USA Birding Tours
From sea to shining sea, the United States of America offers an incredible diversity of habitats and bird species, the dream of any bird watcher. From the Eastern Seaboard across the rolling Appalachian Mountains across the wide-open plains of the Midwest into the towering Rockies and across the arid desert-like western areas – the continent of North America offers a very wide range of habitats to explore. The USA is set up with a fantastic system of national parks, national wildlife refuges, state parks, national forests, and even local parks that birds and birders take advantage of. This great diversity offers amazing birding in all seasons, so there is never a bad time to visit. Read on for a quick trip through the United States and what our USA birding tours have to offer.
Starting in winter, come with us as we visit the snow-covered boreal forest and mighty Lake Superior in Minnesota. Here we search for many birds of prey and other boreal specialties that make the quiet forest their winter home, like Great Grey Owl, Snowy Owl, Northern Hawk-Owl, Evening Grosbeak, and more. Just don’t forget your coat! From the snow of the north we make our way to South Texas in March to catch a great combination of resident specialties, early stages of migration, and wintering species like the endangered Whooping Crane. April and May welcome a spectacular influx of migratory birds starting their journeys from the Neotropics to their northern breeding grounds. Florida is the first stop on their tiring expedition, and some species do not make it much further, like Grey Kingbird and Black-whiskered Vireo. The pristine beaches, swamps, and marshes of the Everglades and a trip down the Florida Keys and to Dry Tortugas National Park provide an impressive array of seabirds, waders, and migrants. Of course, the colorful and bright wood warblers are unforgettable, so we head to the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio. This birding excursion offers the amazing opportunity to score all 37 species of eastern warblers, such as Blackburnian, Bay-breasted, Cerulean, Kirtland’s, and Golden-winged Warblers. It is no wonder that the largest bird festival in the world is hosted here annually as migratory birds flood the Midwest in May.
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The summer months focus on the northern US with species finally arriving at their breeding territories. The coasts and marshes of Maine feature some fantastic breeders like Atlantic Puffin and Saltmarsh Sparrow. Some 4000+ miles from Maine bring us to the vast and beautiful expanses of the tundra in Alaska. The majestic beauty and peacefulness here are second to none and play host to many amazing breeding specialties as well as incredible mammals. Bristle-thighed Curlew, Bluethroat, Emperor Goose, and Grizzly Bear are just a few of the amazing targets and highlights. Moving into late summer and early fall, Southeast Arizona begins its monsoon season, turning the once barren desert and scrubland landscape into a luscious green teeming with flowers. In the hummingbird capital of the US, with up to 15 species, the feeding stations and birding trails come to life with nesting activity. Rivoli’s, Lucifer, and Violet-crowned Hummingbird are only a few of the long list of species on display in Arizona. Fall migration is now underway, and there is no better place than California. This massive state offers an incredible number of habitats with coastal marshes, redwood forests, expansive grasslands, mountains, and even an incredible display on pelagics. Catching resident specialties mixed in with western fall migrants makes for some truly epic bird watching. Black-footed Albatross, White-headed Woodpecker, Mountain Bluebird, and California Condor are just a small taste of what this amazing state has on offer. The end of fall brings us back to winter, and we start the amazing journey across the United States all over again.
North America is one of the most scenically spectacular continents, and it is also teaming with wildlife in addition to birds: moose, elk, bears, mountain goats, and so much more. Join us in exploring this rich wilderness!
Looking for day tours in USA? Visit our USA Day Tours page.
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Testimonials from our USA birding tours
Maine is beautiful, whether you’re on the shore or inland, and this tour showed us the best of both. Experiencing the variety of habitats with a knowledgeable guide and great companions was just what we needed after a year of not travelling. Jacob was a great leader for our group, making sure we saw the birds we wanted, but also on the look-out for mammals or letting us slow down to enjoy the wildflowers.Tracy - On Jacob and Maine, USA
Jacob is an excellent birder and has great people skills. Both are needed in a good guide. He knew his stuff and put up with all the joking but was serious when it came to the birds. Would definitely tour with him again.Debra - On Jacob
Every aspect of this tour was great. First of all, you must have cornered the market on great young tour guides, because Jacob was wonderful. Obviously an excellent birder, he was patient with us over 70 crowd members (we teased him about nobody over 70 ever again), enthusiastic and had a great sense of humor. He is very easy to be around, making all feel comfortable. Of course, the pelagic trip was, for us, the high point. We would suggest that you make the trip to Vinalhaven a regular part of the tour, and add Captain John Drury a must. He was a real character, and took special pains to make sure we saw all that we could see...even the Red-billed Tropicbird. And the trip up Mt. Washington was so very interesting, with all the vegetation changes as the altitude changed. AND we got the Bicknell's Thrush! Maine, from the mountains to the sparkling waters perfectly describes this tour, as it encompassed a wide variety of habitat and birds. Definitely a must if you want to see some hard-to-get species.Joyce and Bill - On Jacob and Maine
If you want to see great views of Chickens and Grouse at their leks, then this is the tour for you. Early mornings are no problem when you experience up-close views of these magnificent birds.
