North American birdwatching guides and tours recommended by Birdingpal

  • If you are you an independent birdwatcher, who does not care for large group tours, then Birdingpaltours is for you
  • Our tours are flexible, safe and the use of a local guide lets you participate in the planning
  • A local guide knows all the hotspots and you get the most out of your trip
  • You select the date and length for a trip to suit youself
  • If your time is limited, we’ll design a tour to fit your needs
  • A professional Birdingpal guide can customize your tour, and you will see the birds you want.
  • Your guide is also your travel companion, who will make sure you experience the native people, scenery, culture, history and food, first hand.
  • You will enjoy the advantage of all the attention you get in a small group, for the same price or perhaps even less, than you will pay if you travel with the large tour groups from other countries
  • Remember, the next time you travel, you do not have to miss birdwatching if your partner or travel companions are non birders; a local guide is flexible, and will easily accommodate other needs too
  • Hiring a Birdingpal guide will boost the local economy and help protect birds other wildlife and their habitat






Birding guide Wayne Millar, your local Birdingpal guide
Wayne holds a Province of Alberta operating authority to provide bird watching, wildlife viewing hiking and nature tours within the Cooking Lake - Blackfoot Grazing, Wildlife and Provincial Recreation Area and a Parks Canada outdoor activities license for Elk Island National Park. Both Parks are adjacent to one another and comprise the major land area within the Beaver Hills area. Both Parks also made up the majority of Canada's first forest reserve established in 1895. Wayne has received significant awards of recognition of his skills, dedication to customer service, market development and environmental commitment from Travel Alberta, Frommer's International Travel Guide, Edmonton Tourism, the Economic Developers' Association of Canada and the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.

For more details please send a message to Wayne.   

British Colombia
Birding guide Adrian Dorst, your local Birdingpal guide
Adrian Dorst first arrived in Tofino in 1972 to conduct bird surveys in the newly-established Pacific Rim National Park for Canadian Wildlife Service. That summer job turned into full time residency with Adrian supporting himself with occasional bird surveys, a variety of short-term jobs, wood carving and freelance nature and wilderness photography. In 1976 he co-authored the book, Birds of Pacific Rim National Park, and in 1990 had his first photographic book, Clayoquot, On the Wild Side, published. This book, depicting the wild west coast of Vancouver Island and its wildlife, became a best seller. When the photography market slumped a decade ago, Adrian turned to guiding, both birding trips and more general interpretive nature hikes. After 4 decades of birding in Tofino, he has personally seen over 290 of the 330 species ever recorded here, and his knowledge of where to find them is second to no one. Expect a relaxed tour with many stories.

For more details please send a message to Adrian.   

Birding guide Dannie Carsen, your local Birdingpal guide
Dannie Carsen has lived in Victoria since 1980 and been involved with the Victoria Natural History Society for almost 30 years. Dannie was the Christmas Bird Count leader for 3 years, and has led numerous trips for the VNHS. For several years, Dannie was also involved in organizing post-conference trips for the BC Field Ornithologists and enjoyed planning trips to the Peace River, Okanagan Valley, and Columbia Valley. In past years, Dannie spent considerable time around San Blas, Mexico helping with the International Birding Festival by collecting binoculars for local birders and leading river trips for local birders. Dannie knows the Saanich Peninsula birding hotspots and is able to get you from Victoria International Airport or the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to the interesting local specialties found in farmer’s fields, parks and waterfront locations near Victoria. “Birding by Bike” tours are available for a biking big day (or half day) with bikes provided as required. Dannie can also provide “Birds and Wine” tours of the Saanich Peninsula and the Cowichan Valley which starts with 5 hours birding in the morning and finishes with 3 hours of winery and ciderhouse visits on southern Vancouver Island.

For more details please send a message to Dannie.   


