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Catch up on the latest news from Victor Emanuel Nature Tours by reading the latest VENTflash.

VENTflash #228

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Victor Emanuel: September 27, 2017

Dear friends, One of the many wonderful things about being in nature is that you never know what you will see. If you have the right attitude, you will never return empty-handed from spending time outdoors. Last week I had the great pleasure of spending a morning at my favorite local birding area, Hornsby Bend, with my friend and author Scott Weidensaul. Scott had come to Austin to give a presentation for the Travis Audubon Society (TAS). Western Diamondback, September 21, 2017&mdash...


VENTflash #227

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Victor Emanuel: September 12, 2017

Dear friends, In late August I traveled to Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park where Brian Gibbons and I co-led VENT's first-ever Solar Eclipse tour. I am pleased to report that the trip was a great success. We toured with a wonderful group of people, enjoyed good birding and wildlife viewing amid one of the great landscapes of the Lower 48, and were treated to superb views of the total eclipse from atop a ridge in the Teton National Forest. Brewer's Sparrow — Photo: Greg Las...


VENTflash #226: Free Webinar! Seychelles & Madagascar with Aldabra Atoll

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Victor Emanuel: September 07, 2017

Dear friends: On Wednesday, September 13, my colleague Barry Lyon and I will host a free webinar, the last in our 2017 series of webinars in collaboration with Zegrahm Expeditions, in which we'll discuss VENT's upcoming cruise: Seychelles & Madagascar with Aldabra Atoll, October 20-November 6, 2018. Seychelles and Madagascar with Aldabra Atoll For this special departure (VENT hasn't been to the Seychelles in eight years), we'll travel aboard the elegant Silver Discoverer on a...


VENTflash #225

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Victor Emanuel: August 09, 2017

Dear friends: August brings some of the hottest days of the year to central Texas, but it also brings southbound shorebirds in increasing numbers. My favorite local birding area in Austin is the wastewater treatment center at Hornsby Bend, an excellent place to observe shorebirds in late summer. Last week, on a particularly memorable visit there, I saw 14 species of shorebirds including several species that I had not seen since spring. Baird's Sandpiper — Photo: Greg Lasley ...


VENTflash #224: Circumnavigation of Hokkaido: Japan's Wild Island - Free Webinar!

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Victor Emanuel: August 03, 2017

Dear friends: On Wednesday, August 16, my colleague Barry Lyon and I will host a free webinar, the next in our series of webinars in collaboration with Zegrahm Expeditions, in which we'll discuss VENT's upcoming cruise: Circumnavigation of Hokkaido: Japan's Wild Island, May 19-June 3, 2018. For this special trip, we'll travel aboard the beautiful Caledonian Sky, voyaging from Honshu ("mainland" Japan) north through the Sea of Japan to Hokkaido before performing a circumnavigation of Japan's n...


VENTflash #223

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Victor Emanuel: July 26, 2017

Dear friends: Summer is a very important time of the year for me because that is when we operate our camps for young birders and naturalists: Camp Chiricahua in Southeast Arizona and Camp Cascades in Washington State. Rowan O'Shea — Photo: Brian O'Shea I have long regarded VENT's summer youth camp program as one of the best things our company has ever done. About 500 young birders and naturalists have attended these camps over the past 31 years. Some of these kids have led ...


VENTflash #222

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Victor Emanuel: July 12, 2017

Dear friends: Amid the start of a busy week here at VENT, I'm touching base with you briefly to let you know about four developments regarding upcoming VENT tours. First, I invite you to join us next week for a free webinar in which my colleague Barry Lyon and I will discuss the highlights of our 2018 cruise to Greenland and Iceland. Second, two spaces are newly available on a special late August trip that I will co-lead to Big Bend National Park and the Davis Mountains. Third, VENT leader Di...


VENTflash #221

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Victor Emanuel: June 28, 2017

Dear friends: One of the great pleasures of being a VENT tour leader is the opportunity to share birds and nature with the wonderful people who join our trips. Good times on our Texas Hill Country tour, 2017 — Photo: Barry Zimmer Over the years we have tried to correct some mistaken impressions about our tours. Some people have told me they are not "expert enough" to go on a VENT tour. In response, I explain that on a "typical" tour we have participants who have been birdin...


VENTflash #220

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Victor Emanuel: June 06, 2017

Dear friends: After several visits to my beach house on the Upper Texas Coast this April, I found it difficult to leave Texas for Europe in advance of our Birds & History cruise to Sicily and Malta aboard the Sea Cloud. In late April, warblers are still coming through in numbers, and I had yet to see some of my favorites including Blackburnian, Cerulean, and Golden-winged. However, duty called, and the prospect of traveling aboard the lovely Sea Cloud with a wonderful group of people and ...


VENTflash #219

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Victor Emanuel: April 25, 2017

Dear friends: As we've reached the middle of spring, I am reminded again and again why April is my favorite month of the year. Where I live in central Texas, April is glorious—the trees are rife with fresh green leaves, spring wildflowers reach their peak displays, and migrating birds are on the move. April is also a time when I most enjoy spending time at my beach house on the upper Texas coast in close proximity to the famed Bolivar Flats and High Island bird sanctuaries. Hoo...


VENTflash #218: Wild & Ancient Britain with Ireland Cruise - Free Webinar!

