears open for special rarities inthis well-covered area where unusual birds are often found.

PACE, WEATHER, AND TRAVEL CONDITIONS:

Our days in the field usually begin about 7:00 a.m. and will end about 6:00 p.m. The trips involve easy walking on flat ground and some moderately strenuous hikes on hilly terrain, depending on the habitat focus of the tour.

DATES:

February 16 to 19, 2018 

TOUR SIZE:

Travel during these tours will be in vans, with no more than 7 participants plus a leader in one “12 person” van. Tour size is limited to 12 participants.
All weekend getaways include transportation by van from New Jersey.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Additional information about the tour, with specific meeting times, a list of participants, addresses of motels, lists of things to bring, a reading list, a list of probable/possible birds, further information about weather, dress, etc., will be mailed to all participants well in advance of the tour.

PRICE:

The price for the four-day/three night weekend is $599 per person, based on double occupancy.

Single supplement (if you request single occupancy, or we are unable to locate a suitable roommate for you) is $109.

A deposit of $50, along with a completed registration form, will secure your space.
Final payment is due 30 days prior to departure date. See individual tour descriptions above for details on each tour.

PRICE INCLUDES:

Round trip van transportation from Bernardsville, NJ to Amesbury, Massachusetts, three nights’ accommodations, tour leadership and entrance fees.

TOUR LEADERS:

Scott Barnes:

Scott Barnes is Bird Programs Director for NJ Audubon’s “All Things Birds” and Assistant Director of Eco-Travel. He has led birding trips to the Adirondacks and Delmarva regions for over 15 years.

Linda Mack:

Linda Mack is an Associate Naturalist, Eco-Tour leader, and board member with NJ Audubon. Linda also has many years experience birding New York, Delaware and Virginia.

If you have specific questions about the weekend van tour itineraries, please contact Scott Barnes directly at Plainsboro Preserve, 609-897-9400, or by email at scott.barnes@njaudubon.org

SEND DEPOSITS & OTHER PAYMENTS TO:

NJ Audubon Eco-Travel
c/o Center for Research and Education
600 Route 47 North
Cape May Court House, NJ  08210

Please make checks payable to New Jersey Audubon

OR

by email to travel@njaudubon.org

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Late autumn is a wonderful time to visit the bird-rich Delmarva Peninsula.  We’ll visit Bombay Hook and Prime Hook NWR’s in Delaware where huge flocks of waterfowl reside, Bald Eagles hunt, and late-season migrants such as pipits, larks, and perhaps a longspur may be found.  From our base in Chincoteague, Virginia, we’ll spend two days birding Virginia’s Eastern Shore at places like Kiptopeke State Park and Chincoteague NWR.  Kiptopeke is strategically situated at the bottom of the Delmarva Peninsula and funnels migrants just like Cape May.  We should expect to see a large variety of waterbirds, raptors, Brown-headed Nuthatch, and perhaps a rarity or two.  Previous trips have recorded such goodies as Eurasian Wigeon, American White Pelican, Swainson’s & Rough-legged Hawks, Sandhill Crane, Bar-tailed Godwit, White-winged Dove, Western Kingbird, Cave Swallow, and Yellow-headed Blackbird, among others.  Expect approximately 140 species of birds, plus the Chincoteague ponies, Sika Deer, other mammals, and late-season butterflies and odes.

Pace, Weather and Travel Conditions:

Our days in the field usually begin at 7:00am and end about 6:00pm.  The activity level of this tour is “Easy.”  A relaxed tour with low activity. Daily walks include walking relatively short distances over level terrain or paved walkways. Tour involves mostly van travel, with stops at various sites. Minimal steps. Free time to relax between morning and afternoon outings.

TOUR SIZE:

Travel during these tours will be in vans, with no more than 7 participants plus a leader in one “12 person” van. Tour size is limited to 12 participants.

PRICE: Cost for the tour is $649 per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement (if you request single occupancy, or we are unable to find you a suitable roommate) is $109.  Price includes round-trip van transportation from NJ to Virginia, three nights lodging, tour leadership, and entrance fees.  Meals are not included.  A deposit of $50 will hold your place until Oct 8, 2019 when full payment becomes due.

