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 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.

Sorry, this trip is full.  We are taking a waiting list

GENERAL INFORMATION

Join Scott Barnes and Linda Mack for a long weekend of great birding and natural history.

The northern Adirondack Mountains provide one of the last, unspoiled wilderness areas in the northeast. Over 6,000 square miles of rugged peaks, rocky slopes, pine/spruce forests, and wetlands are both beautiful and bird-rich. From our base in Saranac Lake, we’ll day trip to nearby bogs, boreal forests, and mountains in search of Black-backed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, Gray Jay, Olive-sided & Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, Mourning Warbler, and “winter” finches.

We’ll also focus on boreal flora, alpine plants, and butterflies like fritillaries, tortoiseshells, and checkerspots. Participants will also have a chance to visit Lake Placid and the Adirondack Interpretive Center at Paul Smith’s.

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.

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.

Dates:

June 15 to 18, 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.

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.

Package includes:

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

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

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

GENERAL INFORMATION

Endless skies, vast expanses of sweeping prairie grasslands, and abundant birdlife (especially in the prairie pothole region) characterize a summer birding trip to this “sleeper” destination.

North Dakota has more National Wildlife Refuges than any other state in the nation and is home to the unique geology and rugged landscape that is the Badlands. Combined with its overall rural landscape, the birding possibilities are limitless. Specialty birds we’ll seek on the trip include Ferruginous Hawk, Sprague’s Pipit, Baird’s Sparrow, and Chestnut-collared Longspur. We’ll also see a variety of waterfowl, raptors, shorebirds, and many species whose breeding range is centered on the prairie pothole region including Sharp-tailed Grouse, American White Pelican, Marbled Godwit, Wilson’s Phalarope, Swainson’s Hawk, and Dickcissel.

Remnant patches of native prairie have an amazing array of wildflowers, and there are interesting butterflies and mammals to see as well. Places we may visit include Horsehead Lake, Long Lake NWR, Lostwood NWR, and Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the Badlands. Tour starts and ends in Bismarck.

Pace, Weather, and Travel Conditions:

This tour has been given an activity level of Moderate. It is considered a more active tour with daily intermediate to long-distance walking, including uneven terrain and hills. Potential for unseasonably hot or cold weather.

Those with physical limitations should take these factors into consideration, or contact the tour leader for details.

Our days in the field will usually begin about 7:00 a.m. and will end about 6:00 p.m. On most days lunches will be in the field (we have coolers for cold food and drinks), and we will provide ample opportunity to get them before the day begins.

The trip involves easy-to-moderate walking over flat and somewhat hilly terrain.

Temperatures will be warm to hot (and dry), though early morning and evening may be cool. Expect a temperature range from approximately 50-90 degrees F. Rain or thunderstorms are a possibility, so rain gear is advised. The sun is very strong, especially at this time of year, so sunscreen and a brimmed hat are advised. Biting insects such as mosquitoes may be present at several locations.

Dates:

Friday July 6, 2018 (meet at our hotel in Bismarck at 6:30 pm) to Saturday July 14, 2018 (flights home anytime)

Tour Size:

Travel during this tour will be in vans, with no more than 6 participants plus a leader in one 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 TBA, but estimated at $2099/person based on double occupancy

Single supplement about $375.

A deposit of $500 will hold your place until May 1, 2018 when full payment becomes due.

Price Includes:

Motel accommodations for 8 nights, tour leadership, ground transportation while in North Dakota, and entrance fees to all areas on the itinerary. It does not include meals or airfare to/from Bismarck.

Send Deposits and Other Payments To:

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

Please make checks payable to New Jersey Audubon

OR

Phone 609-400-3852

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.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Get ready to leave the noise and bustle of everyday life behind as we venture to this picturesque and serene island off the coast of Maine! Its remote location 12 miles offshore and diverse habitats help to make Monhegan one of the top migrant “traps” on the East Coast. Our time will be filled observing some of the incredible array of birds that reside on or visit this island, such as flycatchers, thrushes, vireos, warblers (over 20 species possible), sparrows, finches, and blackbirds.

We will scan the ocean waves for waterfowl, alcids, shearwaters, jaegers, and other seabirds, while raptors pass by in their search for prey on the island. The list of possibilities reads like a checklist, and we’ll search for species such as Northern Gannet, Great Cormorant, Black Guillemot, Manx Shearwater, Wilson’s Storm-Petrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Black-legged Kittiwake, Parasitic Jaeger, Red-necked Phalarope, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Philadelphia Vireo, Connecticut Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Clay-colored Sparrow, and many more!! Regularly sighted vagrants include Western Kingbird, White-eyed Vireo, Dickcissel, Lark Sparrow, Orchard Oriole, Blue Grosbeak, and more. Monhegan has also hosted a stunning list of rarities, topped by the likes of Magnificent Frigatebird, Bridled Tern, Swallow-tailed Kite, Say’s Phoebe, White-winged Dove, Northern Wheatear, Lazuli Bunting, and Lark Bunting!

We will be leaving our vehicles on the mainland and soaking it all in while covering some of the many trails on this small and peaceful island (only 1.7 miles long and .5 miles wide), which includes a fresh water ice pond, nine acre meadow, and the tallest cliffs on the eastern seaboard (180’). Wonderful birding, breathtaking scenery, and an enchanting atmosphere – Monhegan has it all!

The tour starts/ends in Port Clyde, Maine. Besides the spectacular birding, coastal Maine has a natural beauty beyond compare. Monhegan itself has a quaint fishing village and artist’s retreat, with several shops and galleries; it is a favorite tourist day-trip destination in the summer. Maine is also famous for its historical lighthouses, one of which is located right on the island. This tour will truly be a memorable coastal experience!

Dates:

Friday, September 14 to Wednesday, September 19

Activity Level:

MODERATE

Tour Size:

This tour is limited to 10  participants.

