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The 5 toughest birds and what is your biggest nemesis bird?

| Birding, Latest Blogs | No Comments
This blog will start as an extremely brief one, but will hopefully get increasingly extensive with your input. If you e-mail us and and tell us what the most difficult…

Zululand: Birding the forests and savannas of the Zulu Kingdom

| Birding, Birding in southern Africa, Latest Blogs | No Comments
Zululand, the area north of the Tugela River and south of the Mozambican border, is perhaps better known for its rich cultural history and big-five ...

Getting to Know our Guides – Dom Rollinson

| Getting to know our guides, Latest Blogs | No Comments
Meet Dr Rollinson, an unassuming yet remarkably intelligent, passionate, enthusiastic, and driven guide who, although unable to answer your medical queries, will ...

Birding the Cape – from the mountains to the deep blue

| Birding, Birding in southern Africa, Endemic birds, Latest Blogs | No Comments
When I mention the Cape most tourists will envisage Table Mountain, the dramatic cliffs of Cape Point, and the spectacular flower displays of the west ...
Antarctica

Birding the subantarctic islands of the South Atlantic and Southern Ocean

| Birding | No Comments
In this blog I take a closer look at the area south of 35°S as far as the Great White Continent and between the longitudes of 50°W and 20°E. This…

Birding the United States – East to West

| Birding, North America (USA & Canada) | No Comments
Birding has truly become a great international hobby that seems to be growing and growing. It is very exciting to see so many young folk (here in South Africa at…

Getting to Know our Guides – Eduardo Ormaeche

| Getting to know our guides | No Comments
There are many things synonymous with the Birding Ecotours brand, and the name Eduardo Ormaeche is most certainly one of them! Having been around since soon after the ...

Colombia – April 2017

| Birding, birding ecotours, Neotropics (the Caribbean, Central and South America) | No Comments
This April, after his very successful Neotropical Bird Club Costa Rica fundraising tour (click here for trip report), Andy Walker had a busman’s holiday and went birding ....

Getting to Know our Guides – Wian van Zyl

| Getting to know our guides | No Comments
Article written 20 Oct 2017 When you’re with Wian you are bound to have a good laugh and an enjoyable, fun-filled time exploring nature! His undying passion, enthusiasm, chivalry, and…

Iceland: 23 – 30 June 2017

| Birding, birding ecotours | No Comments
This June Andy Walker made a scouting trip to Iceland to have a look at some of the areas we’ll be visiting on the Birding Ecotours 2018 Iceland Tour. Here’s…

The Famous Birding Cruise to Nowhere – Flock at Sea 2017

| African finfoot, birding ecotours, Pelagic birding | No Comments
GREY PETREL COMING DOWN PORTSIDE FROM THE BOW” were the words blasting through the miniscule speaker on the guides’ radios. This was of course ...

Breaking news: Birding Ecotours opens a US office and starts offering more North American birding tours

| birding ecotours, General | No Comments
We hereby announce two very exciting pieces of news, both of them related. First, that we’re opening a formal office ...

Monhegan Island Maine

| Biggest Week in American Birding, Birding, birding ecotours, Migration, North America (USA & Canada) | No Comments
Twelve miles off the coast of central Maine lies Monhegan Island. Monahigan, as it was originally known, means ‘Island of the Sea’. This spectacular little island is one and a…

A brief sampling of Peru – May 2017

| Birding, birding ecotours, Neotropics (the Caribbean, Central and South America) | No Comments
This May Andy Walker conducted a scouting trip to Peru to meet up with Birding Ecotours colleague and resident Peruvian tour leader and expert guide, Eduardo Ormaeche....

The Biggest Week in American Birding – May 2017

| birding ecotours, North America (USA & Canada) | No Comments
This May I again had the wonderful opportunity to represent Birding Ecotours at The Biggest Week in American Birding (BWIAB). The BWIAB is a 10-day long event ...

Do you tick heard-only birds?

| Birding | No Comments
Whether to tick heard-only birds can be a contentious issue. My personal rule is to strictly exclude heard-only birds from all of my lists (including my world list, my southern African list,…

A race against time: funding the fight against bird killing

| Bird Conservation | No Comments
Israel is a haven for birds and birders alike. Israel during migration season is something else altogether. Down in southern Africa we don’t get to experience the ...

A “larky” spin through the Northern Cape of South Africa

| Birding, Endemic birds | One Comment
By Jason Boyce Larks, larks, larks … and more wonderful larks! The arid Northern Cape of South Africa is very well known for many wonderful species of larks, including seven…

Hummingbirds of Peru – Marvelous Spatuletail and more than 40 other hummingbirds in three days?

| Birding, Neotropics (the Caribbean, Central and South America) | No Comments
Birding is amazing, no matter where you go and what kind of birds you prefer. For me, highlights are walking down a ...

