Birdquest

About Us

We bird in some absolutely fantastic places on Birdquest tours! (Spitsbergen

We bird in some absolutely fantastic places on Birdquest tours! (Spitsbergen

BIRDQUEST – THE ULTIMATE IN BIRDING TOURS

Why do so many birders choose Birdquest? Why have we become one of the most successful birding tour companies in the world? Here is a simple summary of the features that make us stand out:

•  The world’s most comprehensive repertoire of birding tours, including everything from easy-going bird and wildlife adventures that can be enjoyed by everyone to pioneering and sometimes demanding journeys to the world’s last birding frontiers. We have shown our clients and friends more species of birds than any other birding tour company: currently approaching 10,200 species using the IOC world list!

•  Our trips consistently do exceptionally well, owing to the excellence of our guides combined with our carefully thought-out trip logistics and itineraries. Just take a look at our trip reports for confirmation.

•  Expert, helpful and friendly guides and office staff, with unsurpassed experience, whose aim is to ensure that every participant has a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding tour.

•  Very low group size limits (typically ranging from 6-9, as appropriate for the birding conditions) and, as a direct result, a superior birding experience.

•  Superlative trip materials, whether it is our tour descriptions, our checklists, our pre-tour information or our tour reports.

•  Fully inclusive tour prices, including all transportation (generally including all flights that are part of the tour itinerary), accommodations, meals (and bottled water where appropriate), field excursions, entrance fees and tips/gratuities (including for drivers and local guides). Flights and/or tips are often excluded by other birding tour companies, and these items can often be very costly.

•  Price reductions for our regulars through our Birdquest Loyalty Bonus Points scheme.

•  Financial security. Birdquest is a birding tour operator of very long standing (founded in 1981), with a high level of assets and the financial resources that can provide our clients with peace of mind. Birdquest is a United Kingdom government licensed tour operator. The air holidays we offer are ATOL Protected by the Civil Aviation Authority of the United Kingdom, so your payments to us are fully protected. (Most birding tour companies based outside the European Union provide no financial protection for their clients.)


The Birdquest Philosophy

Birdquest tours are exciting, friendly, small-group birding tours designed and guided by a team of guides and office staff whose professionalism, experience and knowledge are unsurpassed. Quality is Birdquest’s watchword and profoundly influences everything that we do. Our guiding philosophy at Birdquest is quite simple: it is to give you, our clients and friends, the very best, most rewarding and most enjoyable birding trips possible: in other words, ‘The Ultimate in Birding Tours’.

We want to stress those words ‘clients and friends’, as they sum up what Birdquest is all about. We do not just think of our Birdquesters only as clients, but also as friends. All of us in the Birdquest team are very conscious that we are here to look after you and we do everything we can to provide Birdquesters with a high quality product. As we travel together for such long periods, we get to know each other very well. For this reason we have a very special relationship with Birdquesters, and one never wants to let a friend down. As one regular Birdquester, who has taken numerous tours with us put it, “Birdquest is like a club, and I like being a member”.

Our tours emphasize quality of birding: our primary aim is to guide you to those birds which are truly memorable, localized or hard to find, and often all three. The remarkable field expertise of the Birdquest guides makes them particularly well equipped to find those sought-after species that are the most important highlights of a successful birding tour. Our carefully planned itineraries and our guides’ special skills, plus our willingness to keep on trying where necessary, have earned us a worldwide reputation for consistently showing those who travel with us an unusually high proportion of the truly special birds, a reputation of which we are very proud.

We would like to stress the importance of the quality approach versus the quantity approach. While we see a lot of species on many Birdquest tours, our focus on our tours is on quality. It is easy to pile up a slightly larger trip list simply by visiting as many areas as possible in the time available and thus seeing a greater number of widespread and easy-to-find species at the expense of difficult-to-find or out of the way specialities. At Birdquest we use our considerable knowledge and experience to deliver those quality birds in each area we visit so that you will not be ‘kicking yourself’ later when you realized what you missed.