Pace, Weather and Travel Conditions:

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 open ocean, with the possibility of rough seas.

Those with physical limitations should take these factors into consideration, or contact the tour leader for details.

The focus of the tour will be birds and scenery, but we will have time for other wildlife, botany, and photography. There is no ground transportation, as we will be walking throughout the tour. All accommodations are at a single inn. Expect a warm to cool climate, depending on current weather systems, with daily high temperatures usually in the 60s and lows in the mid to upper 40s.

The pace is relaxed, with some hikes of one-two miles on easy to moderate terrain (some woodland trails with exposed roots and uneven ground).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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.

PRICE

$1795 based on double occupancy

$580 single supplement (payable if you request single occupancy or if we can not find you a suitable roommate).

A deposit of $500 will hold your place until July 15, 2018 when full payment becomes due.

Price Does Not Include:

Transportation to/from Port Clyde is not included.

For those flying into Portland, there are several options to travel to Port Clyde. For those driving to Port Clyde, safe parking is available at the dock for $7/day.

Price does not include alcoholic beverages, laundry, and items of a personal nature.

Price Includes:

Professional guide services are included for the duration of the tour.

This tour also includes five nights of seaside accommodations at a charming inn. Each room has a private bath. All rooms are furnished with one queen or king bed. Smoking is not permitted inside the building.

Dinner at two of the fine local restaurants is provided (Saturday and Wednesday), as well as a buffet breakfast each morning.

All other meals are the responsibility of the individual tour participants.

The cost of the ferry crossing is included.

Send Deposits and 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

TOUR LEADER

Brett Ewald:

Brett 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, Brett 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. Brett currently resides in Cape May and shares his favorite moments with his wife, Sheryl, and their energetic companion, Neah Bay, a Treeing Walker Coonhound.

Brett looks forward to putting his knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to work for you.

GENERAL:

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.

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.

WHERE TO MEET FOR THE TRIP:

Meet at New Jersey Audubon’s Plainsboro Preserve: at 7:15 am to enable a 7:30 departure.

DIRECTIONS TO PLAINSBORO PRESERVE:

If you are using a GPS device to get there, make sure you enter the following address: 80 Scotts Corner Road, Cranbury NJ 08512.

From US Route 1: Follow Route 1 North or South to the Scudders Mill Road exit in Plainsboro Twp. Take Scudders Mills Road exit. Follow to the traffic light that intersects Scudders Mill and Dey Road (County Route 614). Make a left onto Dey Road. At the first light, make a left onto Scotts Corner Road, the Preserve’s entrance is 1 mile up on the left.

From NJ Turnpike: From exit 8A. When paying toll, stay to the Right. Once through the toll follow signs for South 535 to West 32/130 and Cranbury. At the Traffic light, following a sign with the same info, make a left onto South 535 (Cranbury-South River Rd.) After 0.2 miles, bear Right at the intersection at first light to get onto 32 west (toward South Brunswick). After about 0.7 miles, you will come to a fork in the road, bear Left. You will be going straight over 130 so you will need to be in the “straight only” lane. Crossing over 130 you are now on Friendship Rd. Aftet 3.7 miles you come to a T-intersection with a large Open Space Sign in front of you, turn Right. The Preserve is 0.4 on the right hand side of the road. If you pass Community Park, you have gone too far.

From US Route 130: Follow Route 130 North or South to the intersection of Route 130 and Dey Rd (County Route 614). (There is a traffic light at the intersection). From the North, make a Right onto Dey Rd. From the South, make a left on Dey Rd. Follow Dey Rd to the next traffic light, make a Right onto Scotts Corner Road. The Preserve’s entrance is 1 mile on your Left.

PROVISIONAL ITINERARY:

Friday Nov 9: Our first stop will likely be Bombay Hook Nat’l Wildlife Refuge near Dover, Delaware. The refuge is one of the best on the east coast for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl. Expect to see numbers of Snow Geese, Green-winged Teal, raptors, and late shorebirds. We may find lingering Avocets and perhaps a surprise or two. PLEASE BRING LUNCH WITH YOU FOR FRIDAY; WE WILL SUPPLY COOLERS. Depending on recent sightings and weather, we may also visit other locales in Delaware like Prime Hook NWR or Cape Henlopen State Park. Late afternoon will find us in Chincoteague, Virginia, where we will be based for three nights.

Lodging for all 3 nights: Hampton Inn & Suites, 4179 Main St., Chincoteague Virginia tel. (757) 336-1616

Saturday Nov 10: Our day will be spent exploring Chincoteague NWR, part of the Assateague Island National Seashore. A variety of habitats here include pine woods, freshwater impoundments, dunes, scrub-shrub, saltmarsh, and ocean, which should yield a good diversity of birds. If we’re lucky, large numbers of loons, scoters, and gannets may be winging their way past the beach, and ducks and geese should be plentiful. Brown-headed Nuthatches are resident. Late fall shorebird flocks are sometimes present and include American Oystercatchers, Marbled Godwits, and Western Willets. With some luck, we hope to see Ross’s Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, and perhaps a western vagrant such as a Western Kingbird. There are interesting mammals here too, and we’ll try and find Delmarva Fox Squirrel and the introduced Sika Deer and wild ponies.

Sunday Nov 11: Our agenda will likely be a run down to Kiptopeke State Park and Eastern Shore NWR. Virginia’s rural eastern shore has many lesser-known spots: the region abounds with vast salt marshes, scenic farms, and woodlands, and there are more places to bird than we can visit in one trip. This day should offer us more late fall migrants like waterfowl, raptors, sparrows, blackbirds, and finches. If our visit coincides with a cold front we might have an excellent hawk flight over Kiptopeke that might include numbers of Bald Eagles, Red-shouldered Hawks, and maybe a Golden Eagle.