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Victor Emanuel: April 06, 2017

Dear friends: On Tuesday, April 11, my colleague Barry Lyon and I will host a free webinar, the latest in our series of webinars in collaboration with Zegrahm Expeditions, in which we'll discuss VENT's upcoming cruise to Wild & Ancient Britain with Ireland, May 9-24, 2018. For this special trip, we'll travel aboard the lovely Ocean Adventurer, voyaging from the south of England to the tip of Scotland as we explore the natural history and cultural riches of the British Isles. Designed for ...


VENTflash #217: Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falklands Cruise-Free Webinar!

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Victor Emanuel: March 24, 2017

Dear friends: On Tuesday, April 4, my colleague Barry Lyon and I will host a free webinar in which we'll discuss VENT's birding and natural history cruise to Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands, January 4-25, 2018. For this special trip, we'll travel aboard the beautiful Island Sky, voyaging through the Southern Ocean to some of the most remote places in the world, places home to mesmerizing scenery and unforgettable wildlife spectacles. En route to majestic Antarctica, our t...


VENTflash #216

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Victor Emanuel: March 21, 2017

Dear friends: For over 20 years, VENT has operated an annual trip for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Chairman's Council, an organization composed of the Lab's strongest supporters. The Chairman's Council likes to visit a new place every year, and this year's departure was to Panama, a trip I co-led last month with my colleague Barry Lyon. Chairman's Council 2017 — Photo: Raul Arias de Para Of all the Chairman's Council trips we've operated, this one was the best ever. I s...


VENTflash #215: Fiji to Tahiti Cruise - Free Webinar!

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Victor Emanuel: February 03, 2017

Dear friends: Next Wednesday, February 8, my colleague, Barry Lyon, and I will host a free webinar in which we'll discuss VENT's upcoming fall cruise to the South Pacific: Faces of Polynesia: Fiji to Tahiti, October 22–November 7, 2017. For this special trip, we'll travel aboard the beautiful Caledonian Sky, voyaging through remote Central Polynesia, island-hopping our way through a tropical paradise filled with volcanic islands, spectacular reefs, coral atolls, picture-perfect beaches,...


VENTflash #214

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Victor Emanuel: January 31, 2017

Dear friends: I make a point of appreciating each of the seasons. Although spring is my favorite time of the year, I always enjoy my time in nature regardless of what the calendar says. Black Skimmers, Bolivar Flats, TX — Photo: Greg Lasley Over the last two weekends, I was able to get out and enjoy some wonderful winter birding. Two weekends ago I visited my beach house on the Upper Texas Coast north of Galveston. As always, the mudflats and salt marsh that I can view from...


VENTflash #213: Another Harpy Eagle Opportunity & Mongolia

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Victor Emanuel: January 12, 2017

Dear friends, Two months ago I informed you of the thrilling news of the discovery of a Harpy Eagle nest in close proximity to the Canopy Camp in the Darien lowlands of eastern Panama. In response to this remarkable event, we added a second Canopy Camp departure ahead of an already scheduled departure in January. Both trips filled immediately! Two days ago, I received the wonderful news from my good friend Raul Arias de Para, who built the Canopy family of lodges, that the first of these grou...


VENTflash #212: Alaska Tours 2017, the Sea Cloud & More!

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Victor Emanuel: January 10, 2017

Dear friends, VENT closed out 2016 in ritual year-end fashion with our annual Christmas and New Year tours to Panama in addition to our first-ever holiday tour in Europe, New Year in Portugal. We begin the new year with a terrific suite of January trips including birding and natural history cruises to Antarctica, the Amazon River, and the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand, and traditional land-based trips to Arizona, California, Ecuador, India, Japan, New Mexico, Panama, and Peru. ...


VENTflash #211: The American Tropics: So Near. So Wonderful

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Victor Emanuel: December 15, 2016

Dear friends, Much of the country is now experiencing harsh winter weather, with frigid temperatures, heavy snow, and ice prevailing from coast to coast. Although getting outdoors and into nature can indeed bring rewarding winter birding, the lack of avian diversity (in most places) and the uncomfortable conditions of the season are enough to keep many of us indoors much of the time. Violet-bellied Hummingbird, Panama — Photo: Barry Zimmer It is for this very reason that VE...


VENTflash #210; Extraordinary Harpy Eagle Opportunity!

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Victor Emanuel: November 22, 2016

Dear friends, From Panama, via my close friend, Raúl Arias de Para, comes the electrifying news of the discovery of a Harpy Eagle nest in close proximity to the Canopy Camp in the Darien lowlands of eastern Panama. Equally thrilling, I recently heard from VENT leader Barry Zimmer who reported that his tour to the Canopy Camp last month enjoyed amazing, close views of an adult bird at the nest! Harpy Eagle; Darien, Panama; October 2016 — Photo: Barry Zimmer Throughout...


VENTflash #209: Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falklands: Space Newly Available!

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Victor Emanuel: October 27, 2016

Dear friends, VENT will kick off the new year with our annual cruise to Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands, January 5–26, 2017. Looking ahead to this voyage, I have some important news to share: first, owing to a fantastic turnout of participants, VENT leader Rafael Galvez will join Brian Gibbons as co-leader for this trip; and second, I am excited to announce that space on board the ship has become newly available to VENT travelers! Southern Elephant Seal &am...


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