Birding Reimagined: Maximizing Experience, Minimizing Risk.

It’s time to get creative. Folks want to get back to enjoying the great outdoors again, and do so in a way that’s sensible. As practitioners of world-class birding and photo tour products for over 20-years, it was up to us to come up with a smart way to do this. And we have…

Since July 2020, we have been running small group set-departure and custom tours around the USA, and several of the participants have been physicians that have helped us to hone the protocols and list of do’s and don’ts so that we adopt measures that are both safe and sensible. If you would like to read more about the measures we implement, read on beneath the tours, but if you want to just dive into the spectacular offerings of forthcoming departures, then just click on one of the links to a tour below:

16–24 January 2021 South Texas Birding with a Camera®

Hordes of avocets on the Upper Texas Coast
Hordes of avocets on the Upper Texas Coast (Sam Woods)

17-21 February 2021 Massachusetts in Winter (birding)

3–8 February 2021 Minnesota in Winter (birding)

Minnesota is home to Great Gray Owls
Minnesota is home to Great Gray Owls (Sam Woods)

13–18 February 2021 Puerto Rico (birding)

6–14 March 2021 Hawaii (birding)

Iiwi, a Hawaiian endemic
Iiwi, a Hawaiian endemic (Gregory-Smith)

7–17 April 2021 Colorado (birding)

17–24 April 2021 Colorado Photo Tour

Sharp-tailed Grouse in fine fettle in Colorado
Sharp-tailed Grouse in fine fettle in Colorado (Iain Campbell)

19-25 April 2021 Upper Texas Coast & Hill Country (birding)

30 April-8 May 2021 Florida Birding with a Camera®

Scissor-tailed Flycatchers kicking up a fuss in Florida
Scissor-tailed Flycatchers kicking up a fuss in Florida (Ken Behrens)

2-7 May 2021 Washington Fox Photo Workshop

8-19 May 2021 THE Warbler Tour, USA (birding)

Foxes make for the perfect workshop in Washington
Foxes make for the perfect workshop in Washington (Ben Knoot)

5-12 June 2021 South Dakota (birding)

26 June-6 July 2021 British Columbia Photo Tour (Canada)

Magee Marsh is THE North American Warbler venue
Magee Marsh is THE North American Warbler venue (Sam Woods)

24 July-2 Aug 2021 Arizona Photo Tour

A Rufous Hummingbirds shows off in Arizona
A Rufous Hummingbirds shows off in Arizona (Ben Knoot)

We have already completed multiple tours in the new environment, and the feedback has been superb:

“It was great fun to be on Tropical Birding’s first COVID era tour to Washington State. I was able to relax and really enjoy the birding and photography due to feeling safe in a small group that had all tested negative beforehand for COVID-19 along with other simple preventative measures. Kudos to Tropical Birding for leading the way to get us back in the field!” J.K.

“As a physician, I respect that Tropical Birding took every sensible precaution. But what was even better was that you did in a manner that did not interfere with the fun. You were studious, but respectful, and always entertaining. Your office staff and leaders are simply consummate professionals. I’ll be back, again, and again…..” J.B.

We actively discourage anyone in (or exposed to) high risk groups from engaging in any behavior that may be threatening to anyone, including coming on tour with us. But small-group custom tours (we even do solo one-person trips) and set-departures with a maximum of six participants are activities that we feel can be conducted in relative safety. Our full policy statement for how we run these trips is available here: Safety Tour Regulations and Policy, but to summarize, we:

1. Need negative tests from all participants before allowing them to join a tour.
2. Use smaller boutique accommodation options, preferably with outdoor entrances, and reduce the number of hotels we use on a tour.
3. Eat lunches in the field as take out and eat from the same small restaurants (that engage in social distancing) if possible.
4. Attempt to avoid people outside our group, and if we cannot, we wear masks.
5. Keep our bus, ourselves and all surfaces we touch regularly sanitized.

Please know we are observing all mandated laws and regulations and keeping a close watch on developments. So, we are being very aware. We realize that at the moment a major hand-break for folks is the uncertainty and risk of paying over money and then not getting to go on tour because of extenuating circumstances. So, we have revisited our policy (only for the trips listed on this page) to make them more attractive and ensure that you feel comfortable that you are being treated fairly, and so we have adjusted payment policy as follows:

1. We are reducing the deposit amounts required for tours to US $ 500/person upon booking. This amount is not refundable, but it is transferable, so should you need to change your travel arrangements at any time more than 4 weeks before the tour, you can shift this credit to another tour.
2. We are only taking final payments for tours at 4 weeks before the tour departs. This gives us time to assess safety and make decisions about how to proceed on the basis of the situation at an appropriate time interval. If we decide to call for final payments, then the tour is confirmed at that time and normal terms and conditions apply, with the exception of rule (3) below.
3. If when we call for your COVID-test, if it unfortunately materializes that you are positive, provided we find this out 5 days before the tour begins, we will be able to allow you to apply your entire tour fee as a credit for another tour. So, you do not lose out on a trip.

For more information, please enquire at [email protected]