Cory’s vs. Scopoli’s Shearwater

| Bird identification, birding ecotours, Birding Tour, cape town, cory vs scopoli's, pelagic, Pelagic birding, shearwaters | No Comments
I’m sure many of you may know this already, but I for one have been largely ignorant about one of the relatively newly split species, Scopoli’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea), within the…

Pelagic Birding with Birding Ecotours

| albatross, Birding, birding ecotours, boat, cape town, pelagic, Pelagic birding, south africa | No Comments
Pelagic Birding is a rather specific ‘art’ or aspect of birding, and it basically refers to an ocean-going trip taken on a boat in search of true ocean-going species, such…

The Biggest Week in American Birding

| Birding, North America (USA & Canada) | No Comments
May is known as the best month for birding in the eastern part of the United States, and in particular for the spectacular spring migration that occurs during this time…

Birding Thailand

| Birding Asia, Trip Report | No Comments
Andy Walker spent some time in Thailand this winter and provides a brief summary of his time there below: This winter, between late January and early March, I spent time…

Birding Asia

| Birding Asia | No Comments
This January (2016), Andy Walker led our 15-day Birding Tour India: Birds, Tigers and the Himalayas. Here Andy provides a brief summary of the tour. Click this link to be taken to the…

Birding in southern Africa

| Birding in southern Africa | No Comments
85 % of the bird species of the southern third of Africa (705 species out of 829 regularly occurring ones), and an amazing 82 mammal species, seen in two months…

See over 10 birds-of-paradise on a budget

| Birding | No Comments
Every birder dreams of seeing the world’s most beautiful birds, the incomparable birds-of-paradise! This dream is only made more intense after viewing documentaries such as “Attenborough in Paradise” or the…

A 5-day twitch to Namibia

| Birding | No Comments
Not only was the first ever Yellow-throated Leaflove discovered just inside the southern African listing region this year, but it was actually not just one individual but a pair of…

Surveying for one of South Africa’s rarest birds: the elusive fynbos endemic, Hottentot Buttonquail

| Bird Conservation | No Comments
Hottentot Buttonquail must be the most enigmatic of all of South Africa’s 18 endemics. Its world population is estimated ...

Field Guides to Australasia and Oceania: what to take into the field

| Recommended Bird Field Guides for the 7 Continents | No Comments
New Guinea: Birds of New Guinea (Pratt et al.). Hooray, the second edition is now out and is AMAZING! Please buy it, whether or not you’re planning a trip to…

Getting to know Dylan Vasapolli

| Getting to know our guides | No Comments
Dylan, affectionately known as ‘Vas’ by many of his colleagues, has to be one of the most enjoyable people to go birding with! He is known to get excited at…

Searching for Africa’s most elusive bird

| Bird Conservation | No Comments
When asked the question “what is Africa’s most elusive bird species”, most birders would answer that it must be any of the flufftails, which are, of course, notorious. Or perhaps they…

Getting to know John Kinghorn

| Getting to know our guides | No Comments
20-year-old John is Birding Ecotours’ youngest bird guide. But that’s not all – John is also the world’s youngest person to see 800 bird species in Southern Africa in one…

Field Guides to Europe: what to take into the field

| Recommended Bird Field Guides for the 7 Continents | No Comments
Collins (or the Princeton version, Birds of Europe) has been the standard in field guides for some time, and this second edition goes from strength to strength. The ...

Field Guides to North America: what to take into the field

| Recommended Bird Field Guides for the 7 Continents | No Comments
Field guides covering North America, in this context, include Alaska, Canada, and the Lower 48 of the United States. It does not include Hawaii, Greenland, Bermuda ...

Field Guides to the Neotropics: what to take into the field

| Recommended Bird Field Guides for the 7 Continents | No Comments
Birds of Mexico and northern Central America (Steve N.G. Howell and Sophie Webb). Though this book is almost twenty years old, it still stands up ...

Getting to know Jason Boyce

| Getting to know our guides | No Comments
Article written 15 Jul 2015 Jason Boyce loves people. He delights in sharing his infectious knowledge and passion for the natural world with kids, adults, and anyone lucky enough to…

Getting to know Andy Walker

| Andy Walker, Best birding guides, Birding guide, Getting to know our guides | No Comments
Article written 07 Jul 2015 Birding Ecotours guide Andy Walker lives, dreams and breathes birds. This passionate pitta-lover took some time out to share his story with our guest blogger Rachel…

Getting to know Chris Lotz

| Best birding guide, Birding Ecotours guides, Chris Lotz, Getting to know our guides | No Comments
Chris Lotz is the passionate founder and owner of Birding Ecotours. Our guest blogger, Rachel, decided to ask him a few questions to get to know him better… Rachel: Please tell…

Best Binoculars for Birding: Bigger not always better…

| Birding | No Comments
Every naturalist using binoculars has an opinion on magnification, and there is never a shortage of advice as to what constitutes the best magnification for safari goers ...