The Nature of Birdquest Tours

Birdquest tours are designed specifically for people who want to spend their time birding while exploring the world’s wild places. Birdquest tours are arranged and guided with a professional touch and with great attention to quality, yet they are decidedly informal, with a friendly atmosphere. A common purpose and a pleasant mix of people gives Birdquest groups a special camaraderie.

There is nothing unusual about the pace of Birdquest tours as compared with other birding tour companies who cater for the keener type of birder. The reason our groups do better than most is largely down to the skills and knowledge of our guides, and to our superior trip logistics, although we will admit to being quite persistent in trying to find the special birds for you!

A typical Birdquest tour is of moderate intensity, with either easy or easy to moderate grade walking requirements, and comfortable accommodations and transportation. We also have some harder trips and even a small number that are pretty demanding as they visit remote areas with bad roads and very basic accommodations, and may involve quite strenuous hiking at times. This variation simply reflects the diversity of birding conditions that exists in the huge range of destinations that Birdquest offers.

If you are new to Birdquest and unsure of your physical abilities in relation to a particular tour, we invite you to contact our office and speak to one of our experts before booking. We want you to have a great time on our tours, and we regard helping participants pick the tours that are right for them as a very important part of our service.

The first hours of daylight are by far the most productive and interesting time for observing birds and other wildlife, so early starts are a necessity on all serious birding tours, as are quite long days in the field in many places (although we do take a break during the hottest hours when the tour logistics allow).

As well as being a thoroughly enjoyable experience that gets one away from the routine back home, Birdquest tours also provide a great opportunity to improve one’s field skills and overall knowledge of birds.

Birdquest tours often stay longer in a given locality than other birding tours to the same destination, since we know that the key to a truly successful tour is having enough time to find most of the special birds of the region in question: there is nothing worse than missing key birds through having insufficient time in the crucial areas! We also like to keep the proportion of the tour devoted to travel as low as is practicable so that you can have more time to enjoy watching birds and, of course, further chances to find the more elusive specialities.

First-timers often ask what kind of birders travel with Birdquest. The reality is that we cater for a very wide range of birdwatchers, and even non-birding partners. There is nothing unusual about our client mix. Birdquest’s philosophy is well liked by those who are prepared to make a bit of extra effort to see the really good birds.

Being knowledgeable about birds is definitely not a requirement for enjoying Birdquest tours. We would say that at least two-thirds of those who travel with us would not consider themselves especially knowledgeable, or might even feel that their birding skills were limited. Our friendly guides are there to look after every member of group, so skill level is completely unimportant.

The only qualifying requirement for our tours is being keen to watch birds, or at least being tolerant of other group members’ desires in this regard. If you are new to Birdquest and are unsure whether you or your partner would enjoy one of our tours, give us a call. We will be happy to have a chat with you and offer advice.

Birdquest tours feature comfortable accommodations with en-suite bathrooms wherever possible, but in our diverse world such accommodations are not universally available, so in some destinations we have to put up with the best there is. We naturally always give priority to the birding and other wildlife potential when selecting our accommodations, but within this constraint we try, wherever there is a real choice, to choose hotels and lodges that are memorable and enjoyable places to stay in their own right.

Road travel in most countries is in small coaches or minibuses (passenger vans), but we often use cars or 4x4 vehicles in appropriate areas. Lunches on full days in the field tend to be picnics, but we often return to our accommodation to eat lunch or use a local restaurant.

There are few birders who do not enjoy watching mammals and other wildlife. Indeed, encountering a family group of Gorillas in the heart of Africa, watching a Tiger stealing through the tawny grasslands of India or spending time with a band of gentle but inquisitive Ring-tailed Lemurs in the forests of Madagascar are among the most magical moments in the life of a birder. In most parts of the world mammals are not very obvious, but wherever one travels there are few better ways of seeing them than while out birding. Although almost all our tours are focussed on birds, we always take a keen interest in observing any mammals we encounter, or indeed reptiles, amphibians and other wildlife. We also have a number of tours that give important billing to star mammals.

