USA Birding Tours

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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 throughout the United States.

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 tour 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 birding. 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 tours

I sent a longer analysis of the Florida trip to Stephan, which I will forward to you. Again, my thanks for a truly memorable experience. The trip was spectacularly successful. I chose Birding Ecotours because other trips were full, and I couldn’t be happier.
On a purely practical note, with three rather inexperienced birders as the participants we picked up a variety of birds missed by other birders.
But the final bird list doesn’t really cover why this tour was so vastly superior. This was my first birding trip ever with less than 12 participants, and the advantages of a small group are monumental – no battling for seats, no squabbling over who saw what, no battles to get to the leader’s scope when the Resplendent Quetzal finally comes into view. In fact, there were no squabbles at all on our trip
Hotels were quite well chosen, despite some early problems with accepting South African addresses, etc., and the restaurants worked out quite nicely. Mexican restaurant would be my only quibble – a bit heavy for our over 60s group. One of us simply said he wouldn’t be on the lookout for Mexican restaurants in the future. But then he also discovered Key Lime pie and had it four nights, not to mention the Key Lime ice cream along the way. The balance of Cuban unique restaurants with seafood and steak houses worked out quite nicely, and the final two nights at Cracker Barrel were a big hit. Big hit too were the home-made lunches – they were actually better than the Subway lunches of the last few days and they extended our birding times quite dramatically
But the tour only really worked because of Stephan – he’s a gifted birder – that’s a given on any tour these days, but he’s also extremely good with people. In my note to him I mentioned how impressed I was with his interactions with the other participants. They were new to American birding, so we had lots of initial sightings of grackles and starlings. But Stephan patiently looked at all their sightings, and soon they were finding some rather wonderful birds. Main point – he never made them feel bad – something many guides need to learn, believe me.
And Stephan really knew the territory – I have no qualms about any of his choices, though I might have questioned a few at the time. There were virtually no migrating birds, and we still got 20 warblers. We also got close to 180 species without that much luck either. We missed the Thick-billed Vireo by one day, and others easily picked up the Smooth-billed Ani at the same location we has scoured a day earlier. But then we got all three cowbirds in an afternoon and had great looks at multiple Prothonotary Warblers, a bird everyone else missed this year. And we birded both the first day and the last – not something most tours do, and he even saved the Spot-breasted Oriole for our last bird. Bottom line, Stephan is equal in his birding skills to any guide I’ve been with. More importantly, he’s the best overall guide I have ever experienced – a people-person who knows birds. I highly recommend him on any tour he might be leading and love to bird with him again.
So, I had never heard of your tour company and only signed on because it was all that was available on dates my wife had to be in Florida. The serendipitous result was one of the most rewarding birding experiences of my rather long birding career. I strongly recommend your company to anyone and even more strongly recommend the value of small group tours – they are worth every extra penny.
My thanks for all your help, and I hope to be on one of your tours in the future.

John KieranKealy, Canada