VENT Birding Tours: Photo Galleries

Spring in South Texas: Hill Country Extension 2016


May 23, 2016

April in the Texas Hill Country—certainly there could be no better way to conclude our Spring in South Texas tour than with a four-day extension to this diverse and scenic region of the state. Our 2016 trip was assuredly one of our most successful ever, with myriad highlights. Traveling north from Laredo, we passed scores of magnificent Scissor-tailed Flycatchers along the roadsides (tallying an impressive 142 for the day!). Several Crested Caracaras, a colony of Cave Swallows, multiple...

Spring in South Texas 2016


May 22, 2016

From the magnificent Whooping Cranes of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge to the rare and diminutive White-collared Seedeaters of Laredo, this Spring in South Texas tour had it all! We began our trip in Corpus Christi with promising north winds blowing all day long. A late afternoon visit to Tule Lake yielded a good introduction to the Texas Coast with a comical Reddish Egret stealing the show and dazzling Roseate Spoonbills vying for top honors. Reddish Egret.— Photo: Barry...

Spring Hawaii 2016


Mar 31, 2016

The Spring Hawaii tour takes in the best of the natural history of three main Hawaiian islands— Hawaii, Kauai, and Oahu: stunning seabirds, rare one-of-a-kind forest birds in beautiful tropical forests, scenic seacoasts and interior mountain ridges, and massive volcanoes. Hawaii also offers the most accessible volcanic realm in the world, balmy weather, and superb food. Lodging is nice too, and three of the four hotels where we stay back right up to the ocean shoreline. Our 2016 Spring ...

Bolivia: Endemic Macaws & More, Part II


Mar 28, 2016

Part II of our 2016 Bolivia tour visits the foothills, cloudforests, and high elevation grasslands of the Andes. Read the full tour description.

Bolivia: Endemic Macaws & More, Part I


Mar 19, 2016

Part I of our 2016 Bolivia tour visits the Andean lowlands, grasslands, and valleys to seek endemic macaws and a wealth of other seldom seen South American birds. Read the full tour description.

Trinidad 2016


Mar 16, 2016

Fewer than two hundred are believed to exist in the world. Aware of its drastic decline in recent decades and also of the lack of sightings on recent tours, I felt we had little, if any, chance of seeing the Trinidad Piping-Guan, one of the world’s rarest birds. Our local guide had informed me, however, of recent sightings of one bird seen on and off for the last few weeks at a particular location high up on the Blanchisseuse Road. We departed Asa Wright Nature Centre early that morning...

Amazon River Cruise January 2016


Mar 15, 2016

During our weeklong trip on the Río Amazon, Río Ucayali, Río Marañon, and various tributaries of these rivers, we experienced no measurable rain and also were witness to one of the lowest river water levels for this time of year that has been reported. This dryness was, undoubtedly, the result of a particularly strong El Niño year. Most days were partly cloudy to cloudy and pleasant, although we had one particularly sunny and hot morning on our visit to the ...

Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falklands 2016


Mar 15, 2016

Our January 2016 cruise to the end of the earth was an exciting adventure, full of amazing wildlife sightings, some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, incredibly informative and entertaining lectures by a talented Zegrahm Expeditions staff, and a cheerful bunch of fellow travelers. As can be expected with such an ambitious cruise, there were a few bumps in the road, resulting in an altered itinerary, but the trip was an amazing success by any standard.  Although many particip...

Spring Birding in Spain 2015


Feb 29, 2016

Soaring peaks, plains that stretch to the horizon, productive marshes, and more than 220 species of birds made for a wonderful trip across Spain. We drank, dined, and birded the Iberian Peninsula for sixteen exciting days. Flamingoes, sandgrouse, five eagles among twenty species of raptors, storks, spoonbills, Bluethroat, eagle-owl, gulls, Wallcreeper, Ring Ouzel, and some beautiful finches were all tallied during our tour of the delightful countryside in Spain. White-headed Duck...

Winter New Mexico 2016


Feb 14, 2016

We arrived at breathtaking Sandia Crest (literally, as we were at 10,678 feet elevation) around midday on the last day of our tour. The scenery was jaw-dropping, with every spruce and aspen decorated with a thick frosting of snow under a sea of azure-blue skies. Sandia Crest - a winter wonderland.— Photo: Barry Zimmer   From the café inside the Crest House, the jagged peaks of the Sandia Mountains dropped dramatically down to the Rio Grande Valley and th...