Monday Nov 12: We’ll check out of the motel this morning and may do a little “clean-up” birding around Chincoteague. We have other possible locations where we might bird, depending on weather and recent sightings, including Assateague National Seashore or Prime Hook NWR. In the early afternoon we will begin the drive back to New Jersey and expect to return to Plainsboro at approximately 7 pm.

WHAT TO BRING:

The weather can be variable during late fall, but temperatures are likely to be cool to cold on this trip. Layers are preferable to adjust to fluctuations in temperature. Bring a windproof jacket, sweater or vest, light gloves, a warm hat, and comfortable walking shoes. Rain gear is also recommended. As for general packing, no suitcases please; a daypack or overnighter should suffice. The leaders will each have telescopes for the use of the group, but you may bring you own scope if you wish. Please let Scott know if you plan on bringing a telescope; because of space limitations in the van we can’t have everyone bring their own scope. The leaders will also have field guides for natural history subjects including birds, botany, and mammals. Other items you may want to bring include a notebook, minor medical supplies, and of course any medicines you might be taking regularly or think you may need during the tour. All rooms have small refrigerators if you wish to bring snacks/drinks, or have dietary restrictions.

MEALS:

We will have breakfast Sat/Sun/Monday at our hotel (full continental hot breakfast). Lunches will be in the field on Sat/Sun, and possibly Monday as well. Dinners will be at restaurants in Chincoteague. Depending on your personal preferences, you may expect to spend $30-50 per day on meals.

TERMS:

NJ 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 30 days before the starting date of the trip, we return deposits less a $25 service charge. Cancellations made 30 days or less before the starting date of the trip incur a penalty charge of $100, unless we can fill the space (in which case the $25 service charge would apply). If cancellations take place after hotels and vans are booked, and other services contracted for, we may incur additional penalties. No refunds made to no-shows or for any unused portion of the tour, unless arranged prior to departure date. All cancellations are presumed final.

LEADERS

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 Delmarva region for fifteen years. Please email Scott directly if you have any specific questions about this tour.

Linda Mack is an Associate Naturalist, Eco-Tour leader, and a former board member of NJ Audubon. Linda also has many years’ experience birding Delaware and Virginia.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Portugal possesses a fantastic diversity of habitats in a relatively small area, so it is easy to visit species-rich areas without the need to travel long distances. Couple this with spring migration and you have a winning combination of birdwatching, nature exploration with great scenery and history. Our explorations will be coordinated through Birds & Nature Tours Portugal, the country’s premier tour company.

We will visit the Tagus Estuary and the Sado Estuary Nature Reserves. These two remarkable protected wetland areas have extensive bird lists that include Greater Flamingo, Glossy Ibis, Squacco and Purple Herons, Black-winged Kite, Little Bustard, Collared Pratincole, Iberian Grey Shrike and Spotless Starling, and an excellent selection of ducks, waders, gulls and terns. The Alentejo region will be next on the itinerary with time spent on the rolling plains of Castro Verde (the home of Great Bustard, Montagu’s Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, European Roller, Calandra Lark, Rufous Bush Robin, Black-eared Wheatear, etc…) and the bluffs and hills of the Guadiana Valley Nature Park, noted for species like Iberian Imperial, Golden and Bonelli’s Eagles, Eurasian Black and Griffon Vultures, Black Stork, Eurasian Eagle Owl, White-rumped Swift, Eurasian Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Blue Rock Thrush and Rock Bunting.

We will also go to the Algarve, a Portuguese region rich in protected wetland areas situated on a major fly-way for migrants from Africa and notable in particular for waders and passerines. Some of the places you will visit, namely the Ria Formosa Nature Park and the Castro Marim Nature Reserve, are unique in Portugal as sites for rare and highly localized species, like Audouin’s and Slender-billed Gulls and Lesser Short-toed Lark.

While birds and birdwatching will be the focus of the tour, we will also take opportunities to learn about Portugal’s biomes and nature as well as visit several cultural sites to get a sense of the country’s history.

DATES:

Tuesday April 17, 2018 to Thursday April 26, 2018 (flights home on April 27)

ACTIVITY LEVEL:

EASY TO MODERATE

TOUR SIZE:

Tour size is limited to 12 participants.

PACE, WEATHER AND TRAVEL CONDITIONS

Portugal’s weather in April is normally very pleasant (60-80 degrees F) with clear skies, but of course it is possible to have rain so being prepared with both sun protection and rain gear will be necessary.

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.

NOTE:

Flights from the eastern US normally leave at night and arrive in the morning; it is highly recommended that you fly to Lisbon on April 15th, arriving in Lisbon the morning of April 16th. There will be an optional city tour on that day. Lodging on April 16th is included in the price (meals on your own).

PRICE:

Cost for this tour is $4,295 per person based on double occupancy.

Single supplement (if you request single occupancy, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate for you) is $550.

A deposit of $500 will hold your place until December 16, 2017 when full payment becomes due.

Price Includes:

Price includes guide fees, airport transfers, ground transport (in a bus with driver), boat trip at Olhão, accommodations (including breakfast), meals (lunches in local cafes and dinners in local restaurants – including wine), free use of optical equipment (quality binoculars and telescopes) and field guides, entrance fees to private or protected areas, participant’s accident insurance and VAT.

Price does not include airfare to/from Lisbon, or items of a personal nature.

TOUR LEADERS:

Dale Rosselet:

Dale Rosselet is NJ Audubon’s Vice President for Education and oversees the organization’s education programs, center operations and eco-travel program. She has extensive experience leading field trips and conducting workshops and has led eco-tours for NJ Audubon for over 20 years. Dale is a New Jersey native, having grown up near the Great Swamp in northern New Jersey and now resides in Cape May County. She has led domestic tours to South Florida and the Dry Tortugas, Texas (Rio Grande Valley and Big Bend area), Washington State, Montana and New Mexico. She has also led tours to Mexico, Churchill and Manitoba, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Panama, Peru, Ecuador and Brazil. In addition to tours for NJ Audubon, she has done extensive traveling throughout the Caribbean and Central America, and birded in Israel and Kenya.