Send Deposits and Other Payments To:

NJ Audubon Eco-Travel c/o Center for Research and Education 600 Route 47 North Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
Phone: 609-400-3852

Please make checks payable to New Jersey Audubon

OR

By email to travel@njaudubon.org

Additional information about the tour, with specific meeting times, a list of participants, addresses of motels, lists of things to bring, a reading list, a list of probable/possible

TOUR LEADERS

Scott Barnes:

Scott Barnes began birding in the mid-1980’s and has been an avid naturalist ever since.  Encouragement and learning came from his parents and many birders, including members of the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club and staff of New Jersey Audubon.  An interest in travel and natural history has led him from the Bering Sea to the desert southwest to the tropics of Central America in search of birds and other wildlife. Scott compiles the Sandy Hook Christmas Bird Count, served for thirteen years on the New Jersey Bird Records Committee, leads on See Life Paulagics boat trips, and is an eBird reviewer for NJ. He is the assistant director of the NJ Audubon Travel Program.  Scott has led NJ Audubon tours in 23 states in the U.S., and Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, and Trinidad & Tobago.  Scott has led two previous tour to Utah and Idaho.

Linda Mack:

Linda Mack’s interest in birding began more than thirty years ago on a Cape May Weekend and she has been hooked ever since.  She served as a member of New Jersey Audubon’s Board of Directors for fourteen years and is an Associate Naturalist for All Things Birds.  She is a past President, Program Chair, and Conservation Chair for Monmouth County Audubon Society and currently serves as a voting member of the New Jersey Bird Records Committee. Linda has traveled extensively throughout North America and to Trinidad & Tobago, Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, and Panama in Central America. Her infectious enthusiasm and willingness to share knowledge are well known.  She has co-led tours to 22 states in the U.S. and is a regular leader on long weekend trips to coastal Massachusetts, the Adirondack Mountains, and Bombay Hook.

WINTER NEW ENGLAND VAN TOUR

Friday February 14—Monday February 17, 2020

It may be cold, but some of the hottest winter birding in the eastern U.S. in winter is centered around northeastern Massachusetts.  From our base in Amesbury, Massachusetts, we’ll visit a variety of coastal areas where scoters, eiders, loons, “white-winged” gulls, Razorbills, and raptors are found, while enjoying the quintessential rocky coastlines and scenic harbors emblematic of New England.  In some years, the birding is spiced with an unexpected alcid or two, higher than normal numbers of Rough-legged Hawks, or owls, or Northern Shrikes and winter finches. We’ll keep our ears open for special rarities in this well-covered area where unusual birds are often found.

Pace, Weather, and Travel Conditions:

Our days in the field usually begin about 7:00 a.m. and will end about 6:00 p.m. The trips involve easy walking on flat ground and some moderately strenuous hikes on hilly terrain, depending on the habitat focus of the tour.

Tour Size:

Travel during these tours will be in a 12-passenger van. Tour size is limited to 7 participants.

Price:  The cost of this 4 day/3 night weekend van trip is $679/person, based on double occupancy.  A single supplement (payable if you request single occupancy or if we cannot find you a suitable roommate) is $199. The price includes round-trip van transportation between Bernardsville and Massachusetts; trip leadership, entrance fees, and three nights lodging.  It does not include meals.

A deposit of $50/person, along with a completed registration form, will hold your place until January 10, 2020 when full payment becomes due.

Send Deposits and Other Payments To:

NJ Audubon Eco-Travel
c/o Center for Research and Education
600 Route 47 North
Cape May Court House, NJ  08210

Please make checks payable to New Jersey Audubon

OR

By email to travel@njaudubon.org

Additional information about the tour, with specific meeting times, a list of participants, addresses of motels, lists of things to bring, a reading list, a list of probable/possible birds, further information about weather, dress, etc., will be mailed to all participants well in advance of the tour.

TOUR LEADERS

Scott Barnes began birding in the mid-1980’s and has been an avid naturalist ever since. Encouragement and learning came from his parents and many birders, including members of the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club and staff of New Jersey Audubon. An interest in travel and natural history has led him from the Bering Sea to the desert southwest to the tropics of Central America in search of birds and other wildlife. Scott compiles the Sandy Hook Christmas Bird Count, served for thirteen years on the New Jersey Bird Records Committee, leads on See Life Paulagics boat trips, and is an eBird reviewer for NJ. He is the assistant director of the NJ Audubon Travel Program. Scott has led NJ Audubon tours in 24 U.S states; and Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Ian Segebarth

GENERAL INFORMATION

Virtually all monarch butterflies found east of the Rocky Mountains in the US and Canada migrate to central Mexico in the autumn.  Here they cluster by the millions in just a few small patches of high altitude mountain forest within the Transvolcanic Mountain Range, west of Mexico City.