Know your birds – The Snowy Owl

| Know your Birds | No Comments
If there is one bird in the world that can lure even non-birders out to look for it, it’s the Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus). This regal, enigmatic bird has enraptured…

Know your birds – The Rail-babbler

| Bird-watching in Thailand, Birding in Borneo, Birding in Natuna Islands, birdwatching in Malaysia, Birdwatching tours, Know your Birds, Rail Babbler, Thailand birding tour, Threatened bird species of Thailand, Tropical birdwatching destinations | No Comments
The Rail-babbler (Eupetes macrocerus), a chocolate-brown rail-like passerine, with a distinctive white head band and patches of red-orange plumage is an unusual bird that seems to have left scientists ...

What Camera to Buy?

| Bird Photography, birding photo tours, Birding Photography | No Comments
As a keen photographer and specialist guide I am often asked advice on photography, cameras, and lenses, and get to see what visitors, from novice to professional photographers, arrive with.…

Preparing for a birding tour – how to study the birds of a country you haven’t yet visited!

| Birding | No Comments
My first birding trip to South America was, strangely, a great disappointment. I opted to make Peru my first South American ...

Champions of the Flyway – a bird race for conservation

| Bird Conservation | No Comments
The Champions of the Flyway is a mega-exciting 24-hour bird race (midnight to midnight on 25 March 2015), during which a bunch of teams (32 this year) compete ...

Know Your Birds – Southern Ground Hornbill

| African culture, Birding in Africa, Birding in Kruger, Ground Hornbill, Know your Birds, Kruger National Park, Traditional African muthi, vulnerable birds | No Comments
The Southern Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri) is a large bird, most frequently encountered on the ground, and conspicuously plumaged in striking red and ...

The Champions of the Flyway project, because it is personal!

| Bird Conservation | No Comments
“The Champions of the Flyway” in Israel is not just a fun race for avid birders having a good time; it carries with it a strong message that appeals to…

Rare rallids of Harare in Zimbabwe

| Birding | No Comments
Megan and I just returned from a 2-day birding trip to Harare, to make the most of the brief January to March window of opportunity (….but only in years of…

Cape Eagle-Owls located near Johannesburg!

| Owling and our Owl surveys | No Comments
Jason Boyce, Justin Nicolau, Gary Nicolau, Peter Schoeman and Chris Lotz joined a few of the extremely helpful Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve staff to survey for owls...

African Bird Club

| Bird Conservation | No Comments
Birding Ecotours is a Gold sponsor of the African Bird Club because of this club’s solid track record of helping to conserve the continent’s birds.  African bird conservation is something…

How to Choose a Birding Tour

| General | No Comments
There’s a vast array of bird tours available out there. To illustrate this point, Birding Ecotours alone offers a plethora of different trips just to Peru (not to mention all…

Youngest Birder ever to reach 800 species during a Southern African Big Year

| Birding | No Comments
What is a Big Year? Is it a year which just so happens to take forever to end? Is it a year in which we (for once in our lives)…

Know your Birds – African Jacana

| African Jacana, Birding in Africa, Birding in Zambia, Know your Birds, waterbird | No Comments
If there were an award for the best father in the bird world, it would undoubtedly go to the African Jacana or “lily-trotter” (Actophilornis flavirostris)  as this waterbird is often called ...

BirdLife South Africa’s List of South African Birds

| General | No Comments
South Africa’s premier bird conservation organization, BirdLife South Africa, is responsible for keeping the country’s bird list updated annually. A hard ...

The Endemic Birds of South Africa

| Endemic birds | No Comments
The purpose of this article is to provide the most up-to-date information on South Africa’s endemic birds (based on the 2015 update of the country’s official bird-list), and also to…

My Ten Favorite Birds of Peru

| Birding, Neotropics (the Caribbean, Central and South America) | No Comments
Diademed Plover This is definitely my favorite bird in South America. What can I say? Strangely, I cannot explain why I feel so attracted to this bird, as many other…

Remote Madagascar and Comoros birding tour

| Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands Birding | No Comments
In November 2014, we did our first Malagasy “Owls of the World” ® tour, and it greatly exceeded expectations! We were seeking five of the world’s most localized ...