Dale has co-authored several NJ Audubon publications including Wild Journeys: Migration in New Jersey and two teacher education curriculum guides Bridges to the Natural World and New Jersey WATERS: Watershed Approach to Teaching the Ecology of Regional Systems. She co-authored, with her husband Kevin Karlson, Birding by Impression: A Different Approach to Knowing and Identifying Birds (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015).

João Jara:

João Jara was born in Lisbon and studied biology at the Faculdade de Ciências de Lisboa, where he developed his professional career in the pharmaceutical industry as senior manager and director of various multinational companies. With more than 30 years of field experience, João has extensive knowledge about birding in Portugal.

He was a member of the board of SPEA (Birdlife in Portugal), a voting member of the PRC (Portuguese Rarities Committee) from 2005–2011, and chairman of the PRC from 2007–2011.

Author and co-author of articles about birds, João has led many field tours in Portugal and abroad, as well as bird identification courses for SPEA and for his own birding tours company, Birds & Nature Tours Portugal, which he launched in 2008. Besides birds, he has an active special interest in amphibians, reptiles, and fishes. João is fluent in English, French, and Spanish.

DOCUMENTS:

A current U.S. passport valid for 6 months beyond your travel dates is required.

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

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

Sorry, this trip is currently full, but we are taking names on a waiting list

COSTA RICA
February 2 – 13, 2019

GENERAL INFORMATION
Costa Rica is a small Central American country whose natural areas support a dazzling variety of tropical wildlife. Land area is about the same as West Virginia (which is about the same as Vermont & New Hampshire combined), yet the country’s bird list is nearly 900 species. Habitats in Costa Rica include mountain forests (the highest peaks are above 12,000 feet), rain forests, dry forests, mangrove swamps, tropical marshes, and coasts on both the Pacific and the Caribbean. The country’s great species diversity is one benefit of this great habitat diversity.

Costa Rica is also a peaceful country with a social democratic system that provides quality public education, maintains high standards of public health, and offers reliable public utilities to all of its citizens. The country’s tourism infrastructure is excellent. For this trip, our group will stay in comfortable lodges surrounded by excellent natural habitat. All rooms have private hot water bathrooms. Food and water are reliably safe in all tourist areas, and meals are provided throughout the trip. Our group will travel together in a private mini-bus driven by a professional driver (who happens to be an excellent birder and naturalist).

Our goals will be to visit many different habitats and to search for birds and other wildlife while we learn about tropical ecology and conservation. Our schedule is full – days will be filled with birding and other nature explorations – but there will be opportunities to skip some activities to relax around the lodges and/or explore on your own. We have not built time into the schedule for visits to the shops and museums around San José, Costa Rica’s capital, or any other city. Let us know if you’d like to see the city and we can help arrange for an extension of your stay.

This trip is limited to 10 persons.

PACE, WEATHER, AND TRAVEL CONDITIONS
The pace of our tour will be generally moderate, with most field time spent on slow-paced nature walks of two miles or less. We do plan to start very early in the morning many days, as tropical wildlife is most active at dawn and shortly thereafter. Some early morning walks will be optional. We are also likely to offer one or more nocturnal excursions, after dinner, but these too will be optional. Sunrise will be about 5:30 am, sunset about 5:45 pm. Terrain is varied, with steep hills in places and with unpaved trails that can be uneven, rough, muddy, and/or slippery. Participants should be prepared for some time at higher altitudes, with three overnights at about 6500 feet and at least one day trip visiting areas above 10,000 feet.

Weather in Costa Rica varies dramatically with elevation. Lower elevations (La Cusinga, Cerro Lodge, La Isla) can be warm or hot, with highs in the 80s or 90s, lows in the 60s or low 70s. High elevations (Toucanet Lodge) can be chilly at night, the 40s or 50s being average, with highs typically in the 60s or 70s. Rain is possible any day in Costa Rica, but when rains come it’s usually as showers that come and go.

ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate

PRICE: $4,100.00 per person, double occupancy; single supplement (payable if you request single occupancy or if we cannot find you a suitable roommate) is $680.00. A deposit of $500.00 will hold your place until November 2, 2018, when full payment becomes due. Registration must take place before December 2, 2018, but please note that our Costa Rica tours regularly fill months before the registration deadline.

PRICE INCLUDES:

Lodging for 11 nights, meals from breakfast on the first morning (February 3) through breakfast on departure day (February 13), transportation around Costa Rica in a private small bus with professional driver, group activities and admissions, expert leadership, and resource materials. Not included in the cost: round-trip transportation from your home to meeting point at the international airport in San José, Costa Rica, bar beverages, telephone calls, laundry service, gratuities for guide, driver, & lodge staffs, or other items of a personal nature. Tips for the guide and driver are customary in Costa Rica; most travelers choose to offer generous tips.

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 TERMS AND POLICIES:

Air travel: participants are responsible for arranging flights to San José, Costa Rica. We will provide recommendations. United Airlines offers direct flights from Newark to Costa Rica, and other carriers offer connecting service though New York, Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, or Houston.

Cancellation policy: All cancellations are subject to a $50 administrative fee. All other funds will be refunded for cancellations received by October 20, 2018. Cancellations received from October 20, 2018 to January 20, 2019 are subject to cancellation penalties based on whatever non-refundable payments that have been made; these penalties can be over 50%. We may not be able to recover any fees for cancellations received after January 20, 2019. All penalties (except for the $50 administrative fee) for late cancellations will be waived if a replacement is found. This policy is based on our payment schedule for services in Costa Rica. If we can arrange a better refund we will do so, but for all travelers we strongly recommend travel insurance with a trip cancellation option.

