Archive for May, 2010

Colombia Joins the Ecotourist Trade In a Big Way

May 26, 2010

I got a chance to talk with John Drummond, a PIB partner.  He told me his recent trip to Colombia was a huge success in every way.  Acting as trip host, Drummond worked with Lelis Navarette and the Neblina Forest Tours team to see over 500 species.  That’s more than a fine birder could expect in a full year birding any state in the U.S.  In Colombia it took  less than 3 weeks to see 523 species, hear another four dozen.  And endemics?


Click here for information on upcoming PIB trips to Colombia with Neblina Forest Tours.

If you’d like to savor the complete trip report with locations for many of the 523 species seen, email:

Photos top to bottom: Endemic Yellow-crowned Whitestart, found in the Santa Marta Mountains of eastern Colombia;  Golden-ringed Tanager; Indigo-capped Hummingbird; ourPIB birders having to sit quietly as hummers buzz around feeders at an eco-lodge.  Tough birding, huh?

All these fine photos taken on recent trip by John Drummond.

Galapagos–This Is The Last, Best Year To Bird There!

May 26, 2010

There’s great news and not so wonderful news about the Galapagos.  Ecuadoran conservationists are getting serious about protecting many of the fragile islands their endemic species from over-exposure.  That would mean fewer of us locusts tourists.  But that also means if you wait to go to the Galapagos after Dec. 31, youn’t see many species that are still viewable this year.  And this year only!

I’m going in late September.  Thanks to Neblina Forest Tours and PIB, there are a few slots available for tours to the Galapagos this year.  One trip that begins Sept. 19 in Quito would cost you $2990 per capita.  That includes all in-country transit in Ecuador and three nights in Quito.  Quito is a fascinating city.  The air is thin (8000′) but the culture is thick.  And they spend Yank dollars so the currency is easy to grasp.  After Quito: seven nights on a boat as you see the Galapagos Islands.

I know those famous Darwin finches are all just off-shoots of the ordinary House Finch.  But, hey, endemic off-shoots, and some you’ll never see if you don’t go this year.

Masked Boobies.

After September there are more trips possible.  See the PIB website or email:  Trips after September will run about $3400 from Quito.

–Harry Fuller

Africa: Virtual, or Real

May 11, 2010

You can do some virtual Africa birding via the Internet, just click here.

Or you can come along on one of the many fine PIB trips: Uganda, South Africa, et al.  And see some of these birds for yourself.

Black Beeeaters above.  Shoebill below.  Pictures by PIB partner, John Drummond, in Uganda.

Uganda trips this year and next. South Africa trips.

Or Madagascar next year.