The Big 5 Birds of Northern Peru – a biased list according to Chris!

| Birding, Neotropics (the Caribbean, Central and South America) | No Comments
A birding tour is made largely by the guide. A good birding tour leader is the single element that can make a bird tour completely and utterly brilliant, rather than…

Know your Birds – Lilian’s Lovebird

| African lovebird, Bird of the week, Birding in Malawi, Birding in Zambia, Know your Birds, Lilian's Lovebird | No Comments
“ It was upper and middle class women who, in many ways, established the hobby of bird-watching. They were interested in nature and humane activities, rallying to end the shooting…

Know your Birds – The African Finfoot

| Africa birding, African finfoot, Bird of the week, Birding guide, Birding in Africa, Know your Birds | No Comments
The Italian renaissance artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci is well known for his flying machines. Not only did he wish to fly, but he also wanted to walk on…

The most urgent bird conservation priorities in Africa and its islands

| Africa, African Bird Club, Bird Conservation, Endangered, IUCN, Madagascar, Taxonomy, Threatened, Vulnerable | No Comments
This note was written for the bulletin of the African Bird Club (https://www.africanbirdclub.org/) (ABC) and is published here on our blog with permission from ...

Nectar-feeding birds

| General | No Comments
All continents except Europe and Antarctica have bird species that rely almost exclusively on nectar as a food source. These birds, which include African sunbirds and American hummingbirds, obtain ...

Bats of the Kruger National Park (Part 1)

| Mammals | No Comments
When people travel to the Kruger National Park they mostly go for the bigger animals, the “big five”, or even birds, but they always tend to overlook our gorgeous little…

Field Guides to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean: what to take into the field

| Recommended Bird Field Guides for the 7 Continents | No Comments
A Complete Guide to Antarctic Wildlife (Shirihai). This is the second edition, and, as the name implies, it is very complete. All the bird species from ...

Field guides to Asia: what to take into the field

| Recommended Bird Field Guides for the 7 Continents | No Comments
Birds of the Middle East (Porter and Aspinall). This book covers Turkey, Syria, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, and the Saudi Peninsula. It has very good plates ...

Field guides to Africa and Madagascar: what to take into the field

| Recommended Bird Field Guides for the 7 Continents | No Comments
Collins Bird Guide/Birds of Europe (Svensson, Mullarney and Zetterström). This guide is the best for North Africa. It covers Morocco east to Egypt...

Africa’s best-kept birding secret: the endemic-rich woodlands of South-central Africa

| Birding | No Comments
I always find it extremely surprising that Zambia and Malawi are not bombarded by birders. I guess these countries are just not ...

Searching for Africa’s most skulking bird family; the incomparable Flufftails

| Birding | No Comments
A great many African birders have never seen a flufftail, even though a couple of species are rather common. This is because they are Africa’s most elusive birds ...

Finding Owls, and an invitation to join our South African Owl Surveys

| Owling and our Owl surveys | No Comments
Due to their nocturnal habits, we find that even talented birders are often unaware that their own neighbourhood is graced by owls. As one example, while African ...

Regionally-endemic birding in Central America: From the Mayan Empire to the Darién Gap

| Birding, Central America, Costa Rica, Endemic Bird Areas, Endemic birds, Guatemala, Mayan empire, Panama | No Comments
At one time Central America was mostly underwater, and only the peaks of volcanoes rose above the water, creating islands ...

The Red Himba Lady and the Dusky Lark

| Birding, Dusky Lark, General, Himba, Kunene, Lark, Namibia | No Comments
This day was very special: We were just about to give up searching for the baffling (and one of the very last Southern African) lark species – the Dusky Lark…

Birding Rally Challenge – Southern Perú – December 2013

| Birding, Neotropics (the Caribbean, Central and South America) | No Comments
Birding Ecotours, was one of five teams that were invited to participate in the World Birding Rally, to be held in southern Peru over December 2013. It ...

The conservation value of avitourism

| Bird Conservation | No Comments
Birdwatching tourism (or avitourism as it is sometimes called) has become a large industry and is the biggest niche within eco-tourism. The amount that wildlife watchers (primarily bird watchers) spend…

How to distinguish between the Cape and Spotted Eagle-Owls

| Owling and our Owl surveys | No Comments
Out in the field, and under the low light intensities that owls are seen in, Cape and Spotted Eagle-Owls can easily be, and often are, confused with each other. We…

The 5 toughest birds and what is your biggest nemesis bird?

| Birding, Latest Blogs | No Comments
This blog will start as an extremely brief one, but will hopefully get increasingly extensive with your input. If you e-mail us and and tell us what the most difficult…

Zululand: Birding the forests and savannas of the Zulu Kingdom

| Birding, Birding in southern Africa, Latest Blogs | No Comments
Zululand, the area north of the Tugela River and south of the Mozambican border, is perhaps better known for its rich cultural history and big-five ...