By their nature most of our tours visit regions far from areas of significant cultural interest. On the other hand there are a number of wonderful places which are conveniently visited without detouring significantly from our birding itineraries and which add greatly to the rich tapestry of experiences that a birding tour provides. While we like to include opportunities to see something of these evocative reminders of a bygone age during appropriate tours, visits are inevitably of fairly limited duration.


Our Guides

The guide is by far the most important feature of any birding tour. All Birdquest tours are accompanied by one or more professional guides with the knowledge and experience to make the tour wholly successful. Birdquest guides know their areas thoroughly and take pride in showing those who travel with them the local specialities. Our constant aim is to try and ensure that every participant joining our tours has a great time and we strive to show every member of our groups as many of the birds found as is humanly possible.

Not only are Birdquest guides highly skilled at finding and identifying birds, but they are also friendly, competent and approachable individuals who are experts at dealing with the day to day running of the tour, confidently coping with any problems that may arise and so greatly increasing the chance that everything will run smoothly. Guiding a birding tour in Europe or North America is one thing, guiding one in a developing country where logistical problems are a fact of life is quite another! Our combined experience in the field is such that we can justifiably claim unrivalled experience in many parts of the world.

In many places there are no resident bird guides with the requisite leadership skills, but where practicable we obtain the assistance of local guides who have both an intimate knowledge of their home areas and the ability to look after our groups to the required standard.


Our Office Staff

As our Birdquesters so often affirm, the travel organizing skills of our office staff and their caring commitment to our clients and friends are second to none. Having such a dedicated and efficient team behind you makes all the difference when it comes to having an enjoyable tour, both before, during and after the tour.

You can call or email our office at any time and ask us any question you would like to. You are going to find helpful and courteous service, and we always enjoy chatting with actual or potential Birdquesters, so if you have any questions at all about any of our tours then please get in touch. We want to hear from you!


Our Clients and Friends

Birdquesters range from complete beginners to experienced and expert birders, but the majority would qualify as relatively inexpert but enthusiastic. You need have no fear that you will always be the only novice amongst a clique of experts. Level of knowledge is unimportant when it comes to enjoying a Birdquest, as our guides are well able to cater for the needs of all group members and indeed enjoy passing on their knowledge and enthusiasm to those who have only recently been bitten by the birding bug.

Age is also immaterial on most Birdquest tours, provided you are in good health and can walk reasonable distances on trails at a normal walking pace. Indeed we have a large number of tours where the walking effort involved is mostly or wholly easy. The age range of the great majority of Birdquesters lies between the early 40s and the early 70s.

The only requirements for enjoying the great majority of Birdquest tours are a desire to devote the tour to birding and enjoying whatever other wildlife we encounter, a willingness to make some extra effort to find those special birds, a love of the outdoors, a sense of adventure and an ability to get on reasonably well with others.

The very high level of repeat bookings, amounting to some 85-90% in any given year, speaks for itself and is the clearest possible indication of the quality of Birdquest tours and the very high level of customer satisfaction that they produce. Not only do we have an unsurpassed level of repeat bookings, but numerous Birdquesters have taken over 20 tours with us and some have even passed the 75 mark!

Most Birdquest groups have a distinctly international flavour, with several nationalities represented. Birdquesters come from every part of the developed world and from a number of developing countries as well. This remarkable international following is the best possible affirmation of the ‘world class’ quality of Birdquest tours.


Group Size Limits

Birdquest pioneered the move to smaller groups that many others have since followed. Birding quality is very important for the many discerning people who travel with us, so we typically limit our Birdquest groups to 6-9 participants in order to ensure better communication between leader(s) and group members, and a higher chance of seeing skulking birds. In general birding conditions determine appropriate group size limits, but sometimes also the tour logistics.