Many thousands of Monarch butterflies pass through Cape May each autumn on a migratory journey.  Weighing just ½ gram, they must navigate over 2,000 miles to the forested mountains of central Mexico.  Many perish along the way.  Once in Mexico, these seemingly fragile butterflies while away the winter, awaiting spring to return to the U.S. and Canada.  On some unknown cue in March, they begin the journey north, mating along the way.  Females lay their eggs on milkweed plants growing in northern Mexico or the extreme southern U.S.  Their offspring repopulate much of temperate North America where two or three non-migrating generations occur during the warmer months.  Then in autumn, the migration begins again, with Monarchs heading to the same areas where their great-great grandparents spent the previous winter.

Ian Segebarth

Join Mark Garland, Director of the Cape May Monarch Monitoring Project, for a visit to three of the Reserves where astounding numbers of wintering monarch butterflies may be seen.  Along the way get a taste of the history and culture of Mexico.

TOUR SIZE:  This tour is limited to 14 participants.

ACTIVITY LEVEL: This is an active adventure in high-altitude conditions (over 10,000 feet). Participants should be in good health and able to hike comfortably at high elevation for a distance of 2-3 miles to the colony site and then back the same way (could be around 5 miles of hiking in one day). Typically, the hike takes between one and two hours, but the colony site varies throughout the season, so hiking times and distances may vary.  There will be oppor-tunities to hire a horse (at a nominal additional cost) for the trail to one or more of the reserves.

PACE, WEATHER, AND TRAVEL CONDITIONS: The focus of the tour will be on the monarchs, but we will have time for birding, botany, and photography. All accommodations are at standard hotels or lodges, with each room having private baths. Please note this is a non-smoking tour.

Ian Segebarth

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Additional information about the tour, with specific meeting times, a list of participants, addresses of motels, lists of things to bring, etc. will be mailed to all participants well in advance of the tour.

DATES:  Friday, February 21 to Thursday, February 27, 2020.  Optional pre-trip extension Tuesday, February 18 to Friday, February 21.

PRICE:  $3,295/person, based on double occupancy.  Single supplement (payable if you request single occupancy, or if we are unable to find you a suitable roommate) is $495.  Price for the pre-trip extension is $1,995/person, based on double occupancy, with $165 single supplement.

A deposit of $500 will hold your space until November 1, 2019 when full payment is due.

PRICE INCLUDES: Professional guide services are included for the duration of the tour. This tour also includes six nights of accommodation and all meals, from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 7. The cost of all ground transportation, airport transfers on tour beginning and end dates, and entrance fees, are included. Transportation to/from Mexico City at the start/end of the tour is not included.

Pre-trip extension includes 3 nights lodging, 5 meals, transportation, sightseeing and admission fees for Chapultepec Park and guided tour of San Juan Teotihuacan, as well as a guided walking tour through the historic district of Mexico City, including the Metropolitan Cathedral, National Palace and Templo Mayor ruins and museum.

SEND DEPOSITS AND OTHER PAYMENTS TO:

NJ Audubon Eco-Travel
c/o Center for Research and Education
600 Route 47 North
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
Phone: (609) 400-3852
Please make checks payable to New Jersey Audubon

OR

by email to travel@njaudubon.org
Call 609-400-3852 with questions.

RESPONSIBILITY:  The New Jersey Audubon Society and Holbrook Travel, as tour operator, do not act as an agent for any person or firm providing transportation, accommodations, or services on the tour; and accept no responsibility for any loss, damage, expense, injury or claim arising from any defect in any vehicle, conveyance, or accommodation provided by any such person or firm.  Neither shall the New Jersey Audubon Society or Holbrook Travel be held responsible for any loss or delay caused by changes in transportation services, strikes, illness, weather, or other cause.  We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance to protect yourself.

TERMS:  The New Jersey Audubon Society reserves the right to alter itinerary or arrangements, if necessary, without penalty; and to prorate any increases or decreases in trip price caused by such alterations; and to cancel the tour at any time prior to departure, with full refund as settlement to tour participants.

REFUND POLICY:  For cancellations more than 95 days before the starting date of the trip, deposits will be returned less a $150.00 service charge.  For cancellations made 94 days or less before the starting date of the trip, 100% of the program price is forfeited.  No refunds will be made to no-shows or for any unused portion of the tour, unless arranged prior to departure date.  All cancellations must be in writing and are presumed final.

