Tag Archives: Birding Tour

Bucket List Birding in Papua New Guinea

Naturalist Journeys returns to PNG this July for a Papua New Guinea birding tour, and we couldn’t be more excited! Take a look at some of our favorite Birds-of-Paradise that are a must see on this trip.

Papua New Guinea Birding Tour
Kawari Lodge, courtesy of the lodge

Of the 43 known species of Bird-of-Paradise, a whopping 38 of those can be found in Papua New Guinea; brought to light most recently through the Bird-of-Paradise project by Cornell University.

This 14-Day/13-Night Papua New Guinea birding tour with guide Ben Blewitt is set to be a truly exceptional experience, full of once-in-a-lifetime birding opportunities.

Find out which Birds-of-Paradise we are most excited on our Papua New Guinea birding tour below.

Papua New Guinea Birding Tour
Blue Bird-of-Paradise courtesy of Shutterstock

Blue Bird-of-Paradise
The Blue Bird-of-Paradise is one of the largest bird-of-paradise species, boasting striking blue wings. During courtship, the male hangs from a branch upside down, and spreads his plume displaying its beautiful violet blue color.

Papua New Guinea Birding Tour
Lawes’s Parotia courtesy of Shutterstock

Lawes’s Parotia
Male Lawes’s Parotia woo females by spreading their feathers like a tutu, and the shimmering spot on their breast reflects sunlight for a beautiful display. Just look at those antenna-like feathers!

Papua New Guinea Birding Tour
Lesser Bird-of-Paradise courtesy of Shutterstock

Lesser Bird-of-Paradise
Not to be confused with the Greater Bird-of-Paradise, the Lesser Bird-of-Paradise is a vocal beauty with plumes to match!

Papua New Guinea Birding Tour
Magnificent Riflebird courtesy of Shutterstock

Magnificent Riflebird
The Magnificent Riflebird has a distinct call that sounds very much like the wolf whistle used by humans. A large bird, with large vocals and an impressive arched-wing display.

Papua New Guinea Birding Tour
Reggiana Bird-of-Paradise courtesy of Shutterstock

Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise
Big, bright, and beautiful! The male attempts to outperform other males when attracting females. As a result it will perform a peculiar dance, in which it raises its wings and shakes its head to gather enough attention to impress.

Papua New Guinea Birding Tour
Twelve-wired Bird-of-Paradise courtesy of Shutterstock

Twelve-wired Bird-of-Paradise
It takes 7 years for a male Twelve-wired Bird-of-Paradise to develop its full plumage—totally worth it. The twelve wires are used in courtship displays, brushing them in a female’s face!

Bonus Birds!

Two bird species that are certainly a favorite on the Papua New Guinea birding tour.

Papua New Guinea Birding Tour
Northern Cassowary courtesy of Shutterstock

Northern Cassowary
With its distinct Casque on the top of the head, the Northern Cassowary is a large, flightless bird, that can reach ground speeds of nearly 30 miles per hour.

Papua New Guinea Birding Tour
Palm Cockatoo courtesy of Shutterstock

Palm Cockatoo
The drumming bird! Male Palm Cockatoos break off sticks from branches and perform a drumming motion to impress females. After drumming, it will strip down the tool into small pieces for the nest.


Naturalist Journeys‘ guide Ben Blewitt is leading our return tour to Papua New Guinea this July. Find all the details for our Papua New Guinea: Bucket List Birding tour, June 29 – July 12, 2020 here. Priced at $9350 per person, based on double occupancy.

REGISTER FOR THIS TRIP

Read the full itinerary here.

Explore the Sky Islands on our winter Southeast Arizona Birding Tour

Look no further than the breathtaking mountains on this Southeast Arizona birding tour for a New Year getaway—so good we have two trips in January with popular guide, Bob Meinke.

A January Southeast Arizona birding tour is a fascinating experience. Enjoy warmer weather (fingers crossed!) and the fascinating birds and wildlife of the Arizona Sky Islands.

Highlights from our Southeast Arizona Birding Tour

We enjoy plenty of opportunities to marvel at many wintering species of warblers, raptors, and sparrows, as well as tens of thousands of Sandhill Cranes that call Southeast Arizona home for the winter. See Vesper, Grasshopper, and Baird’s Sparrows, as well as Horned Lark, and possibly Longspurs as they enjoy these productive wintering grounds. Raptors are also a highlight in the Sulphur Springs Valley.

There are an abundance of trails for exploring paired with gazing views of the sky islands in the sea of desert. Popular hotspots like Ramsey and Miller Canyons, Ash Canyon, and the San Pedro River are on the agenda for those keen. Choose to do as much or as little as you like—simple!

5 of Our Favorite Birds on this Southeast Arizona Birding Tour

Montezuma Quail

  • The Montezuma Quail is super interesting in its behavior! It will wait till the very last minute when it feels threatened, and bursts into flight if danger comes too close for comfort! It can leap around 2 meters straight up, even with clipped wings!

Vermilion FlycatcherSoutheast Arizona Birding Tour

  • A unique flycatcher in the sense that it spends most of the time (around 90%) perching conspicuously, making moves mostly to catch its prey! A must-see bird in the Southwest area of the United States!

Broad-billed HummingbirdSoutheast Arizona Birding Tour

  • The  Broad-billed Hummingbird cannot walk or hop just like other hummingbirds, but can definitely dance! It shows a courtship display by hovering in repeated arcs, roughly 12 inches above the female!

Olive WarblerSoutheast Arizona Birding Tour

  • The Olive Warbler loves open pine forests and the mountains – perfect for this tour! Male Olive Warblers take around 2 years to establish the orange hood of an adult!

Painted RedstartSoutheast Arizona Birding Tour

  • An interesting tactic that the Redstart uses to gather its meal – flashing its white wing patches and outer tail feathers as an element of surprise!

Read more about Arizona’s signature birds on a past blog post.

Southeast Arizona Birding Tour Bonus Bird: Sandhill Crane

The Sandhill Cranes that winter here number in the tens of thousands. We watch them as they feed in ponds and fields during the day.  We make special time to see them fly into roost for the night—a real spectacle! 

Hotel Highlight

Our tour is based out of the lovely Casa de San Pedro, our favorite, most comfy place to stay for a Southeast Arizona birding tour. Grab yourself a slice (or 2!) of the famous homemade pie.

Ready to Join Our Southeast Arizona birding tour?

Naturalist Journeys’ 2020 Southeast Arizona birding tours run January 4 – 10 and January 11 – 17. The guide for both tours is Bob Meinke. Prices start from $2590; airport is Tucson International (TUS). Email us today at travel@naturalistjourneys.com to reserve your space on one of these Southeast Arizona birding tours.

Photo Credits:

Sandhill Cranes, Hugh Simmons (HUSI); Montezuma Quail, Mary Mcsparen (MAMC); Vermilion Flycatcher, Woody Wheeler (WOWE); Broad-billed Hummingbird, HUSI; Olive Warbler, Peg Abbott (PEAB); Painted Redstart, HUSI.

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.

Continue reading 5 Reminders that Migration is Amazing