As we know from the many comments we have received from Birdquesters, there are few things more frustrating than birding in a large group of 14-16 including guides, or even being in a large group that is split up on forest trails and where you end up with the less experienced, or maybe just less lucky, guide!


Tour Descriptions, Checklists, Tour Information & Tour Reports

Our tour descriptions and itineraries, checklists, pre-tour information documents and post-tour reports are widely lauded. The Birdquest checklists are powered by our partner iGoTerra (www.igoterra.com) who provide web and mobile applications for bird and wildlife enthusiasts and businesses. Their suite of services cover observations, rankings, lists, photos and trip management tools.

Preparation is an essential part of any birding tour and, indeed, most people find great enjoyment in looking up the birds, mammals and places they are going to see, and in savouring the delights to come. Birdquest tour descriptions and itineraries are very comprehensive, something in which we take considerable pride. Our guides’ knowledge of their favourite countries is generally unsurpassed and we enjoy giving a detailed description of the areas our tours are going to visit and the birds our extensive experience has taught us to expect.

We also provide all participants with an annotated checklist of birds and mammals that indicates the probability of any given species being seen during the tour and which also includes detailed taxonomic notes. Our tour information gives details about visas, customs, currency, health, insurance, luggage, clothing, climate, bird books, maps, tour start and end information, flight times and tour routine.

A tour report is often sent out after the end of a tour. If you are considering joining one of our tours, you can obtain the most recent tour reports for that destination from our website.


Reliability

It is extremely disappointing, after months of looking forward to a well-earned tour, to find that it has been cancelled due to insufficient interest. Birdquest has an outstanding record for reliability, since the great majority of our tours operate as planned. We have achieved this reputation not just because our tours are popular but also because they are carefully costed so that they can still be operated when there are relatively few participants.


Why do Birding Tour Prices vary so much?

At the end of the day, consistent high quality, whether it be the quality of the guides or of other services, cannot be provided at a significant discount. We employ guides whose field skills, background knowledge and organizational skills are such that they stand out from the crowd. Likewise our office staff are highly talented people who will devote special care and attention while looking after our clients.

The other major difference between birding tour companies concerns the quality of the accommodation that each provides, the type of transport provided (for example, using 4x4 vehicles in East Africa rather than minibuses/passenger vans) and whether or not they include tips and the flights required to carry out the tour.

Using inferior accommodations and transportation can produce large headline price reductions, as can cutting out flights and tips for local drivers and guides. The latter two can amount to very considerable sums on many tours. Even we are often taken in at first when we see some apparently much lower headline price and only later realise that no flight costs and/or driver and guide tips are included!

We at Birdquest choose not to go down such a path. So when you compare birding tour prices, check into what you will be getting if you opt for something that may seem like a bargain, but which may not turn out to be such good value after all.

Our aim is to provide birding tours that are unsurpassed in quality. Birdquest tours feature low group size limits, professional guides of great ability, superior itineraries that often spend more time in key areas or visit extra localities, and good quality accommodations and transportation wherever these are available.

Our tour prices include all surface transportation, accommodations, meals, bottled water (where appropriate), field excursions and entrance fees.

We also generally include all integral flights in our itineraries and all tips for drivers and local guides (any exceptions are clearly indicated).

In a small group situation, expected tipping to drivers and local guides can easily amount to US$400 or more per person for a three weeks tour. Local guides and drivers usually work extremely hard to make a birding tour a success, working very long hours, and, as they receive low basic wages, tips for them are not a pleasant bonus but a crucial part of their annual income. We feel it is infinitely preferable that we include this major item of expense so that guides and drivers are properly rewarded and tour participants are saved both the fiddle of having to pay out substantial extra sums in cash during a tour and, even more importantly, the potential embarrassment that inappropriate tipping involves.