Birding guide Jared Clarke, your local Birdingpal guide
Jared Clarke is a native Newfoundland who grew up on the northeast coast of the province and was introduced to the outdoors at a very young age – often by his grandfathers. Always a nature enthusiast, he became interested in birds while working for a local conservation group and never looked back. While his “day job” is that of a health researcher at Memorial University of Newfoundland, his passion is birding. He has led tours big and small across his province in his “spare time”, from historic St. John’s to the ancient Viking settlement of L’Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of the island and many points in between. Combining his keen knowledge of local birds with a broad base of natural and cultural history, his tours can be well-rounded and informative for both birders and their sometimes less-fanatic spouses/family. ** Other customized tours are available on request. **

For more details please send a message to Jared.   


Birding guide David Milsom, your local Birdingpal guide
President David Milsom is an expert birder who has led tours throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Antarctica. A keen nature photographer, he has learned much about wildflowers, butterflies, dragonflies and animals. His experience as an educator has enabled him to meet the various needs of his clients. His sense of humour, caring attitude and love of nature are all assets to his guiding of groups throughout the world.

Dave was an excellent leader. He was organized, well informed, interested in the various aspects of nature, most willing to share his knowledge and very accommodating. His flexibility and sense of humour were a real asset on this trip. I really enjoyed the trip, saw, learned and gathered some very memorable experiences. N.S., Winnipeg.

For more details please send a message to David.   


Northern Mexico

Birding guide Rene Valdes, your local Birdingpal guide
Rene Valdes is a field Ornithologist who lives in Monterrey city. He was born in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, and it was there, as a teenager that he became involved in bird watching. His first sightings were at an estuary in Mazatlan looking for the deciduous forest’s species. When he moved to Monterrey, he became a specialist on psittacines field research working at both Sierra Madre Oriental and Occidental conducting research on the endangered Thick-billed Parrots and Maroon-fronted Parrots. He is also expert on pine-oak forest bird diversity, and has acquired the knowledge of hot spot locations with many other endangered and endemic bird species over the past 8 years. Some of his rare or out of range bird findings had been published in journals in Mexico. Rene guides birding trips in Monterrey and adjacent areas in northeastern Mexico, and also in Mazatlan and the Durango highway. He also participated as one of the official guides of the 1st Mazatlan Bird Festival, and as well as giving a conference about bird identification. He has become a keen bird photographer.

For more details please send a message to Rene.   


Birding guide Eric Antonio Martinez, your local Birdingpal guide
I was born in the village of Teotitlan de Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico. At the age of 8, because of my father's influence, I became interested in nature, birds, and tourism. Ever since then, I have devoted my life to ecology and the wonders of the natural world, especially birds. I have birded and researched birds in Mexico for 13 years. In 2006, I was certified as a federal guide by the Secretary of Tourism in Mexico City. I have also studied archaeology and anthropology. In 2008, I received a scholarship from the Long Point Bird Observatory in Ontario, Canada, to advance my birding skills. I worked as a field biologist focusing on the migration of passerines, and I honed my skills as a bird bander. In addition I study bird migration in Mexico, work for the Alamos wild lands alliance and the Navopatia Field station in southern Sonora but I also do private bird guiding, I lead bird-watching trips for passengers on cruise ships that dock at Huatulco, Mexico. I also organize and compile data for the Oaxaca Christmas Bird Count. I speak English and I am available for any trips all over Oaxaca and Chiapas.

For more details please send a message to Eric.   

Yucatan's Rio Lagartos Bio-reserve

Birding guide Luis Ku, your local Birdingpal guide
Luis was born in Yucatan and studied in the University of Yucatan. He worked for 17 years in the Botanical Garden, ”Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marin” of Puerto Morelos. Luis is a specialist birding guide and one of the most experienced and qualified specialist in the Yucatan Peninsula, Luis has been guiding biologists, bird lovers and other specialists in the field. As a birder he has spent the last 20 years searching for the best places to find birds around the Yucatan Peninsula.