Birding the Cape – from the mountains to the deep blue

| Birding, Birding in southern Africa, Endemic birds, Latest Blogs | No Comments
When I mention the Cape most tourists will envisage Table Mountain, the dramatic cliffs of Cape Point, and the spectacular flower displays of the west ...
Antarctica

Birding the subantarctic islands of the South Atlantic and Southern Ocean

| Birding | No Comments
In this blog I take a closer look at the area south of 35°S as far as the Great White Continent and between the longitudes of 50°W and 20°E. This…

Birding the United States – East to West

| Birding, North America (USA & Canada) | No Comments
Birding has truly become a great international hobby that seems to be growing and growing. It is very exciting to see so many young folk (here in South Africa at…

Colombia – April 2017

| Birding, birding ecotours, Neotropics (the Caribbean, Central and South America) | No Comments
This April, after his very successful Neotropical Bird Club Costa Rica fundraising tour (click here for trip report), Andy Walker had a busman’s holiday and went birding ....

Iceland: 23 – 30 June 2017

| Birding, birding ecotours | No Comments
This June Andy Walker made a scouting trip to Iceland to have a look at some of the areas we’ll be visiting on the Birding Ecotours 2018 Iceland Tour. Here’s…

Monhegan Island Maine

| Biggest Week in American Birding, Birding, birding ecotours, Migration, North America (USA & Canada) | No Comments
Twelve miles off the coast of central Maine lies Monhegan Island. Monahigan, as it was originally known, means ‘Island of the Sea’. This spectacular little island is one and a…

A brief sampling of Peru – May 2017

| Birding, birding ecotours, Neotropics (the Caribbean, Central and South America) | No Comments
This May Andy Walker conducted a scouting trip to Peru to meet up with Birding Ecotours colleague and resident Peruvian tour leader and expert guide, Eduardo Ormaeche....

Do you tick heard-only birds?

| Birding | No Comments
Whether to tick heard-only birds can be a contentious issue. My personal rule is to strictly exclude heard-only birds from all of my lists (including my world list, my southern African list,…

A “larky” spin through the Northern Cape of South Africa

| Birding, Endemic birds | One Comment
By Jason Boyce Larks, larks, larks … and more wonderful larks! The arid Northern Cape of South Africa is very well known for many wonderful species of larks, including seven…

Hummingbirds of Peru – Marvelous Spatuletail and more than 40 other hummingbirds in three days?

| Birding, Neotropics (the Caribbean, Central and South America) | No Comments
Birding is amazing, no matter where you go and what kind of birds you prefer. For me, highlights are walking down a ...

Pelagic Birding with Birding Ecotours

| albatross, Birding, birding ecotours, boat, cape town, pelagic, Pelagic birding, south africa | No Comments
Pelagic Birding is a rather specific ‘art’ or aspect of birding, and it basically refers to an ocean-going trip taken on a boat in search of true ocean-going species, such…

The Biggest Week in American Birding

| Birding, North America (USA & Canada) | No Comments
May is known as the best month for birding in the eastern part of the United States, and in particular for the spectacular spring migration that occurs during this time…

See over 10 birds-of-paradise on a budget

| Birding | No Comments
Every birder dreams of seeing the world’s most beautiful birds, the incomparable birds-of-paradise! This dream is only made more intense after viewing documentaries such as “Attenborough in Paradise” or the…

A 5-day twitch to Namibia

| Birding | No Comments
Not only was the first ever Yellow-throated Leaflove discovered just inside the southern African listing region this year, but it was actually not just one individual but a pair of…

Best Binoculars for Birding: Bigger not always better…

| Birding | No Comments
Every naturalist using binoculars has an opinion on magnification, and there is never a shortage of advice as to what constitutes the best magnification for safari goers ...

Preparing for a birding tour – how to study the birds of a country you haven’t yet visited!

| Birding | No Comments
My first birding trip to South America was, strangely, a great disappointment. I opted to make Peru my first South American ...

Rare rallids of Harare in Zimbabwe

| Birding | No Comments
Megan and I just returned from a 2-day birding trip to Harare, to make the most of the brief January to March window of opportunity (….but only in years of…

Youngest Birder ever to reach 800 species during a Southern African Big Year

| Birding | No Comments
What is a Big Year? Is it a year which just so happens to take forever to end? Is it a year in which we (for once in our lives)…

Birding Thailand

| Birding Asia, Trip Report | No Comments
Andy Walker spent some time in Thailand this winter and provides a brief summary of his time there below: This winter, between late January and early March, I spent time…

Birding Asia

| Birding Asia | No Comments
This January (2016), Andy Walker led our 15-day Birding Tour India: Birds, Tigers and the Himalayas. Here Andy provides a brief summary of the tour. Click this link to be taken to the…

Zululand: Birding the forests and savannas of the Zulu Kingdom

| Birding, Birding in southern Africa, Latest Blogs | No Comments
Zululand, the area north of the Tugela River and south of the Mozambican border, is perhaps better known for its rich cultural history and big-five ...