Obviously such a fully-inclusive, high-quality tour philosophy does not make for temptingly low headline prices, but we firmly believe that quality and convenience for our clients is of greater importance.


Financial Security

Financial security is a vital part of any tour arrangements. Birdquest is a licensed tour operator of very long standing (founded in 1981), with a high level of assets and thus the financial resources that can provide our clients with peace of mind. Birdquest holds an ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s Licence) from the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority, a prestigious licence that requires a high level of financial solvency and regular monitoring by the CAA.

We cannot stress enough how important it is to book your birding tours with a sound and reliable company. Unfortunately most birding tour companies based outside the European Union fail to provide any financial protection. This saves costs for them, allowing them to cut prices, but leaves you very vulnerable if anything goes wrong.


Birdquest Loyalty Bonus Points

We like to provide a material reward for the many loyal Birdquesters who travel with us on a frequent basis. One Birdquest Loyalty Bonus Point is accrued for every Birdquest group tour completed (excluding part tours, custom tours/extensions and reunion events). Each Birdquest Loyalty Bonus Point entitles the holder to the price reduction as specified in our booking conditions. A minimum of 5 points per person is needed to qualify for a reduction.


Bird & Wildlife Photography

The advent of digital photography has revolutionized the photographic potential on birding tours. Excellent images can now be captured in almost any venue, even in the dark recesses of the rainforest. Some of our tours provide a lot more photographic opportunities than others, however, and these are clearly indicated by such descriptions as ‘good’, ‘very good’ or ‘outstanding’ in the photography entries in our tour descriptions. It should be noted that we rate photographic opportunities conservatively compared to some, so we only rate the opportunities on most forest-dominated tours as ‘worthwhile’.


Smoking

There are few smokers left among birders, but we do ask those who still smoke to refrain from smoking in vehicles and during meals. We also ask them to take care that, when smoking in the field or at other times, they do not inconvenience other group members.


Birdquest’s commitment to Conservation

Birdquest is strongly committed to bird protection and to conservation in general. As well as being corporate sponsors of such organizations as BirdLife International, the Oriental Bird Club, the African Bird Club and the Neotropical Bird Club, we have raised funds directly for bird conservation projects in Cambodia, China, Ecuador, French Polynesia, Hungary, India (including Ladakh, where we paid for a huge animal shelter for a village to safeguard against stock losses from Snow Leopards), Madagascar, Malta, Mauritius, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Russia, Thailand and elsewhere.

Ecotourism operators are particularly well placed to influence governments when decisions are to be made concerning the future of important areas for birds and other wildlife, since the potential income from developing ecotourism can, in the long term, partly or even wholly offset the potential short-term gain from destroying an area. We keep a close watch on environmental issues in the countries we visit and frequently do whatever we can to support local or international conservation initiatives.

A huge Southern Royal Albatross incubates its egg on scenic Campbell Island in the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand (Pete Morris)

A huge Southern Royal Albatross incubates its egg on scenic Campbell Island in the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand (Pete Morris)

Birdquest tours get you to see many of the rarest and most spectacular birds and wildlife on our planet, such as this Blakiston's Fish Owl, the largest owl in the world! (Pete Morris)

Birdquest tours get you to see many of the rarest and most spectacular birds and wildlife on our planet, such as this Blakiston's Fish Owl, the largest owl in the world! (Pete Morris)

We get you to some of the most far flung places such as the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where this Tuamotu Sandpiper was photographed (Pete Morris)

We get you to some of the most far flung places such as the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where this Tuamotu Sandpiper was photographed (Pete Morris)

When we have the time, we love to take in other wildlife such as the wonderful Snow Monkeys (or Japanese Macaques) of Nagano in Japan (Pete Morris)

When we have the time, we love to take in other wildlife such as the wonderful Snow Monkeys (or Japanese Macaques) of Nagano in Japan (Pete Morris)

And we often go in search of little known or seldom seen species such as the rare Forest Owlet (Mark Beaman)