Disclaimer: New Jersey Audubon Society, and in-country agency Costa Rica Expeditions, S.A., (its owners, associates, agents and employees) give notice that they assume no responsibility for injury, loss or damage to person or property in connection with any service resulting directly or indirectly from acts of God, detention, annoyance, delays and expenses arising from quarantine, strikes, thefts, pilferage, force majeure, failure of any means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, civil disturbances, government restrictions or regulations, discrepancies or change in transit or hotel service over which it has no control.

New Jersey Audubon Society and Costa Rica Expeditions reserve the right to adjust the U.S. dollar prices without notice, to reflect fluctuations in the Foreign Exchange Markets. Costa Rica Expeditions also reserves the right to withdraw a tour or any part of it, to make such alterations in the itinerary as it deems necessary for the comfort or well-being of the participants and to pass on to tour members any expenditure or losses caused by delays or events beyond its control.

With advance deposit to Costa Rica Expeditions or any of its agents, the depositor therefore agrees to be bound by the above recited terms and conditions.

MEDICAL AND HEALTH
Costa Rica has very good, modern health care, and we have access to 24-hour medical service throughout the trip. Nonetheless, guests on this journey should be in good health and have good mobility. Guests with existing medical conditions should make them known to New Jersey Audubon well before their arrival to Costa Rica, given that guests may be, at some time during their trip, in remote places. Under certain circumstances, evacuation could be prolonged, difficult, expensive or impossible. Guests should take special care. If they feel sick, they should tell us so we can start making arrangements for evacuation should it become necessary.

Leaders on all trips carry a fully stocked first-aid kit. Hospital facilities are very good throughout Costa Rica. New Jersey Audubon Society and Costa Rica Expeditions assume no liability for costs of evacuation or provision of medical care. We strongly recommend that trip participants purchase short-term traveler’s insurance covering baggage, accident/life and trip cancellation.

CONDUCT
New Jersey Audubon Society, in-country tour operator Costa Rica Expeditions, and designated representatives reserve the right to disqualify any person as member of any trip or tour, should such person’s actions or general deportment impede the operation of the trip or the rights or welfare or enjoyment of other members of the trip. Refunds are usually not given under these circumstances. In such extraordinary instances when a refund is granted, it is agreed that a refund based on the actual cost of the unused land services is the limit of New Jersey Audubon’s & Costa Rica Expeditions’ responsibilities.

TOUR LEADERS

Mark Garland lives in Cape May and is an Associate Naturalist for the New Jersey Audubon Society’s Cape May Bird Observatory, where he previously served on staff as Senior Naturalist, a position he also held for the Audubon Naturalist Society. He has led more than forty trips to Costa Rica since 1988, teaming with Charlie Gómez on most. He has led twelve previous Costa Rica trips for the New Jersey Audubon between 2003 and 2016. He has also led Costa Rica trips for the Audubon Naturalist Society, Smithsonian Journeys, and the Massachusetts Audubon Society.

Carlos “Charlie” Gómez is one of Costa Rica’s most highly regarded naturalist guides. He has been leading tours for birding groups for over 30 years, mostly in his home country of Costa Rica, but also in Panama, Nicaragua, Belize, and South America. Before guiding he worked as the Station Manager of the La Selva Field Station, the cornerstone facility of the Organization for Tropical Studies, a consortium of 64 Universities in the U.S., Latin America, and Australia. He also worked as field assistant to ornithologist Gary Stiles, principal author of A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica. He is an expert birder and an exceptionally skilled all-around naturalist.

GENERAL INFORMATION

NOTE: All arrangements are made through Wildside Nature Tours. For more information, or to register, please contact Wildside Nature Tours by phone at 888-875-9453 or their website HERE.  Please be sure you let Wildside staff know that you learned about this tour thru NJ Audubon/Cape May Bird Observatory.

 

Birding, photography, fun and relaxation… all from our 150 foot deluxe riverboat!

The Peruvian Amazon offers amazing opportunities to see fantastic birds, mammals and other great wildlife. We will explore rivers, creeks and forest trails in search of all we can find. We will enjoy multiple excursions by motorized skiff each day, designed to reveal the incredible wildlife that calls the rainforest home and with any luck we’ll spot sloths, monkeys, toucans, macaws, pink dolphins and so much more! Our cruise will also include a couple afternoon lectures on birds, wildlife or photography.

The cuisine onboard is regional and provides a unique and delicious window into local culture. Gain a rare glimpse of how life ‘on the river‘ is lived and experience the magic of the Amazon on this once-in-a-lifetime riverboat adventure.

A host of leaders for your trip will include Kevin Loughlin, bird photographer and owner of Wildside; Edison Buenaño, South America’s top birding guide; Dale Rosselet, New Jersey Audubon’s VP of Education and author/photographer/birder, Kevin Karlson… plus two local naturalist guides.

Pace, Weather and Travel Conditions:

The pace of this tour is easy to moderate. Most birding will be done from motorized skiffs although there will be some walking on rainforest trails which will be uneven and perhaps muddy. Participants must be able to get into and out of small skiffs. Weather will be warm to hot and humid.

Dates:

February 16 to 24, 2019. Tour starts and ends in Lima.
Pre-trip to Lomas De Lachay February 15 to 16, 2019 (optional)
Post-trip to Machu Picchu Ruins 24 to March 2, 2019 (optional)

Activity Level:

EASY TO MODERATE

Tour Size:

This tour is limited to 24 participants

DOCUMENTS

A current U.S. passport valid for 6 months beyond your travel dates is required.