Birding the Cape – from the mountains to the deep blue

| Birding, Birding in southern Africa, Endemic birds, Latest Blogs | No Comments
When I mention the Cape most tourists will envisage Table Mountain, the dramatic cliffs of Cape Point, and the spectacular flower displays of the west ...

Birding in southern Africa

| Birding in southern Africa | No Comments
85 % of the bird species of the southern third of Africa (705 species out of 829 regularly occurring ones), and an amazing 82 mammal species, seen in two months…

What Camera to Buy?

| Bird Photography, birding photo tours, Birding Photography | No Comments
As a keen photographer and specialist guide I am often asked advice on photography, cameras, and lenses, and get to see what visitors, from novice to professional photographers, arrive with.…

Regionally-endemic birding in Central America: From the Mayan Empire to the Darién Gap

| Birding, Central America, Costa Rica, Endemic Bird Areas, Endemic birds, Guatemala, Mayan empire, Panama | No Comments
At one time Central America was mostly underwater, and only the peaks of volcanoes rose above the water, creating islands ...

Birding the Cape – from the mountains to the deep blue

| Birding, Birding in southern Africa, Endemic birds, Latest Blogs | No Comments
When I mention the Cape most tourists will envisage Table Mountain, the dramatic cliffs of Cape Point, and the spectacular flower displays of the west ...

A “larky” spin through the Northern Cape of South Africa

| Birding, Endemic birds | One Comment
By Jason Boyce Larks, larks, larks … and more wonderful larks! The arid Northern Cape of South Africa is very well known for many wonderful species of larks, including seven…

The Endemic Birds of South Africa

| Endemic birds | No Comments
The purpose of this article is to provide the most up-to-date information on South Africa’s endemic birds (based on the 2015 update of the country’s official bird-list), and also to…

Regionally-endemic birding in Central America: From the Mayan Empire to the Darién Gap

| Birding, Central America, Costa Rica, Endemic Bird Areas, Endemic birds, Guatemala, Mayan empire, Panama | No Comments
At one time Central America was mostly underwater, and only the peaks of volcanoes rose above the water, creating islands ...

Breaking news: Birding Ecotours opens a US office and starts offering more North American birding tours

| birding ecotours, General | No Comments
We hereby announce two very exciting pieces of news, both of them related. First, that we’re opening a formal office ...

How to Choose a Birding Tour

| General | No Comments
There’s a vast array of bird tours available out there. To illustrate this point, Birding Ecotours alone offers a plethora of different trips just to Peru (not to mention all…

BirdLife South Africa’s List of South African Birds

| General | No Comments
South Africa’s premier bird conservation organization, BirdLife South Africa, is responsible for keeping the country’s bird list updated annually. A hard ...

Nectar-feeding birds

| General | No Comments
All continents except Europe and Antarctica have bird species that rely almost exclusively on nectar as a food source. These birds, which include African sunbirds and American hummingbirds, obtain ...

The Red Himba Lady and the Dusky Lark

| Birding, Dusky Lark, General, Himba, Kunene, Lark, Namibia | No Comments
This day was very special: We were just about to give up searching for the baffling (and one of the very last Southern African) lark species – the Dusky Lark…

Getting to Know our Guides – Dom Rollinson

| Getting to know our guides, Latest Blogs | No Comments
Meet Dr Rollinson, an unassuming yet remarkably intelligent, passionate, enthusiastic, and driven guide who, although unable to answer your medical queries, will ...

Getting to Know our Guides – Eduardo Ormaeche

| Getting to know our guides | No Comments
There are many things synonymous with the Birding Ecotours brand, and the name Eduardo Ormaeche is most certainly one of them! Having been around since soon after the ...

Getting to Know our Guides – Wian van Zyl

| Getting to know our guides | No Comments
Article written 20 Oct 2017 When you’re with Wian you are bound to have a good laugh and an enjoyable, fun-filled time exploring nature! His undying passion, enthusiasm, chivalry, and…

Getting to know Dylan Vasapolli

| Getting to know our guides | No Comments
Dylan, affectionately known as ‘Vas’ by many of his colleagues, has to be one of the most enjoyable people to go birding with! He is known to get excited at…

Getting to know John Kinghorn

| Getting to know our guides | No Comments
20-year-old John is Birding Ecotours’ youngest bird guide. But that’s not all – John is also the world’s youngest person to see 800 bird species in Southern Africa in one…

Getting to know Jason Boyce

| Getting to know our guides | No Comments
Article written 15 Jul 2015 Jason Boyce loves people. He delights in sharing his infectious knowledge and passion for the natural world with kids, adults, and anyone lucky enough to…