TOUR LEADER

Mark Garland is a naturalist based in West Cape May.  He previously worked as Senior Naturalist for NJ Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory, and currently serves as Director of NJA’s Monarch Monitoring Project.  Mark has been studying monarch butterfly migration for over 25 years, and in 1995 he founded an ongoing study of monarch migration at Cape Charles, Virginia.  Mark has led over 200 nature tours to various destinations around the world; in 2018 he led the NJ Audubon’s trip to Mexico for wintering monarchs.  In 2019 he received the Paul Bartsch Award for Distinguished Contributions to Natural History.

Reddish Egret - Clay Taylor

The Ultimate South Texas Tour
The Gulf Coast, Lower Rio Grande Valley & Hill Country
March 26-April 4, 2020

GENERAL INFORMATION: 

Experience an amazing blend of Mexican specialties, spring migration, coastal treasures, and endangered species at one of the continent’s most popular birding destinations. We’ll be there at the peak time for diversity, when an overwhelming abundance of migrants mix with the many tropical species found nowhere else in the United States. Over 200 species are likely on this trip through diverse habitats like barrier beaches, tall-grass savannah, native palm trees and hill country. And to top it off, one or more incredible Mexican rarities show up almost every year.

We’ll start off along the Gulf Coast, an area that hosts the rare Whooping Crane and the largest raptor migration in the United States, involving hundreds of thousands of birds. A wide selection of waterfowl, shorebirds, and waders will also add to the excitement, with incredible views of Roseate Spoonbill, Reddish Egret, and much more. Migrant traps along the coast may also turn up songbirds whose movements are already underway. Our passage inland on the way south to the Valley will provide an opportunity for a variety of different species and for the study of unique raptors like Crested Caracara. We will keep our eyes open for the breathtaking beauty of a Vermillion Flycatcher or a hard-to-find Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, the unbelievable sight of hundreds of American White Pelicans wheeling through the sky, and common migrants like the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.

Green Jay – Brett Ewald

Entering the Lower Rio Grande Valley is like stepping into another birding world, with tropical species at many locations. We will be greeted by Plain Chachalacas, Green Jays, Chihuahuan Ravens, and Great Kiskadees while searching for gems like Hook-billed Kite, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Ringed Kingfisher, Least Grebe, Aplomado Falcon, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Tropical Parula, White-collared Seedeater, Olive Sparrow, and so many more!! And the number of Mexican rarities to grace this region is phenomenal, with unbelievable sightings such as Crane Hawk, Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush, and White-throated Robin, and the likes of Blue Mockingbird, Green-breasted Mango, Slate-throated Redstart, and Golden-crowned Warbler recorded in recent years.

Great Kiskadee Flycatcher – Brett Ewald

We’ll finish our trek in the Texas Hill Country, a unique habitat that hosts the endangered Black-capped Vireo and Golden-cheeked Warbler – the only place in the world this species nests. While here, where East meets West, we’ll encounter another suite of species, including Yellow-throated Vireo, Painted Bunting, Canyon Wren, and more, and may have a chance to witness millions of Mexican Free-tailed bats as they exit a cave.  This is a trip that a birder will treasure for a lifetime!

The tour starts/ends in Corpus Christi, Texas. Additional information about the tour, with specific meeting times, accommodations, lists of things to bring, a reading list, further information about weather, dress, and so forth, will be mailed to all participants well in advance of the tour.

Long-billed Curlew – Brett Ewald

 

TOUR SIZE: This tour is limited to 6 participants.

ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate. This tour has been given an activity level of Moderate. It is considered a more active tour with daily intermediate to long-distance walking, usually on flat, smooth terrain. It also involves a water crossing over intercoastal waters, with the possibility of moderate seas for a short duration. Those with physical limitations should take these factors into consideration or contact the tour leader for details.

PACE, WEATHER, AND TRAVEL CONDITIONS: The focus of the tour will be birds and scenery, but we will have time for other wildlife, botany, and photography. Ground transportation will be in a 15 person van. All accommodations are at standard hotels or lodges, with stays of one, two, or three nights each, with each room having private baths. This is a non-smoking tour. Expect a warm to hot climate, depending on current weather systems, with daily high temperatures usually in the 60s to 80s, with a chance at the 90s in the Valley. Nighttime lows are usually in the 50s or 60s, with the 40s possible in the Hill Country. Rain is possible throughout, but generally scarce. The pace is relaxed, with some long days, and some hikes of one-two miles on easy to moderate terrain (a couple woodland trails with exposed roots and uneven ground). Several days will have long drives (2.5 to 3 hours) to reach the next birding area or return to Corpus Christi.