And we often go in search of little known or seldom seen species such as the rare Forest Owlet (Mark Beaman)

Our tours will take you to every continent and we have the most extensive and comprehensive repertoire of any company. Close to home, in Europe, we can show you goodies such as Black Woodpecker (Pete Morris)

Our tours will take you to every continent and we have the most extensive and comprehensive repertoire of any company. Close to home, in Europe, we can show you goodies such as Black Woodpecker (Pete Morris)

...the delightful Hazel Grouse (Pete Morris)

...the delightful Hazel Grouse (Pete Morris)

... and up in the Arctic, the incomparable Polar Bear (Pete Morris).

... and up in the Arctic, the incomparable Polar Bear (Pete Morris).

In Northern Asia our extensive range of tours covers a wide area from Siberia right down to Japan and China. Cranes are often a theme (these are Hooded Cranes flying into roost) (Pete Morris)

In Northern Asia our extensive range of tours covers a wide area from Siberia right down to Japan and China. Cranes are often a theme (these are Hooded Cranes flying into roost) (Pete Morris)

...and such mouthwatering gems as this Siberian Rubythroat become the norm! (Pete Morris)

...and such mouthwatering gems as this Siberian Rubythroat become the norm! (Pete Morris)

A number of rare endemics occur too, such as this Okinawa Rail (Pete Morris)

A number of rare endemics occur too, such as this Okinawa Rail (Pete Morris)

The Indian Subcontinent has many wonders and they are not all avian! There are of course many great birds such as this Sykes's Nightjar (Mark Beaman)

The Indian Subcontinent has many wonders and they are not all avian! There are of course many great birds such as this Sykes's Nightjar (Mark Beaman)

... some fantastic cultural sites – the Taj Mahal needs few introductions (Mark Beaman)

... some fantastic cultural sites – the Taj Mahal needs few introductions (Mark Beaman)

... and of course the fantastic but sadly rapidly disappearing Tiger, surely one of the world's must-see creatures! (Mark Beaman)

... and of course the fantastic but sadly rapidly disappearing Tiger, surely one of the world's must-see creatures! (Mark Beaman)

In Southeast Asia, tropical rainforest takes over, and many of the exciting species can be found in this exciting habitat. The Oriental Bay Owl is just one of many fantastic nightbirds found in the region (János Oláh)

In Southeast Asia, tropical rainforest takes over, and many of the exciting species can be found in this exciting habitat. The Oriental Bay Owl is just one of many fantastic nightbirds found in the region (János Oláh)

... and many of the world's most colourful kingfishers, such as this Rufous-collared Kingfisher, live here (Pete Morris)

... and many of the world's most colourful kingfishers, such as this Rufous-collared Kingfisher, live here (Pete Morris)

Sadly the rainforests are disappearing at an alarming rate and many of the species, such as this Wallace's Standardwing, are severely threatened (Pete Morris)

Sadly the rainforests are disappearing at an alarming rate and many of the species, such as this Wallace's Standardwing, are severely threatened (Pete Morris)

In tropical Africa, a wide variety of habitats occur, leading to a very diverse selection of wildlife such as the amazing Shoebill (Pete Morris)

In tropical Africa, a wide variety of habitats occur, leading to a very diverse selection of wildlife such as the amazing Shoebill (Pete Morris)

... the fantastic Gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Pete Morris)

... the fantastic Gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Pete Morris)

... and the superb Black Harrier of Southern Africa (Pete Morris)

... and the superb Black Harrier of Southern Africa (Pete Morris)

Madagascar is the jewel of the Indian Ocean Islands, and is home to an unbelievable array of endemics such as this Helmet Vanga (Simon Harrap)

Madagascar is the jewel of the Indian Ocean Islands, and is home to an unbelievable array of endemics such as this Helmet Vanga (Simon Harrap)