Getting to know Andy Walker

| Andy Walker, Best birding guides, Birding guide, Getting to know our guides | No Comments
Article written 07 Jul 2015 Birding Ecotours guide Andy Walker lives, dreams and breathes birds. This passionate pitta-lover took some time out to share his story with our guest blogger Rachel…

Getting to know Chris Lotz

| Best birding guide, Birding Ecotours guides, Chris Lotz, Getting to know our guides | No Comments
Chris Lotz is the passionate founder and owner of Birding Ecotours. Our guest blogger, Rachel, decided to ask him a few questions to get to know him better… Rachel: Please tell…

Know your birds – The Snowy Owl

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If there is one bird in the world that can lure even non-birders out to look for it, it’s the Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus). This regal, enigmatic bird has enraptured…

Know your birds – The Rail-babbler

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The Rail-babbler (Eupetes macrocerus), a chocolate-brown rail-like passerine, with a distinctive white head band and patches of red-orange plumage is an unusual bird that seems to have left scientists ...

Know Your Birds – Southern Ground Hornbill

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The Southern Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri) is a large bird, most frequently encountered on the ground, and conspicuously plumaged in striking red and ...

Know your Birds – African Jacana

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If there were an award for the best father in the bird world, it would undoubtedly go to the African Jacana or “lily-trotter” (Actophilornis flavirostris)  as this waterbird is often called ...

Know your Birds – Lilian’s Lovebird

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“ It was upper and middle class women who, in many ways, established the hobby of bird-watching. They were interested in nature and humane activities, rallying to end the shooting…

Know your Birds – The African Finfoot

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The Italian renaissance artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci is well known for his flying machines. Not only did he wish to fly, but he also wanted to walk on…

Remote Madagascar and Comoros birding tour

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In November 2014, we did our first Malagasy “Owls of the World” ® tour, and it greatly exceeded expectations! We were seeking five of the world’s most localized ...

Birding the United States – East to West

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Birding has truly become a great international hobby that seems to be growing and growing. It is very exciting to see so many young folk (here in South Africa at…

Monhegan Island Maine

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Twelve miles off the coast of central Maine lies Monhegan Island. Monahigan, as it was originally known, means ‘Island of the Sea’. This spectacular little island is one and a…

The Biggest Week in American Birding – May 2017

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This May I again had the wonderful opportunity to represent Birding Ecotours at The Biggest Week in American Birding (BWIAB). The BWIAB is a 10-day long event ...

The Biggest Week in American Birding

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May is known as the best month for birding in the eastern part of the United States, and in particular for the spectacular spring migration that occurs during this time…

Cape Eagle-Owls located near Johannesburg!

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Jason Boyce, Justin Nicolau, Gary Nicolau, Peter Schoeman and Chris Lotz joined a few of the extremely helpful Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve staff to survey for owls...

Finding Owls, and an invitation to join our South African Owl Surveys

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Due to their nocturnal habits, we find that even talented birders are often unaware that their own neighbourhood is graced by owls. As one example, while African ...

How to distinguish between the Cape and Spotted Eagle-Owls

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Out in the field, and under the low light intensities that owls are seen in, Cape and Spotted Eagle-Owls can easily be, and often are, confused with each other. We…

The Famous Birding Cruise to Nowhere – Flock at Sea 2017

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GREY PETREL COMING DOWN PORTSIDE FROM THE BOW” were the words blasting through the miniscule speaker on the guides’ radios. This was of course ...

Cory’s vs. Scopoli’s Shearwater

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I’m sure many of you may know this already, but I for one have been largely ignorant about one of the relatively newly split species, Scopoli’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea), within the…

Pelagic Birding with Birding Ecotours

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Pelagic Birding is a rather specific ‘art’ or aspect of birding, and it basically refers to an ocean-going trip taken on a boat in search of true ocean-going species, such…

Field Guides to Australasia and Oceania: what to take into the field

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New Guinea: Birds of New Guinea (Pratt et al.). Hooray, the second edition is now out and is AMAZING! Please buy it, whether or not you’re planning a trip to…

Field Guides to Europe: what to take into the field

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Collins (or the Princeton version, Birds of Europe) has been the standard in field guides for some time, and this second edition goes from strength to strength. The ...

Field Guides to North America: what to take into the field

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Field guides covering North America, in this context, include Alaska, Canada, and the Lower 48 of the United States. It does not include Hawaii, Greenland, Bermuda ...

Field Guides to the Neotropics: what to take into the field

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Birds of Mexico and northern Central America (Steve N.G. Howell and Sophie Webb). Though this book is almost twenty years old, it still stands up ...

Field Guides to Antarctica and the Southern Ocean: what to take into the field

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A Complete Guide to Antarctic Wildlife (Shirihai). This is the second edition, and, as the name implies, it is very complete. All the bird species from ...