DATES: Wednesday, March 26 to Sunday, April 4, 2020

PRICE:The cost for the trip is $3,295.00 per person, based on double occupancy. The single supplement (should you request single occupancy, or we are unable to find you a roommate) is $500.00

PRICE INCLUDES: Professional guide services are included for the duration of the tour. This tour also includes eleven nights of accommodation and all meals, from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 12. The cost of all entrance fees, including a boat trip into coastal marshes and access to the King Ranch are included. Transportation to/from Corpus Christi is not included.

RESPONSIBILITY:

The New Jersey Audubon Society, as tour operator, does not act as an agent for any person or firm providing transportation, accommodations, or services on the tour; and the Society accepts no responsibility for any loss, damage, expense, injury or claim arising from any defect in any vehicle, conveyance, or accommodation provided by any such person or firm.  Neither shall the New Jersey Audubon Society be held responsible for any loss or delay caused by changes in transportation services, strikes, illness, weather, or other cause.  We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance to protect yourself.

TERMS:

The New Jersey Audubon Society reserves the right to alter itinerary or arrangements, if necessary, without penalty; and to prorate any increases or decreases in trip price caused by such alterations; and to cancel the tour at any time prior to departure, with full refund as settlement to tour participants.

 

REFUND POLICY:

For cancellations more than 60 days before the starting date of the trip, deposits will be returned less a $50.00 service charge.  Cancellations made 60 days or less before the starting date of the trip will be charged $250.00, unless the space can be filled (in which case the $50.00 service charge would apply).  Deposits are non-transferable from tour to tour.  If cancellations take place after hotels and vans have been booked and other services contracted for, hotel, van rental and other service policies will determine what portion, if any, of payments are recoverable.  No refunds will be made to no-shows or for any unused portion of the tour, unless arranged prior to departure date.  All cancellations must be in writing and are presumed final.

SEND DEPOSITS AND OTHER PAYMENTS TO:

NJ Audubon Eco-Travel
c/o Center for Research and Education
600 Route 47 North
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
Phone: (609) 400-3852
Please make checks payable to New Jersey Audubon

OR

by email to travel@njaudubon.org
Call 609-400-3852 with questions.

TOUR LEADER

Brett Ewald is the Program Director of New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory, facilitating the appreciation and understanding of birds and nature through their full schedule of walks, workshops, presentations, and research. He has been enthralled with birds for over 35 years, specializing in migration and distribution patterns, including as Director of the Hamlin Beach Lakewatch for Braddock Bay Raptor Research in New York. These endeavors have taken him from the mountains of New Mexico to the beaches of New Jersey – including a stint (no pun intended) as the Cape May hawkwatch counter in 1990. For sixteen years, he was the owner and guide for Lakeshore Nature Tours, focusing on the birdlife of North America at the premier destinations, from the Arctic Ocean in Alaska to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas (including multiple tours to Monhegan Island). He currently resides in Cape May and shares his favorite moments with his wife, Sheryl, and their energetic companion, Neah Bay, a Treeing Walker Coonhound. He looks forward to putting his knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to work for you.

Upland Sandpiper - Linda Mack
Stilt Sandpiper - Linda Mack

Southwestern Louisiana:
Cheniers, Cypress Swamps, and Cameron Parish
April 22-29, 2020

 

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Coastal Louisiana offers marvelous spring birding without the crowds of the nearby Upper Texas Coast.  Our trip will sample some of the many interesting habitats found here, including a visit to the Atchafalaya Swamp—one of the largest intact bottomland swamps in the nation, coastal prairies and rice fields that teem with ducks, herons, shorebirds, and terns; and coastal cheniers—oak woodlands along the Gulf of Mexico that can be loaded with colorful warblers and other Neotropic migrants.  Birds we’ll do our best to see include Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Reddish Egret, Swallow-tailed & Mississippi Kites, King Rail, Purple Gallinule, Snowy & Wilson’s Plovers, Long-billed Curlew, Hudsonian Godwit, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Sandwich Tern, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Cave Swallow, Swainson’s & Kentucky Warblers, Bachman’s Sparrow, and Painted Bunting.  This tour has only two hotel changes.

ACTIVITY LEVEL

This tour has been evaluated as “Easy” with easy walking on flat ground.

 PACE, WEATHER, AND TRAVEL CONDITIONS:

Our days in the field usually begin about 7:00 a.m. and will end no later than 6:00 p.m.  The trip involves easy walking on flat ground.

Temperatures will be warm to hot, with high humidity.  Expect a temperature range from lows in the mid-50’s to highs in the mid-70’s.  Rain or thunderstorms are always possible, so bring a poncho or rain jacket.  Biting insects such as mosquitoes and no-see-ums may be present.

