5 Reminders that Migration is Amazing

Don’t miss Naturalist Journeys’ 5 favorite spring migration trips.

Migration is fascinating! The mass movement of songbirds crossing our hemisphere each spring and fall is the best reminder that nature is amazing. So, take a break and join us to witness the wonders of the natural world.

Hooded Warbler, Naturalist Journeys Stock
Florida: Spring Migration, Water Birds of the Everglades & More
April 10 – 15, 2017

Guide Carlos Sanchez lives in Miami and is excited to explore his incredibly bird-rich backyard with you!

Immerse yourself in the wild side of Florida, far from the tourist-packed theme parks. Nearly a dozen bird species of West Indian origin reach the northern limits of their range here, many of which live nowhere else in the United States. We time our tour with spring migration, sure to add a wide variety of northbound, colorful warblers and charismatic waders to our trip list.

Explore the southern third of the state starting in the Everglades, then move on to the northern Florida Keys before a bit of time in Miami in search of several ABA-countable exotics like Spot-breasted Oriole, White-winged Parakeet, and Red-whiskered Bulbul. Finally, visit a series of well-planned wetlands in Palm Beach for specialties like Wood Stork, Purple Gallinule, Limpkin, and more. We also visit oak-scrub for Florida’s only endemic bird, the Florida Scrub-Jay.

Group Birding Dauphin Island Beach by Peg Abbott
Alabama: Dauphin Island & the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, America’s Amazon!
April 15 – 20, 2017

Dauphin Island is one of North America’s top spring migration destinations. This is where migrants first see land after crossing over the Gulf; a critical rest and rejuvenation stop.

Spot Neo-tropical migrants; 25+ species of warblers, including Swainson’s, Worm-eating, Cape May, Prothonotary and Kentucky; and view water, sea, and shorebirds, including Magnificent Frigatebird, Reddish Egret, Roseate Spoonbill, Tricolored Heron, and Wilson’s, Snowy, and Piping Plovers.

In addition to exploring the island, we cruise the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, so lush it’s called America’s Amazon. Explore bird hotspots like Shell Mounds Park, Cadillac Square, The Goat Tree Reserve, Audubon Bird Sanctuary, the East End, and Airport Marsh, explore off-island at Grand Bay and Splinter Hill Bog — one of the largest pitcher plant bogs in the world, and spend time at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

Guide Andrew Haffenden lives on Dauphin Island; he has terrific local contacts and helps us avoid the crowds. With eight or more on the tour (max is 12), Dodie Logue joins you.

Black-capped Vireo by Tom Dove
Texas Hill Country
April 16 – 21, 2017

Our master guide Bob Behrstock leads this discovery of Texas’ Hill Country, one of America’s best birding destinations. Learn more about geology while exploring the open limestone landscape of the Edwards Plateau region, dissected by beautiful, clear rivers lined by Bald Cypress. On the Rio Frio, in Concan, Texas, we find a rich mosaic of resident avian life making space for a big flow of migrants – pretty amazing! Starting from San Antonio, the wildflower show also commands attention.

We stay at one delightful lodge, so it’s a one-stop, unpack and relax tour, giving us ample time to soak in the area and its array of species and habitats, including Lost Maples State Natural Area and the Rio Frio Bat Cave.

Bob Behrstock is a photographer and writer who has led birding and nature tours for over 30 years … he’s even prepared several family accounts for The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior. Bob’s expertise in birds, butterflies, and damselflies truly makes this a well-rounded tour, and his sense of humor makes it fun.

Here’s a recent blog post of our top-10 reasons to join us in Texas Hill Country.

Elegant Trogon by Tom Dove
Southeast Arizona
April 20 – 28, 2017

We’ve just added this trip to our powerhouse spring repertoire of migration trips. Discover the Sky Island mountain ranges of Southeast Arizona. Enjoy the perfect combination of scenery, biological diversity, and experience, where the mountains rise from the desert and grassland; the elevation changes afford rich biodiversity, rare in a small geographic area.

Timed for spring migration, we watch for spectacular residents like Elegant Trogon, Red-faced Warbler, and Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, which range north from Mexico and Central America.

We also eat well, and have a lot of fun. Visit the Amerind Foundation Museum, Twin Lakes ponds near Willcox, the stunning Chiricahua Mountains, The Nature Conservancy’s Ramsey Canyon Preserve, Whitewater Draw, Madera and Florida Canyons, Kino Springs, Patagonia State Park, and The Paton Center for Hummingbirds, plus spend an evening in historic Bisbee and relax at the wonderful Casa de San Pedro Inn.

Pat Lueders leads this tour, and is joined by Naturalist Journeys’ Owner Peg Abbott and guide Dodie Logue, who live in Portal.

Group Birding Magee Marsh at the Biggest Week in Birding by Dan Donaldson
Ohio: The Biggest Week in Birding
May 7 – 13, 2017

The secret’s out! Northwest Ohio is one of North America’s best spring migration locations, and we’re excited to be a part of it. Enjoy the Biggest Week in American Birding Festival on the teeming shores of Lake Erie where, each spring, migrating songbirds, shorebirds, waders, and raptors pass through by the thousands, en route to Canada.

Unofficially the Warbler Capital of the World, Northwest Ohio is home to 15 Globally Important Bird Areas (IBA). Over 325 species have been recorded here, with daily spring tallies reaching 120 species! Visit Crane Creek, Magee Marsh, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Oak Openings, Marblehead Island, and Black Swamp Bird Observatory, all from your home base at Maumee Bay State Park Lodge.

Guide Dan Donaldson lives in the region and we are fortunate to have him share his contacts and expertise. Your tour includes festival registration so you can enjoy displays, happy hours with birding celebrities, and vendor booths with all the latest gear.

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