PRICE

Cost from $5500 per person, double occupancy, from Lima, Peru

  • Standard Cabin per person $5500, double occupancy
  • Suite per person $5750, double occupancy

Price based on double occupancy. If a single standard cabin is preferred, we have two single cabins available:

  • Small single cabin with twin bed: $7000
  • Medium single cabin with double bed and small balcony: $7500

Price Includes:

All lodging, meals, guide fees, ground transportation, local flights (LIMA-IQUITOS-LIMA) airport transfers and even laundry on riverboat!

Price does not include:

International airfare, passport fees, visa fees, airport taxes, phone calls, alcoholic or bottled beverages, or anything of a personal nature or not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary.

FEBRUARY 15-16: OPTIONAL DAY TRIP TO LOMAS DE LACHAY AVAILABLE
(Arrival on February 15 with day trip on February 16):

$400 per person, includes meals and added hotel night (shared cost — single room add $80).

Send Deposits and Payments To:

All arrangements are made through Wildside Nature Tours. For more information, or to register, please contact Wildside Nature Tours by phone at 888-875-9453.

Please be sure you let Wildside staff know that you learned about this tour thru NJ Audubon/Cape May Bird Observatory. Or, click here for details, including itinerary, on this tour.

For More Information About NJ Audubon’s Eco-Travel Program, Contact:

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

609-400-3852
or
email travel@njaudubon.org.

TOUR LEADERS

Dale Rosselet:

Dale has been with New Jersey Audubon since 1983. She has worked in the education department as teacher naturalist, director of education, and currently is New Jersey Audubon’s Vice-president for Education. Dale is a New Jersey native, having grown up near the Great Swamp in northern New Jersey, and currently resides with her husband, noted photographer Kevin T. Karlson, in Cape May County.

She has been leading domestic and foreign tours for New Jersey Audubon for the last 25 years. Domestic tours led include South Florida and the Dry Tortugas, Texas (Rio Grande Valley and Big Bend area), Washington State, and Montana. She has also led tours to Churchill and Manitoba, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Panama, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and Mexico.

In addition to the above, Dale is co-author of the NJ Audubon’s teacher education curriculum guides; Bridges to the Natural World, New Jersey WATERS: Watershed Approach to Teaching the Ecology of Regional Systems, and Wild Journeys: Migration in New Jersey.

Kevin T. Karlson:

Kevin T. Karlson is an accomplished birder, professional tour leader, speaker and wildlife photographer who has published numerous articles on bird identification and natural history for an assortment of magazines, journals, calendars and electronic media.  Kevin is a co-author of The Shorebird Guide and has completed a new book with co-author and wife Dale Rosselet for the Roger Tory Peterson Reference series at Houghton Mifflin Co. called Birding by Impression: A Different Approach to Knowing and Identifying Birds.

Kevin Loughlin:

Kevin Loughlin was raised to appreciate nature while exploring the woodlands of Pennsylvania as a child. At age six, during a family trip through the American West, Kevin became fascinated with photography as well seeing the new and different birds throughout North America. Instilled with a love for travel and seeking new, exciting destinations he felt a desire to share his experiences with others and in 1993 Wildside Nature Tours was founded.

Kevin’s photographs and articles have appeared in publications such as Nature Photographer, WildBird, Audubon and Philadelphia Magazines, as well as the National Geographic web site and many natural history books.

Kevin teaches beginning birding and beginning nature photography classes through several adult education venues as well as through seminars and workshops for groups, organizations and schools. Kevin also founded the PA Young Birder’s Club, sharing his love of nature while inspiring kids to get outside.

Kevin has a knack for tailoring each trip to the group’s desires to be sure everyone has a fun and memorable experience!

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

BIRDING IN THE LAND OF LEOPOLD
WISCONSIN IN SPRING/AMERICAN CONSERVATION THEN AND NOW
8 days/ 7 nights

May 21 – 28, 2019
GENERAL INFORMATION
Join Cape May Bird Observatory director, David La Puma, and Distinguished Professor of Wildlife, and Aldo Leopold Institute board member, J. Drew Lanham, on a tour that weaves the conservation ethic of Aldo Leopold into a spectacular tour of the rare birds of Wisconsin. This tour will begin and end in the capital city, Madison, which itself has a rich history of educating some of the greatest minds in modern conservation, including John Muir, and fostering some of the greatest teachers
and leaders such as Aldo Leopold. Aldo would go on to form the forestry and wildlife department at the University of Wisconsin and lay the groundwork for over a century of conservation practice and theory.

We will travel to Leopold’s original shack in Baraboo, Wisconsin, as we listen to the dawn chorus of Neotropical migrants such as the Golden-winged Warbler, Chipping Sparrow and Scarlet Tanager. We will visit the International Crane foundation to witness first-hand the extraordinary work being done to reestablish the Whooping Crane into the Upper Midwest, as well as to protect all species of cranes worldwide. We will then venture out into the field in search of Whooping Cranes in Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, also home to many breeding warblers including Mourning Warbler, and wonderful fire-dependent species such as Red-headed Woodpecker and the federally endangered Karner Blue butterfly. We will traverse the “sand counties” of Leopold’s writings, and discover the state strongholds of Greater Prairie Chickens, Kirtland’s Warbler, and many other sought after species including Henslow’s Sparrows, and Upland Sandpipers.

We will then turn west, to the great bluffs overlooking the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers where we will ponder the skies once darkened by the migration of the Passenger Pigeon. While the pigeon is eerily absent today, we will still notice the many species that do persist in one of the most picturesque regions of Wisconsin, the Driftless area, with air full of songs including some of the most dense populations of Cerulean Warblers in North America. We will return to Madison with many new birds and a heightened appreciation for the conservation efforts of the last century, as well as an understanding of how we, too, can better steward the land for generations of flora and fauna yet to come.