TOUR SIZE:
Travel during this tour will be in vans, with no more than 7 participants plus a leader in one “12 person” van.  Tour size is limited to 12 participants.

Additional information about the tour, with specific meeting times, a list of participants, addresses of motels, lists of things to bring, a reading list, a list of probable/possible birds, further information about weather, dress, etc., will be mailed to all participants well in advance of the tour.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - Linda Mack
Mississippi Kite - Linda Mack

DATES: Wednesday April 22, 2020 (meet at our hotel in Lafayette at 6:30 p.m.) to Wednesday April 29, 2020 (flights home anytime that day).

PRICE: Cost for this tour is $2,195 based on double occupancy; single supplement $375.  A deposit of $500 will hold your place until February 21, 2020 when full payment becomes due.

PRICE INCLUDES:

Hotel accommodations for seven nights, tour leadership, ground transportation while in Louisiana, ferry fees, and entry fees.  It does not include meals or airfare to/from Lafayette.

SEND DEPOSITS & OTHER PAYMENTS TO:

NJA Eco-Travel,
c/o Rene’ Buccinna,
600 Route 47 North,
Cape May Court House NJ 08210

OR

By email to travel@njaudubon.org
tel. 609-400-3852.
Please make checks payable to New Jersey Audubon.

TOUR LEADERS

Scott Barnes began birding in the mid-1980’s and has been an avid naturalist ever since. Encouragement and learning came from his parents and many birders, including members of the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club and staff of New Jersey Audubon. An interest in travel and natural history has led him from the Bering Sea to the desert southwest to the tropics of Central America in search of birds and other wildlife. Scott compiles the Sandy Hook Christmas Bird Count, was chair of the New Jersey Bird Records Committee, on which he served for thirteen years, a trip leader on See Life Paulagics boat trips in the Mid-Atlantic, and is an eBird reviewer for NJ. He is the assistant director of the NJ Audubon Travel Program. Scott has led NJ Audubon tours in 23 states in the U.S., and Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Linda Mack’s interest in birding began more than twenty-five years ago on a Cape May Weekend and she has been hooked ever since. She served as a member of New Jersey Audubon’s Board of Directors for fourteen years and is an Associate Naturalist for All Things Birds. She is a past President, Program Chair, and Conservation Chair for Monmouth County Audubon Society and currently serves as a voting member of the New Jersey Bird Records Committee. Linda has traveled extensively throughout North America and to Trinidad & Tobago, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Panama in Central America. Her infectious enthusiasm and willingness to share knowledge are well known. She has co-led tours to 22 states in the US, and is a regular leader on long weekend trips to coastal Massachusetts, the Adirondack Mountains, and Bombay Hook, as well as the Cape May Fall Weekend.

Sonoita Sunset

SOUTHEASTERN ARIZONA’S SECOND SPRING
July 28-August 5, 2020

From Saguaro-studded deserts to towering mountains covered with conifers, this corner of the state offers great scenery and superb birding during Arizona’s “second spring,” when seasonal rains (mostly in the form of afternoon thunderstorms) turn the landscape green again. Many species of birds found here occur nowhere else in the U.S and our visit coincides with the peak of hummingbird diversity and breeding bird activity. We’ll visit Mount Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains, Madera Canyon, Patagonia, Sonoita Creek, and the Huachuca Mountains. Species we hope to see include Montezuma Quail, Zone-tailed Hawk, Gray Hawk, Elegant Trogon, Violet-crowned, Blue-throated, Magnificent, and possibly White-eared or Lucifer Hummingbirds, Greater Pewee, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Olive Warbler, Painted Redstart, Red-faced & Grace’s Warblers, Rufous-winged & Botteri’s Sparrows, and Varied Bunting. Although the primary focus of the tour will be on birds, we will also take some time to enjoy butterflies, mammals, and botany.

GENERAL INFORMATION: 

Our days will begin early (around 6 am) and will end about 5:00 pm. On most days lunches will be in the field, and we will provide ample opportunity to shop at grocery stores the night before. We may also beat the heat on a few days and lunch indoors during the mid-day hours. Travel during this tour will be in vans, with no more than 7 participants plus a leader in one passenger van and 5 participants plus leader in a mini-van. Tour size is limited to 12 participants.