Winter Southern Arizona 2016


Feb 11, 2016

We arrived at Catalina State Park in the midafternoon of the second day of our Winter Arizona tour. The morning, spent scouring the desert scrub and agricultural fields of the Santa Cruz Flats, had been a huge success. A spectacular Prairie Falcon (one of three on the day) glided right over our heads at our first stop south of Arizona City. A little further down the road, two of our main targets for the day, Bendire’s Thrasher and Sagebrush Sparrow, posed side by side in the scope. Moun...

Costa Rica: A Relaxed & Easy Tour 2015


Feb 09, 2016

Once again, Costa Rica provided an amazing mix of birds, mammals, and reptiles, along with unique opportunities to learn about the interrelations between birds and their habitats. Our tour started in Cerro de la Muerte, a mountain that’s part of the Talamanca Cordillera, where a hummingbird-filled week gave us views of the near-endemics Volcano Hummingbird, White-throated Mountain-Gem, and Fiery-throated Hummingbird. Easy birding along the road allowed us to see other wonderful birds su...

Panama's Canal Zone: A Relaxed & Easy Tour 2015


Feb 08, 2016

As soon as there was light in the town of Gamboa, in the Panama Canal area, we were welcomed with open “birding” arms. Our first day was packed with views of antbirds, parrots, raptors, crakes, toucans, tyrant-flycatchers, and hummingbirds. Yes, a lot of hummingbirds! Fasciated Antshrike— Photo: David Ascanio   Gamboa, with its picturesque houses, was our starting point and headquarters for this week filled with wildlife. Well-maintained gardens wer...

Santiago-Humboldt Extension


Jan 18, 2016

This new Santiago-Humboldt Extension to our Wild Patagonia & Central Chile tour explores the stunning mountains and coast close to Santiago for a range of regional endemics, range-restricted, and pelagic specialty birds. Outstanding scenery assured, as well as good photographic opportunities.

Wild Patagonia & Central Chile


Jan 14, 2016

Magnificent Andean scenery, Patagonian steppe, southern beech forest, Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego National Parks, Pumas, penguins, and condors are hallmarks of this exciting new Wild Patagonia & Central Chile tour. Excellent photographic opportunities.

Panama: Fall at El Valle's Canopy Lodge 2015


Dec 03, 2015

Once again, our Canopy Lodge tour provided a memorable and exciting birding adventure to Panama. The cool foothill habitats surrounding El Valle, combined with a visit to the Pacific lowlands, yielded nearly 240 species of birds with countless highlights. Squirrel Cuckoo— Photo: Barry Zimmer We began our trip with brief birding around our Panama City hotel. A stunning Squirrel Cuckoo topped the list, but close, perched Blue-headed Parrots, Pale-vented Pigeon, Yellow-headed ...

Hungary & The Czech Republic: Birds & Music 2015


Nov 25, 2015

Replete with historical and cultural attractions, Budapest and Prague are revered as some of the world’s most beautiful and charming cities. Among birders, Hungary and the Czech Republic are not as well-known as many destinations but, in fact, offer some of the finest avian riches on the entire European continent. On this first-of-a-kind tour for VENT, we presented, in a single program, a Birds & Music tour that encompassed some of the best natural history and cultural attributes th...

Kazakhstan 2014


Nov 04, 2015

VENT’s fourth comprehensive tour of Central Asia was our most successful yet, sighting 265 species of birds, 16 mammals, and a variety of interesting reptiles. Many of the birds were in dazzling breeding plumage and full song. Native plants were flowering extensively. We birded in a huge variety of habitats including feather steppe, irano-sindian hills, turanga woodlands, sand deserts, rock deserts, huge wetlands, alpine fields to the snow line, juniper forests, and sino-himalayan decid...

Galapagos Islands Cruise aboard the M/V Evolution, July 2015


Nov 04, 2015

There are very few destinations where one can have as rich and complete a natural history experience as the Galápagos Islands. The rugged beauty of these volcanic islands is breathtaking, and the sheer abundance of wildlife is simply staggering and ripe with photographic opportunity. But there is so much more to the Galápagos. Just the thought of walking in the footsteps of Darwin, on the very islands that shaped his theory of natural selection and had such a profound influence ...

Fall at Panama's Canopy Tower 2015


Nov 03, 2015

Although I have led over 25 tours to Panama, I don’t think I can remember one that had more special moments than this year’s Canopy Tower tour. In fact, in one six-hour period along Pipeline Road, we had three of my most memorable Panama moments ever! Pheasant Cuckoo - a tour first!— Photo: Barry Zimmer We had just come down from the observation tower of the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center, when Natalia, one of the Center employees, told us she had just locat...

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