St. Paul Island, Alaska: Shorebird Capital of the World?

Rock Sandpiper ©Stephan Lorenz

In terms of sheer diversity, the shorebirds take the crown on St. Paul with an incredible 64 species recorded on the island within the past three decades. Only four shorebirds nest, whereas the remaining 60 species are either regular spring or fall migrants, rare visitors, or exceptional rarities with only one or two occurrences.

Exploring Las Guacamayas in Guatemala

Agami Heron ©Rob Ripma

While on a trip to Guatemala earlier this year sponsored by INGUAT (the Guatemalan tourism board), I had the opportunity to visit a biological station that I had never heard of before called Estación Biológica Las Guacamayas. I was expecting the typical, more rustic accommodations that tend to come along with staying at biological stations, but I was in for a huge surprise when we arrived.

Birding and Traveling: The Best of Colombia

Green-bearded Helmetcrest at Cocuy National Park Colom

Guest post by Kathi Borgmann Colombia is an amazing country. With over 1,900 species recorded, more than any country in the Americas, Colombia is an absolute birding must. And before you say that Colombia is too dangerous to travel in, think again. Colombia is changing fast and is now a top tourist destination. I spent 6… Read more

Birding Antisana, Ecuador

Antisana Volcano ©Kathi Borgmann

Guest post by Kathi Borgmann The Antisana Ecological Reserve can easily be reached via a day trip from Quito. Given the frequent afternoon weather, it is best to arrive early in the morning to improve your chances of having an unobstructed view of the massive peak of Antisana. Antisana rises to a height of 18,891… Read more

Birding Jocotoco Foundation’s Canandé Reserve

Canandé © Kathi Borgmann

Guest post by Kathi Borgmann The Chocó biogeographical region extends from the Darién in Panamá along the pacific coast of Colombia, to northwestern Ecuador. The Chocó is one of the world’s 10 most important biodiversity hotspots and it is one of the last coastal tropical rainforests left on the planet. It is home to more than 900 species… Read more

A Map Every Traveling Birder Must See: IBAs in Danger

Wouldn’t it be better, as nature travelers, if we carried at least rudimentary knowledge of the globe’s threatened habitats?

North Wales Wonderland

The Great Orme Llandudno, N Wales © Laura Kammermeier

NORTH WALES WONDERLAND As Kathy’s be-gloved hand passes me my second cup of coffee in as many hours, I hunker down into the welcome sanctuary of the MPV to scan the Menai Straits. I cannot help but wonder where else in the world might I see Gannets – my first of the year – highlighted… Read more

10 Good Reasons to Keep a Travel Journal

Top 10 Reasons to Keep a Travel Journal Image

Christine Elder’s top ten reasons for keeping a travel journal.

Should You Buy Travel Insurance?

Hiking Sandal

I can’t remember ever before screaming in agony. The jovial Mexican military doctor was anxious to reduce my dislocated ankle, and he did not want to wait for the anesthetic. Finally, after alarming the entire hospital with the intensity of my protests, I got my drugs. As I became more lucid, I started worrying not… Read more

Birding Northern Peru

A visit to the hummingbird station at Waqanki Lodge typically provides excellent looks at the tiny Rufous-crested Coquette. Photo by Steve Shunk

Northern Peru is packed with unique treasures – cultural, archaeological and natural. Blessed with few tourists and better coastal weather than either Lima or the south, the area encompasses city oases along the coast, secluded villages in the Andes – where you may well be the first foreigner to pass through for years – and… Read more

The first Namibian record of Yellow-throated Leaflove (photo by lodge owner Curt-Ingo Sagell). This is a noisy but sometimes coy member of the greenbul/bulbul family

At the start of 2016, something almost unbelievable happened in the southern African listing region. Yellow-throated Leafloves (plural) were discovered 125 km south of their previously known range, just within the southern African listing region (which includes seven countries south of the Zambezi River: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, the southern half of Mozambique, South Africa, Lesotho… Read more

Quality binoculars are expensive, and if you want to enjoy the exceptional quality of premium birding binoculars from the “big three” (Leica, Swarovski, and Zeiss), you typically have to dig deep into your wallet. The high price can be attributed to the binoculars’ exceptional components, superior craftsmanship by highly skilled workers in their respective German and… Read more

MALHEUR LIVES: Nature’s Inevitable Renewal

Sunset at Malheur. By Steve Shunk

Post updated Feb 12, 2016 I visited Malheur recently with again friends. The Silvies flood plain was sleeping under a thick white blanket of snow, and the Rough-legged Hawks were out in force. The giant bluebird sky glowed brightly over Oregon’s Great Basin desert. The 10,000-foot high, 35-mile long Steens Mountain holds the magical key to the spring runoff… Read more

The Champions of the Flyway exists to protect the Mediterranean flyways from illegal trapping and killing. Bird watchers are the sentinels of extinction for the avian world. We simply MUST lead the way to champion this cause.

A Birder’s Guide to Sri Lanka by Sam Woods

Blue-tailed Bee-eater © Sam Woods

Prepare to drool after reading this comprehensive overview of the birding and nature experience in Sri Lanka.

Machu Picchu… More Than Ruins

Machu Picchu (Peru) © Kevin Loughlin

Enjoying the breathtaking views from atop the stone structures of the lost city of the Inca, Machu Picchu, is something many travelers endeavor to partake. Certainly one of the most famous of ancient cities in the New World, crowds converge upon the steep stairs and narrow passageways, daily. The city lies at 7000 feet, between… Read more

Birding Australia’s Northern Territory

Rainbow Lorikeets, Nitmiluk National Park campsite, David Chandler

The Northern Territory makes up about a sixth of Australia. You could fit Britain into it six times over; yet it has a population of just over 200,000 people. Need we say more?

The “Situation” at Pico Bonito Lodge, Honduras

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Pico Bonito Honduras by Steve Shunk

To borrow a phrase from James Adams, head naturalist of the Lodge at Pico Bonito in northern Honduras, here was my current “situation” in January 2016: I’m trying to get some work done in Sala Cotinga, which is sort of the back room at the Pico Bonito restaurant. It’s quiet and well ventilated in there, with plenty… Read more

Hannah Madden and Lisa Sorenson begin the long hike into the crater of The Quill. Statia, Lesser Antilles, by Steve Shunk.

Old wooden signs point the way. They may not be as old as they look, but here, on the windward side of the Caribbean, tropical storms take their tolls—on signs, buildings, cars, and anything else that sits out in the rain. These signs to the trailhead simply say “Quill” in elegant cursive scrolled with weathered black… Read more

The endemic Jamaican Tody, at the Goblin Hill Villas, Portland, Jamaica. Photo by Steve Shunk

You awake to the drumming of Jamaican Woodpeckers, performing in the snag outside your window. Gray Kingbirds and White-chinned Thrushes call from the woodland edges just a few meters away. You saunter to your deck and pause for several minutes with your arms on the railing, bathing in the tropical breeze, as you stare across… Read more

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