PACE, WEATHER, & TRAVEL CONDITIONS:
In terms of physical activity, this tour is mildly strenuous, with heat of 100+ degrees likely during the middle of the day and dry/dusty conditions. We will spend a fair amount of time walking, often over uneven terrain and on steep slopes. Early starts are mandatory to see birds and wildlife before the temperature rises; we may take long lunches, bird at shaded hummingbird feeders, or nap at our hotel during the mid-day heat. Although our itinerary minimizes our exposure to the worst of the elements, this tour is more physically demanding than some other trips.

Spotted Owls

DATES: Tuesday July 28, 2020 (tour starts at 6:30 PM in our hotel) to Wednesday August 5, 2020 with your flights home any time that day. Tour starts and ends in Tucson.

Varied Bunting

 

PRICE: $2,975 per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement (if you request single occupancy, or we are unable to find you a suitable roommate) is $455.

PRICE INCLUDES:
Hotel accommodations for 8 nights, tour leadership, ground transportation while in Arizona, federal permits, and entrance fees to all areas on the tour. It does not include meals. Airfare from New Jersey to Tucson is not included.

Broad-billed Hummingbird
Broad-billed Hummingbird
White-eared Hummer
White-eared Hummer
Mt. Lemon
Mt. Lemon

TOUR LEADERS

Scott Barnes began birding in the mid-1980’s and has been an avid naturalist ever since. Encouragement and learning came from his parents and many birders, including members of the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club and staff of New Jersey Audubon. An interest in travel and natural history has led him from the Bering Sea to the desert southwest to the tropics of Central America in search of birds and other wildlife. Scott compiles the Sandy Hook Christmas Bird Count, was chair of the New Jersey Bird Records Committee, on which he served for thirteen years, a trip leader on See Life Paulagics boat trips in the Mid-Atlantic, and is an eBird reviewer for NJ. He is the assistant director of the NJ Audubon Travel Program. Scott has led NJ Audubon tours in 23 states in the U.S., and Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Linda Mack’s interest in birding began more than twenty-five years ago on a Cape May Weekend and she has been hooked ever since. She served as a member of New Jersey Audubon’s Board of Directors for fourteen years and is an Associate Naturalist for All Things Birds. She is a past President, Program Chair, and Conservation Chair for Monmouth County Audubon Society and currently serves as a voting member of the New Jersey Bird Records Committee. Linda has traveled extensively throughout North America and to Trinidad & Tobago, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Panama in Central America. Her infectious enthusiasm and willingness to share knowledge are well known. She has co-led tours to 22 states in the US, and is a regular leader on long weekend trips to coastal Massachusetts, the Adirondack Mountains, and Bombay Hook, as well as the Cape May Fall Weekend.

Activity Levels Defined

Be Prepared!

In addition to being properly prepared for the trip in terms of attire and optical equipment, for maximum enjoyment of any Eco-Travel tour, you should be properly prepared for the activity level of the tour. We have developed the following logos and descriptions for use to define the activity level of each of our tours. Please make sure your tour selection matches your expectations in terms of daily activity. For instance, if you are a recreational birder who enjoys short walks, or are not capable of hiking, then a tour listed as “Moderate” or “Active” is not for you. However, if you enjoy long hikes in more remote areas, then you should focus on our “Active” tours. In all cases, please contact us if you have any questions regarding the activity level for any tour.

Easy:

A relaxed tour with low activity. Daily walks include walking relatively short distances over level terrain or paved walkways. Tour involves mostly van travel, with stops at various sites. Minimal steps. Free time to relax between morning and afternoon outings.

Moderate:

A more active tour with daily intermediate- to long-distance walking on sloping or uneven terrain, and/or climbing stairs. Includes several long field days, with many lunches in the field. Those with physical limitations should take this into consideration, or contact the tour leader for details.

Active:

An intensive tour with long-distance, sometimes strenuous hiking most days. Participants should be physically fit.

Eco-Travel Policies

Be sure to read and understand the following New Jersey Audubon Society Eco-Travel Policies before booking a trip with us.

Click Here to download our policy document in PDF format.

PARTICIPATION

Participants in NJ Audubon Eco-travel are expected to understand and accept the conditions covering tour price, refund policy, responsibility, and terms as outlined in the tour information. By registering, participants affirm that they have read the itinerary and are in general good health and are physically able to keep up with the group in the ordinary course of field activities. Participants accept as their personal risk the hazards of participation inherent in field activities, and will not hold the New Jersey Audubon Society or its tour leaders responsible for same.