Don't forget the other birds found in Colorado, this tour goes out of its way to find them all – and it doesn't disappoint.
I thoroughly enjoyed my Minnesota birding tour with Jacob Roalef of Birding Ecotours in January of 2022. The tour was very easy to book, and the ongoing communication with the corporate office and with our guide, Jacob was exceptional. I always got a prompt response to email questions, which was important and reassuring. Jacob was extremely knowledgeable of the local area and the various birding hotspots in order to give us the best opportunity of locating the various species we had all come to see. I would highly recommend this tour!Chellye - On Minnesota
Jacob was patient, funny, talked to all the participants, and made sure all members got on the birds. Jacob gave me good looks at and information on two life birds, Glaucous and Iceland Gulls. He was also an excellent driver, especially on the last day when we drove from Grand Marais in a snowstorm.Lynn - On Jacob and USA
A great overview of Minnesota winter birding. Although the list of potential birds is somewhat limited because of the weather, the quality of what we did see more than made up for lack of quantity. Eleven of the 44 birds I saw were lifers, including Great Grey Owl, Boreal Chickadee, Pine Grosbeak, Sharp-tailed Grouse and more. Most spectacular was I saw my first Bohemian Waxwing and then about 1,000 more as part of a massive flock, feeding on berries throughout the town of Grand Marais. We were able to experience that over two straight days.Gene - On Minnesota
I would highly recommend this tour for anyone interested in seeing the beautiful endemic birds of Hawaii before they are gone, and enjoying the natural beauty of the islands. Mandy Talpas, the local guide, did an excellent job sharing her vast knowledge of the endemic birds, their habitat, and the diseases that are threatening them. Jacob Roalef, who also shared his vast knowledge of the birds, and Mandy were very attentive to everyone’s needs, which included 8 participants with varying degrees of birding experience. The beauty of the islands and endemic birds, as well as the camaraderie of the participants and guides made this tour one of the best for me! The accommodations and foodwere great too!Karen - On Hawaii
I would highly recommend this tour to anyone that is interested in seeing Hawaii’s native birds on these beautiful islands. One of my favorites was the endangered Akiapolaau, referred to as Aki by our guides, which we saw in a restricted area by permit on the island of Hawaii. The Hawaiian name means “hammerhead,” because the Aki uses the shorter, lower half of it’s mandible to drill into tree trunks like a woodpecker for sap or insects, while the extended, curved upper half operates like a hook to extract the food. During our day spent exploring the restricted area for Hawaii’s endemic birds, three non-endemic (two males and one female) Kalij Pheasants walked across the path right in front of me. I also loved the fantastic coastal views where we observed Red-tailed, White-tailed, and Red-billed Tropicbirds, Red-Footed and Brown Boobies, and Great Frigatebirds, as well as spouting and breaching Humpback whales. I also enjoyed the opportunity to see Laysan Albatross nesting and walking around an upscale neighborhood, and Bristle-thighed Curlews perched in the cemetery from the golf course.
Our guides, Jacob and Mandy, were a great team! This was my second tour with Jacob and I was very impressed with his knowledge of the endemic birds of Hawaii. He is very personable and his birding skills are excellent. Mandy is also very personable and an excellent birder. She shared her extensive knowledge of Hawaii, the endemic birds, their habitat and the dangers they are facing.Diane - On Jacob and Hawaii
The Southeast Arizona tour is in the perfect area to see the maximum number of species and rarities. This tour has the perfect guide, Jacob Roalef, who works diligently to make sure that each participant sees all the birds he finds. This tour has the perfect number of participants to have fun, share knowledge and get to know each other. I would highly recommend this tour! Jacob was an outstanding guide and I can’t say enough good things about him!. First, he knew the birds and could identify them by ear and sight. He made sure that each of us saw the bird(s) he had heard, seen or scoped. He also provided information about field marks, habitat, behavior and other interesting facts about the birds. Additionally, he knew a lot about the environment and gave us good context for the area that our tour covered. He was very diligent in finding the rarities, and then persistent until we saw them. Jacob also was very perceptive about each individual on the tour and gave equal attention to each of us based on our skill level in birding and our personal quirks. He is fun and funny, patient and well-organized and a safe and good driver. I innocently asked if there had ever been a flat tire on ones of his tours and that jinxed us because we indeed had one at 7,800 feet after a rain. Jacob was cool, calm and collected and what could have been a disaster ended with hilarity and a Band-tailed Pigeon. He facilitated and contributed to the camaraderie and banter that our group shared. I hope to go on another tour that Jacob guides.Sue - On Jacob and Southeast Arizona