PACE, WEATHER AND TRAVEL CONDITIONS: Late May in Wisconsin is typically cool in the morning (49-60F) and warm during the day (71-80F). Whereas early May averages cloudier, late May is typically clearer and therefore protection from the sun is recommended (i.e. sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, lightweight long sleeves, etc.). Due to the warming temperatures, our trip coincides with the beginning of the thunderstorm season, so while the probability of precipitation is still low, please be prepared for inclement weather with appropriate rain gear and footwear.

Breakfasts will be available at hotels and included in the hotel cost. One dinner and one lunch will be included in the price of the tour. Otherwise we will have coolers in the vans and will make several stops for folks to stock up on lunch items. Dinners will be your responsibility, but we will choose a restaurant each night for whomever wishes to join the group.

Cost: $2,999 per person, double occupancy. Single supplement of $300 is available if requested, or we are unable to find you a roommate.

TOUR SIZE: Limit 10-12 Participants

FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS
Deposit of $500 required to reserve your space. Final payment due 120 days prior to trip departure.

TOUR COSTS INCLUDE
Lodging, transportation while on the tour, and admission to all parks, centers and fee-based stops. Also included are two meals: lunch at The Aldo Leopold Foundation, and a traditional Friday Fish Fry.

PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE: Travel between home and Madison, WI; Trip insurance, alcoholic beverages, phone calls, laundry, any items of a personal nature, anything not specifically mentioned as included.

TRAVEL INSURANCE
We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. In the event that you need to cancel your trip due to medical or other reasons, this insurance may protect you.

ACTIVITY LEVEL: MODERATE
This tour has been listed as Moderate. The trip is considered 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.

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
Reach us by email at travel@njaudubon.org OR by phone: 609-400-3852

TOUR LEADERS

David La Puma is the director of New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory in Cape May Point, New Jersey. David began birding while attending Ithaca College where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies in 1997. In 1998 David traveled to Costa Rica with A. Carl Leopold, son of Aldo Leopold, and his wife Lynn, to work on a tropical forestry reforestation project. Those late- night conversations with Carl and Lynn on the back porch of the remote cabin they lived in provided the foundation for what would become David’s life-long pursuit of conservation-based research. In 2010 David received his Doctorate from Rutgers University where he studied the conservation and management of the Federally Endangered Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow in Everglades National Park. Since then David has held postdoctoral positions with New Jersey Audubon and the University of Delaware, respectively, during which he used weather radar to map stopover habitat used by nocturnally migrating songbirds across the US. During that time David spent two years as a visiting scholar at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he fell in love with the Upper Midwest and especially enjoyed walking in the footsteps of John Muir and Aldo Leopold as well as the many current leaders in conservation and wildlife management.
Prior to joining the Cape May Bird Observatory David worked for Leica Sport Optics where he traveled the country giving presentations and leading field trips for thousands of birders and nature enthusiasts. Of all the places David has visited, the sites hand picked for this tour are some of his absolute favorites.

J. Drew Lanham is a Master Teacher and Distinguished Alumni Professor of Wildlife. A birder since the age of eight, he is a native South Carolinian holding degrees in Zoology (B.A; M.S. Clemson) and a PhD in Forest Resources (Wildlife Ecology – Clemson). Dr. Lanham is a passionate conservation advocate who believes that our efforts to live sustainably with nature must be a blending of head and heart. To that end he attempts to connect conservation through personal story, natural history and relevant issues of the day. He is an active member on several conservation boards including the American Birding Association, BirdNote and the Aldo Leopold Foundation (headquartered in Baraboo, Wisconsin). Drew has a healthy wanderlust and travels extensively to bird and speak on his naturalist’s passions. He’s birded in forty of the fifty states and spent time abroad in South Africa and South America. He is a regular tour leader and speaker at the Biggest Week in American Birding and The Rio Grande Valley Bird Festival. Dr. Lanham is a widely published nature writer and poet whose first solo work, The Home Place-Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature (Milkweed Editions) was published in 2016. Also published in 2016 was his book of poetry titled Sparrow Envy (Holocene Press). Drew’s favorite bird is the next one he sees!

BIRDING THE EDGE:  The Best of ALASKA!
Nome, the Kenai Peninsula & Barrow
June 12-23, 2019

GENERAL INFORMATION

It is best to simply say that Alaska is the ultimate in North American birding. From the sheer number and diversity of species encountered, to the seductive Asian rarities that show up on a regular basis, it is hard to beat for sheer enjoyment. Top it off with spectacular scenery, wildflowers, and sought-after mammals and you have an adventure of a lifetime.

In visiting some of the top birding areas, we’ll experience a wide variety of habitats and ecosystems – spruce/fir forests, rocky headlands and sea cliffs, majestic mountains and open tundra. We’ll be there when the sun-soaked days are chasing away the cold and permafrost of winter – ushering in the multitude of birds that take advantage of the rich environment to breed and raise young: shorebirds displaying over Snowy Owls on the tundra while evading the patrolling jaegers, thousands of seabirds clinging to cliffs overlooking the Gulf of Alaska, ptarmigan hiding among the rock-strewn grasses, warblers hiding in the creekside willows, and more and more!

Nome – Situated on the south coast of the Seward Peninsula, the “Gold Rush” town of Nome provides tourists and birders comfort while reaching one of Alaska’s most rewarding regions. The fact that we’re right along Norton Sound and the Bering Sea is an invitation to do some seawatching and shorebirding for Arctic Loon, Black-headed Gull, Slaty-backed Gull, Aleutian Tern, Bar-tailed Godwit, Wandering Tattler, Red-necked Stint and more. The few roads leading out of town afford easy access to upland tundra and low hills, and more special birds to look for: Willow and Rock Ptarmigan, Pacific Golden-Plover, Gyrfalcon, Rough-legged Hawk, Long-tailed Jaeger, Bluethroat, Northern Wheatear, Arctic Warbler, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, and Golden-crowned Sparrow. This is also the only chance at seeing a Bristle-thighed Curlew, a rare breeder near the end of the Kougarok Rd. We’ll also enjoy the large mammals – Musk Ox, Moose, and Reindeer are possible here.

