VENT Birding Tours: Photo Galleries

Alaska Highlights 2016

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Aug 01, 2016

Once again our Alaska Highlights tour lived up to its billing, providing us with incredible birds, impressive mammals, and endless awesome scenery. On our first morning, prior to catching a flight to Nome, we made a quick detour to a local park in Anchorage where, rumor had it, a pair of American Three-toed Woodpeckers were nesting. Not only did we see both the male and female woodpeckers visiting the nest, but we also tallied a wonderful pair of Pacific Loons in breeding plumage, several Red...


VENT's 40th Anniversary Celebration

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Jun 21, 2016

Our 40th Anniversary Celebration was the biggest event in the history of Victor Emanuel Nature Tours, and, I’m thrilled to say, a huge success! In bringing together 114 participants, 17 tour leaders, several of our office staff, and an array of special guests, we proudly commemorated the completion of our fourth decade of providing birding and nature tours of the highest quality. In some ways it’s hard to believe how far we’ve come and all that we’ve accomplished since...


Big Bend National Park & the Texas Hill Country 2016

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Jun 10, 2016

The best Big Bend tour ever? That argument can certainly be made for our 2016 Big Bend National Park & the Texas Hill Country tour. We began our journey in San Antonio and quickly worked our way westward into the Hill Country. At our first stop (theoretically just a bathroom stop!) we tallied several Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, nesting Cave Swallows, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, a skylarking Cassin’s Sparrow, a stunningly orange Bullock’s Oriole, and a Couch’s Kingbird amo...


Cuba, March 30-April 9, 2016

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Jun 10, 2016

No matter how many consecutive times I lead Cuba tours, it is always exciting, as if it were my first time ever guiding in this amazing island. Maybe this is because of Cuba’s uniqueness, or its endemic birds, or possibly the mix of Neotropical warblers, or perhaps its amazing art deco architecture mixed with contemporary history, or maybe a mix of all of these things. Cuban Tody— Photo: David Ascanio   Part of this excitement comes from the fact that eac...


Spring in South Texas: Hill Country Extension 2016

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 ...


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