NJ Audubon reserves the right, at the sole discretion of the tour leader, to ask a participant to leave any group trip at their own expense, if, in the leader’s judgment, that person’s continued participation is detrimental to the overall quality of the tour, to other trip members or to the individual. In such a case, NJ Audubons’ liability would be limited to costs recoverable, if any, by NJ Audubon from vendors and tour operators of unused portions of the tour. We reserve the right to decline the registration of any individual whose previous conduct on a NJ Audubon program has been deemed detrimental.

Minors (children under the age of 18) are welcome as participants on some (not all) of our tours. Minor participants must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Please confirm suitability of the tour for minors with the tour leader before registering.

REGISTRATION

To register for a specific tour, to request detailed itineraries for specific tours, or for additional information, contact:

NJ Audubon ECO-TRAVEL
600 Route 47 North
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
(609) 400-3852
E-mail: travel@njaudubon.org

Click Here to download the Registration Form in fillable PDF format.

Click here to download the Registration Form as a fillable word document

A registration form must be completed in full and signed by the participant (s) for all tours.

All tours require a $500 deposit on registration, with the balance due 60 days prior to the start of the tour for domestic tours, unless otherwise noted in the tour information. For international tours, refer to the individual tour information.

DEPOSITS

Deposits are required to reserve your space, unless otherwise stated in the tour itinerary. All tours (with the exception of weekend van tours) require a $500/person deposit on registration, with the balance due 60 days prior to the start of the tour for domestic tours, unless otherwise noted in the tour information. For international tours, please refer to the individual tour information.

For weekend van tours, the required deposit is $50/person, with the balance due 30 days prior to the start of the tour.

PAYMENT

We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, personal check, or cash as payment for tours.

EXCLUSIONS

The following items are not included in the tour price unless specifically stated in the tour itinerary: Airfare to and from departure city, passports, visas, departure taxes, immunizations, excess baggage charges, optional excursions, telephone calls, alcoholic beverages, laundry, room service, snacks and anything of a purely personal nature, excursions deviating from the scheduled tour, gratuities to non NJ Audubon employees (bus drivers, local guides, tour operators, lodge staff etc.). NJ Audubon employees are unable to accept gratuities.

TERMS

The New Jersey Audubon Society reserves the right to alter itinerary or arrangements, if necessary, without penalty; and to prorate any increases or decreases in trip price caused by such alterations; and to cancel the tour at any time prior to departure, with full refund as settlement to tour participants.

REFUNDS FOR DOMESTIC TOURS

For cancellations more than 60 days before the starting date of the trip, deposits will be returned less a $50.00 service charge. Cancellations made 60 days or less before the starting date of the trip will be charged $250.00, unless the space can be filled (in which case the $50.00 service charge would apply). However, if cancellations made less than 60 days before the start of the tour take place after hotels and vans have been booked and other services contracted for, hotel, van rental and other service policies will determine what portion, if any, of payments are recoverable. No refunds will be made to no-shows or for any unused portion of the tour, unless arranged prior to departure date.
Deposits transferred from tour to tour are subject to service charge schedule for cancellations and are conditional upon available space for tours.
All cancellations must be in writing and are presumed final.

FOR INTERNATIONAL TOURS

Refer to the individual tour information.

IN CASE OF CANCELLATION OF A TRIP BY NJ AUDUBON

Rarely, NJ Audubon Eco-travel programs must be cancelled by us.
We make every effort to avoid this situation. If a trip is in danger of being cancelled, we will notify any participants of that fact two weeks prior to the date final payment for the trip is due.

If NJ Audubon cancels a trip, and has notified participants of the potential cancellation 10 weeks prior to departure, and notifies participants of final cancellation four or more weeks before scheduled departure, our liability is restricted to refunding in full any deposits or payments that have been made to NJ Audubon for the trip.

AIR TRAVEL

Tour participants are required to make arrangements for their own air travel unless this is covered by the tour price. Please do not purchase non-refundable air tickets until assured that the trip will run as planned. We recommend purchasing travel insurance and/or deferring the purchase of airline tickets until the date final payment is due (normally 60 days prior to departure), at which time it will be known whether the trip will run or is in danger of cancellation.

RESPONSIBILITY

New Jersey Audubon, as tour operator, does not act as an agent for any person or firm providing transportation, accommodations, or services on the tour; and the Society accepts no responsibility for any loss, damage, expense, injury or claim arising from any defect in any vehicle, conveyance, or accommodation provided by any such person or firm. Neither shall New Jersey Audubon be held responsible for any loss or delay caused by changes in transportation services, strikes, illness, weather, or other cause. We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance.

Download our TRAVEL POLICIES document in PDF format.