Kenai Peninsula and Seward – Southeastern Alaska is characterized by the tall spruce and hemlock forests that host a different set of birds, like Chestnut-backed Chickadee, American Dipper, Rufous Hummingbird, Red Crossbill, and Pine Grosbeak. The all-day boat trip to Kenai Fjords National Park and Resurrection Bay is sure to be a highlight of the trip, exposing us to thousands of alcids and kittiwakes, as well as sea mammals and glaciers. Targets here include Pelagic Cormorant, Black Oystercatcher, Black-legged Kittiwake, Thick-billed Murre, Pigeon Guillemot, Parakeet Auklet, Ancient Murrelet, Marbled Murrelet, Kittlitz’s Murrelet, Horned Puffin, Tufted Puffin, Humpback and Orca Whales, Steller’s Sea Lion, and sea otters.

Barrow – This is as far north as you can go! Situated at a point on the coast of the Arctic Ocean, it is more than 300 miles above the Arctic Circle, and has a large native population and culture. The sun doesn’t set here for 67 straight days. The landscape of depressions, lakes and tundra outside the small town is alive with birding opportunities. Two of the main targets here are the endangered Spectacled and Steller’s Eiders – some of the rarest birds of the Far North. We’ll search for nesting Snowy Owls and Pomarine Jaegers amidst displaying Pectoral Sandpipers and Red Phalaropes, and hope for a glimpse of a Polar Bear. Other highlights here might include many other shorebirds, Yellow-billed Loon, Sabine’s Gull, Pomarine Jaeger, and Hoary Redpoll. We’ll spend most of our time birding the roadside, with the occasional jaunt across the wet tundra.

Anchorage –  Our base between exciting jaunts, Alaska’s largest city has birding opportunities of its own. Nestled alongside the Chugach Mts. and Cook Inlet, there are specialties in the parks and lakes close at hand. We’ll take the time to look for Barrow’s Goldeneye, Arctic Tern, Surfbird, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Varied Thrush, Townsend’s Warbler, and White-winged Crossbill. Lake Spenard, right near our hotel, offers an immediate introduction the Alaska birding, and often nesting Red-necked Grebes.

Other Alaska Specialties and Possibilities:

Red-throated Loon                 Pacific Loon                           Red-necked Grebe

Emperor Goose                       Brant                                       Harlequin Duck

Surf Scoter                              White-winged Scoter              King Eider

Common Eider                       Golden Eagle                          Short-eared Owl

Mew Gull                                Parasitic Jaeger                       Northern Fulmar

Sooty Shearwater                    Spruce Grouse                        American Golden-Plover

Buff-breasted Sandpiper         Baird’s Sandpiper                   White-rumped Sandpiper

Whimbrel                                Long-billed Dowitcher           Hudsonian Godwit

Red Phalarope                         Red-necked Phalarope            Common Murre

Marbled Murrelet                    Black Guillemot                      Sandhill Crane

Rufous Hummingbird             Northern Shrike                      Steller’s Jay

Northwestern Crow                Boreal Chickadee                   Olive-sided Flycatcher

Alder Flycatcher                     Pacific Wren                           Gray-cheeked Thrush

Fox Sparrow                           Lapland Longspur                   Snow Bunting

Rusty Blackbird                      Common Redpoll

 

TOUR SIZE: This tour is limited to 6 participants.

ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate. This tour has been given an activity level of Moderate. Although much of it will involve short stops between locations, it is considered a more active tour with several intermediate-distance hikes, at times over uneven terrain. It also involves a day spent on a boat in 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 (such as moose and muskox), botany, and photography. Ground transportation will be in a 15 person van or mini-van, with each participant having a window view. All accommodations are at standard hotels or lodges, with stays of one, two, or three nights each, with each room having private baths. Please note this is a non-smoking tour.

The weather in Alaska in June can be quite variable and unpredictable. We can expect daily highs in the 30°s in Barrow, the 30°s – 50°s at Nome and the 60°s or even higher on the mainland at Anchorage or Seward. The most obvious change will be the amount of daylight – with the sun hardly setting, and not at all in Barrow. Clothing considerations will be an important part of this tour, with highly variable conditions possible and expected. It is important that warm and waterproof clothing and footwear are part of your gear.

The pace is relaxed, with some long days, and some hikes of one-two miles on easy to moderate terrain. Much of the birding on this trip will be under easy conditions, with viewing from the roadsides or near the van. One possible long hike over uneven terrain may take place in Nome in our search for Bristle-thighed Curlew. We will have some long drives in reaching major destinations, but broken up by birding stops.

HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS

Medical facilities/suppliers will not often be readily available, so those taking medications on a regular basis should make sure they have an adequate supply for the entire trip. Please consult your doctor as necessary. Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or any situation where the tour is gathered. Insects, most notably mosquitoes, can be a nuisance as June wears on, some years more than others – appropriate repellent and suitable clothing are the best solutions. Although potentially dangerous, large mammals, such as bear and moose, will hopefully be seen during the course of our Alaska tour; with common sense and awareness, they pose little threat to birders and we will alert you to their possible presence when appropriate.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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

DATES: Wednesday, June 12 to Sunday, June 23, 2019

PRICE: $6495 based on double occupancy; $1350 single supplement (payable if you request single occupancy or if we cannot find you a suitable roommate). A deposit of $950 will hold your place until March 31, 2019 when full payment becomes due.

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 breakfast on Day 2 to dinner on Day 11. The cost of all intra-tour travel (ground transportation, flights to/from Nome & Barrow) and entrance fees, including a boat trip into Northwestern Fjord, are included. Transportation to/from Anchorage at the start/end of the tour is not included.

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, 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.

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. 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.

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.