The best birding in North America

Yellow-billed Magpie by Chris West.

Yellow-billed Magpie by Chris West.

Our new US birding tours.

It is not very well known, but Kolibri Expeditions has recently started offering birding tours in North America. Together with Chris West, we have put together some samples itineraries to California, Colorado and Arizona.  More are in the pipeline. Coming up are: Texas in the spring, Magee-Marsh and Point Pelee combo, Minnesota Owls, Alaska wildlife and birds and New Mexico

Why North America if you are based in Peru?

Ideally, we would like every North American Birder to come to Peru and bird with us right here. But frankly there are not really enough North American birders who travel to birds to sustain our business through-out the year in Peru. We are therefore looking to expand our offering outside of Peru, We have so for some time offering trips also to other countries in the Neotropics, where I have considerable experience, but perhaps our offerings could go beyond this. When visiting the Biggest Week in Ohio in 2012 and 2013, I was amazed seeing masses of new birders. New birders do well to visit the highlights in North America before venturing into the tropics. And there are a lot of good areas in North America which we could offer to those who want to expand the local birding to further afield. . In a way, offering birding trips in North America shall help building a relationship between new birders and Kolibri Expeditions. We also want to offer the same US trips to our European clients, who are looking for concise birding trips in North America that gives them most if not all special birds in each destination.

How are Kolibri Expeditions North America tours different?

Obviously we want to have some specifics that make our trips attractive compared to other operators. The principal idea is that the birding should be time efficient and inexpensive.

  • Take only 5 days off work. Our tours span for 8-9 day over two weekends, which allows for, especially people in the US with limited vacation, to take a birding trip while only taking 5 days off work.
  • Motels. Super 8, Day’s Inn, etc. We shall concentrate more on the birds than the lodging. The important is location and access, and working wifi. Using budget motels, allows us to keep very reasonable prices.
  • Only breakfast included. This also allows for better price. Lunches will be quick grabs when we stop for gas or make pit-stops. For evening we often chose a nicer sit-down restaurant as an option for those who want.
  • Special birds and restricted range species focus. We search for the special birds of each region. This shall make the tours attractive also for overseas visitors.
  • Self-drive Van. The guide will drive the Van. Clients who volunteer to help driving will get special privileges. Self-drive also keeps costs down.
  • Expert Bird Guides.  Chris West is our main guide in the US, but we may also employ other expert local guides for certain sections. Check our Pinterest board for some photos of California birds.

Our upcoming tours.

While I mentioned above that more tours are coming, the tours that we have already planned are California, Colorado and Arizona. Below follows some descriptions.


First out is our exciting 9 day California trip starting on September 6, 2014 . This tour is a pelagic birder’s dream trip to California! We will focus on pelagics, endemics, near-endemics and specialties along the beautiful coast of southern and central California. The trip includes two pelagic trips from Monterey and Half Moon Bay, and a channel crossing during a trip to Santa Catalina Island. Price:$2160.

Colorado Chicken Race

Lesser Prairie Chicken. Photo Gary Kramer. Creative Commons.

Lesser Prairie Chicken. Photo Gary Kramer. Creative Commons.

During a long week we shall cover the main sites in Colorado to enjoy displays of Lesser and Greater Prairie-Chickens, Gunnison and Great Sage-Grouse and Sharp-tailed Grouse. Also Dusky (Blue) Grouse and perhaps White-tailed Ptarmigan will be seen during this trip. Departure April 19, 2015. Price: $1680

Arizona clean up

Southeast Arizona is on the bucket list for every birder who lives in or visit the USA. The sheer number of species that can be seen here in a relatively short length of time is impressive by US standards. Elegant Trogons are the number one draw on a trip here. Departure May 23, 2015, Cost: $1999

More North America Tours

I mentioned a few other ideas to additional tours in North America. We would like to hear your feedback. Where do you want to go? Which are your favorite birding areas in North America?

8 thoughts on “The best birding in North America

    1. Gunnar Engblom Post author

      Yes Ric. Let’s re-think how we can make a photographic trip together in Peru. As for North America, I think we will start with more birding oriented tours, where photography is an integrated part, but I do want to do some more wildlife/photography oriented tours in North America in the future.

    1. Gunnar Engblom Post author

      Ooops. I my brain got looked on Black-tailed, when I meant White-tailed. It was the only chicken I did not see when I did this tours several years back, in spite of lots of searching in the snow. The years passed and it became… I missed the ptarmigan…so when writing up the program I needed to specify the the color of the tail to get the right name, without really remembering the field mark. Grrrr…
      Mistake corrected. Good thing I am not guiding, but Chris West, who would never make such a trivial mistake..hehe!

  1. Clem Klaphake

    On your Colorado trip the species should be ‘White-tailed Ptarmigan’ not Black-tailed.
    It should also be ‘Lesser and Greater Prairie Chickens’

    Don’t feel offended by my corrections, I’ve made the same mistakes.

    1. Gunnar Engblom Post author

      Thanks Clem,
      Not offended at all. Maybe I should make more mistakes deliberately, because I like to get comments.
      The mistakes have been corrected on the blog, and I will now make the changes ot the website.

  2. Frances Raskin

    Gunnar – good luck with your tours. By the way, the Blue Grouse was split a few years ago into Sooty and Dusky Grouse. Dusky is in Colorado while Sooty is found along the West Coast.

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