... the amazing Indri, the largest extant lemur (incredibly, everyone of Madagascar's 150 or so species of terrestrial mammals are endemic!) Pete Morris

... the amazing Indri, the largest extant lemur (incredibly, everyone of Madagascar's 150 or so species of terrestrial mammals are endemic!) Pete Morris

... and the superb Common Sunbird-Asity (Pete Morris)

... and the superb Common Sunbird-Asity (Pete Morris)

In Australasia and the Pacific Islands, endemism is also high. Australia is home to a variety of superb wildlife such as this Splendid Fairywren (Pete Morris)

In Australasia and the Pacific Islands, endemism is also high. Australia is home to a variety of superb wildlife such as this Splendid Fairywren (Pete Morris)

... whilst New Zealand and the Subantarctic Islands harbour a rich variety of seabirds such as this Royal Penguin (Pete Morris)

... whilst New Zealand and the Subantarctic Islands harbour a rich variety of seabirds such as this Royal Penguin (Pete Morris)

Much of the bird life in the Pacific Islands, such as this Polynesian Ground-Dove (and the Tuamotu Sandpiper featured at the top of this page) is severely threatened by introduced rats (Pete Morris)

Much of the bird life in the Pacific Islands, such as this Polynesian Ground-Dove (and the Tuamotu Sandpiper featured at the top of this page) is severely threatened by introduced rats (Pete Morris)

In North America, we have a wide variety of tours from Alaska (where these Tufted Puffins were photographed) right down to Texas and Arizona (Pete Morris)

In North America, we have a wide variety of tours from Alaska (where these Tufted Puffins were photographed) right down to Texas and Arizona (Pete Morris)

Interesting mammals, such as this Moose, can be seen on several of the tours (Pete Morris)

Interesting mammals, such as this Moose, can be seen on several of the tours (Pete Morris)

For spectacular sights, Colorado - 'The Ultimate Grousequest' is hard to beat! This is a Greater Prairie-Chicken (Mark Beaman)

For spectacular sights, Colorado - 'The Ultimate Grousequest' is hard to beat! This is a Greater Prairie-Chicken (Mark Beaman)

Central America & the Caribbean has another set of fantastic species such as this Stygian Owl, photographed in Cuba (Pete Morris)

Central America & the Caribbean has another set of fantastic species such as this Stygian Owl, photographed in Cuba (Pete Morris)

... the amazing Three-wattled Bellbird (Pete Morris)

... the amazing Three-wattled Bellbird (Pete Morris)

... and the delightful Snowcap, both photographed in Costa Rica (Pete Morris)

... and the delightful Snowcap, both photographed in Costa Rica (Pete Morris)

South America is THE bird continent, and at times the diversity can be overwhelming! Over 800 species are possible on some tours, and over 500 commonplace! Continuing the hummingbird theme, this is a Crimson Topaz (Pete Morris)

South America is THE bird continent, and at times the diversity can be overwhelming! Over 800 species are possible on some tours, and over 500 commonplace! Continuing the hummingbird theme, this is a Crimson Topaz (Pete Morris)

Perhaps the most impressive of all raptors, the huge Harpy Eagle (Pete Morris)

Perhaps the most impressive of all raptors, the huge Harpy Eagle (Pete Morris)

And here's a gorgeous Crimson-hooded Manakin (Pete Morris)

And here's a gorgeous Crimson-hooded Manakin (Pete Morris)

Finally, we can take you to the Antarctic region where penguins and albatrosses thrive, and fantastic scenery is all around. These are King Penguins (Pete Morris)

Finally, we can take you to the Antarctic region where penguins and albatrosses thrive, and fantastic scenery is all around. These are King Penguins (Pete Morris)

... and this, a graceful Light-mantled Albatross. We hope to see you on one of our fantastic adventures in the future! (Pete Morris)

... and this, a graceful Light-mantled Albatross. We hope to see you on one of our fantastic adventures in the future! (Pete Morris)