Field guides to Asia: what to take into the field

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Birds of the Middle East (Porter and Aspinall). This book covers Turkey, Syria, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, and the Saudi Peninsula. It has very good plates ...

Field guides to Africa and Madagascar: what to take into the field

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Collins Bird Guide/Birds of Europe (Svensson, Mullarney and Zetterström). This guide is the best for North Africa. It covers Morocco east to Egypt...

Bats of the Kruger National Park (Part 1)

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When people travel to the Kruger National Park they mostly go for the bigger animals, the “big five”, or even birds, but they always tend to overlook our gorgeous little…

Cory’s vs. Scopoli’s Shearwater

| Bird identification, birding ecotours, Birding Tour, cape town, cory vs scopoli's, pelagic, Pelagic birding, shearwaters | No Comments
I’m sure many of you may know this already, but I for one have been largely ignorant about one of the relatively newly split species, Scopoli’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea), within the…

Malaysia, Borneo: Set Departure Trip Report, August 2018

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This 12-day birding and wildlife tour of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, was absolutely spectacular! Some of the many highlights were Bornean Bristlehead....

China, Sichuan: Custom Trip Report, June – July 2018

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This 19-day custom China tour visited the province of Sichuan and commenced in Chengdu on the 23th of June 2018 and concluded back....

New Caledonia – Kagu Custom Tour Trip Report, December 2017

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This custom birding and photography tour for Jim and Barbara commenced on the 2nd October 2016 in New Caledonia and concluded on the 20th ...

Austria and Hungary Scouting May 2014

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Our scouting venture to Austria and Hungary began on the 20th of August in a small town called Rotheau, not far from Vienna. We were fortunate enough to have in…

Peru: Machu Picchu and the Manu Road Trip Report, July 2017

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Without doubt, our 2017 Peru Cusco and Manu birding trip was a great experience for those who never have been in the Neotropics, especially considering the short time to..

Bhutan: Himalayas and Black-necked Crane Trip Report, November 2015

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Bhutan, “the Land of the Thunder Dragon”, is an awe-inspiring place to bird. Birding amidst its spectacular scenery and ancient Buddhist dzongs is an ...

Central Peru Trip Report, November 2016

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This Central Peru birding tour was Birding Ecotours’ last Peru tour of 2016, and it was a huge success. It was a privilege to be part of this Birding Ecotours…

Iceland Trip Report June 2018

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This 9-day scheduled Iceland tour commenced in Reykjavík on the 10th of June 2018 and concluded back there on the 18th of June 2018. This tour led through some of…

Cuba Birding Tour Trip Report, March 2017

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This was another fantastic Cuban birding tour with a wonderful group of participants. We found all the Cuban and regional endemics we were targeting, except for Gundlach’s...

Complete Costa Rica Birding Trip Report, March 2017

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This scheduled tour around northern Costa Rica, doubling as a Conservation Tour for the Neotropical Bird Club, commenced on the 13th of March 2017 in...

Costa Rica Birding Trip Report, December 2015

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Our last custom tour of 2015 was a short 6-days tour in Costa Rica, which included two of the main natural habitats: The Caribbean lowlands in the northern part of the.…

Southern India: Western Ghats Trip Report, March 2018

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The western Ghats in the state of Kerala is one of those well-known birding destinations in India that has a lot to offer and is well worth a visit, having…

Poland Trip Report May 2018

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This one-week customized Poland tour commenced in Krakow on the 28th of May 2018 and concluded back there on the 4th of June 2018. The tour visited the bird-rich fishpond...

India, the north – Tigers and Birds Trip Report, January 2018

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A new destination for all the participants on the tour, a tour that offers a whole lot more than you would expect, something for everyone! India is a country rich…

Israel Trip Report, March 2016

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By now the Champions of the Flyway (COTF) bird race is well known across birding circles worldwide and is fast becoming one of the most prestigious 24-hour bird races in…

Peninsular Malaysia Trip Report, January 2018

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This customized tour commenced in Kuala Lumpur on 7th January 2018 and concluded back there on the 18th January 2018. The tour followed our set-departure route...

Classic Colombia Trip Report, February/March 2018

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Our Classic Colombia 16-day birding tour was perhaps one of the most enjoyable, exciting, and memorable trips that I ever had the opportunity to guide...

West Papua: Arfak and Waigeo Trip Report November 2017

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New Guinea is a geographical rather than a political term that refers to the main island in the region. The western half of the island of New Guinea comprises the…

Southwestern Australia Trip Report, November 2017

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The geographic isolation and diverse habitats present in the southwest of the state of Western Australia results in a number of endemic species and subspecies. This short ....
Colombia birding tour

The Very Best of Colombia Trip Report, January 2018

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This is the first Colombia trip report for 2018; 'The very best of Columbia'! it was a rather easy tour for a group of very enthusiastic birders who contemplated the…