Sr. Luis Ku: I am writing to thank you for the incredible day of birding this past week. The attached list shows that we tallied 120 species during our visits to Muyil, Xel-Ha, and Puerto Morelos. Thirty of those species were lifers for me! Thank you very much.
I also want to make some additional comments, so that others might know of your skills and might also benefit from one or more days afield with you and Mario. First, your prompt replies to my emails were much appreciated. This was my first experience with a birding guide and your quick replies gave me confidence that our plans would be fulfilled. Second, your promptness in picking me up at my resort at 4:30am was also much appreciated. When I strolled into the lobby at 4:20am, the man on duty called my name and told me that my guide was waiting for me; I looked through the front door and there you were. Third, your and Mario's knowledge of the roads, the birding sites, the language and the customs were not only obviously helpful in getting us to birding sites, they were entertaining as well. I also enjoyed the rolls and juice when we came out from our walk at Muyil. Finally, your birding skills are excellent: you clearly knew calls very well, which led us to some very good birds. Your knowledge of the sites was also an obvious benefit. The next time I return to the Cancun area, I look forward to spending one or more days with you again. Sincerely, C. H. Lebanon, Indiana, USA

For more details please send a message to Luis.   

Yucatan Peninsula

Birding guide Elmer Canul, your local Birdingpal guide
Elmer was born in the state of Yucatan in 1973, studied at a local school in the community of Rio Lagartos. He became interested in birds because of the enormous diversity of birdlife in the area. He began working with some local expert birders and in time became an expert, himself , in the bird life around Rio Lagartos. He has guided many international visitors to Rio Largartos Bisosphere Reserve and is always happy to show off his local patch to birders from around the world. He has guided a number of famous bird watchers from the States and elsewhere and is well known in the birding community.

The birding was great, and the guide was fabulous....he knew his birds, was very helpful and friendly, and also a true expert, in that he knew his birds by their sound. Sincerely Chuck Zimmerly.

For more details please send a message to Elmer.   

Los Cabos & Baja California Península

Birding guide Maria Elena Muriel, your local Birdingpal guide
I am a birding guide based at Los cabos Baja California Sur Mexico, but I can lead you all around the Baja california peninsula I'm a certified guide by minister of tourism since 1984 , I earned credentials as certified Interpretive guide by the nationnal association for Interpretation NAI-USA in 1999 also in 1999 I took my first ornithology class but didn't involved in birding much until 5 years ago when Sonoran joint venture in coordination with pronatura came and gave a training workshop to provide us a certification as birding guides, now I'm dedicated to lead birding walks ,tours and expeditions tours to preserve an estuary that almost disapear and is homme of our endemic Belding's Yellowthroat (Geothlypis beldingi), in addition we are home of the endemic Xantus hummingbird (Xantus xatusii) and Gray thrasher (Toxostoma cinererum) and more than other 100 desert migrants and residents , either staying a hotel or comming on a cruiship, I will be more than happy to lead your birding , my goal: "Providing you opportunities to create you everlasting memoirs in touch with the Natural and Cultural heritage of the area".

Prior to a pelagic trip Fritz Karger, Doug Koch and my self spent the day around Cabo birding for the Baja endemics with good success. We were guided by Maria Elena Muriel a local guide with a good knowledge of the natural history of the area. If you are going to Cabo E-mail her, the price is very reasonable and promoting the budding local ecotourism business is good for all especially the local birds. In a few hours she found us the three local endemics - Belding’s Yellowthroat, Gray Thrasher and of course the Xantus’s Hummingbird. Maria Elena also leads trips to the mountains for the other Baja endemics.
Thanks Kirk Zufelt .- Nature photographer
On behalf of the San Diego Audubon Society and the 2013 Bird Festival Committee, I wish to invite you to attend the 2013 San Diego Bird Festival as a workshop presenter. You will present a workshop on Birding Baja & Birding Bilingually. In addition, you are invited to serve as a birding guide on the post-festival Birding the Baja Peninsula trip, March 4 through 13. The trip is operated by Andiamo Tour Mexico and sponsored by the San Diego Audubon Society
Sincerely Karen Straus.- Audubon-San Diego bird festival coordinator

For more details please send a message to Maria Elena.   



Birding guide Melody Kehl, your local Birdingpal guide
I have been leading professional birding and nature tours throughout Arizona since 1991. A long time Tucson resident; I am simply an avid birder who just loves to bird-no excuse needed Leading hundreds of tours in Arizona over the years and presently guiding over 200 days per year is an amazing privilege and pleasure. Birding by ear is my strength. I have a degree in Music Education which has served me well in the field. As an amateur naturalist, I have intimate knowledge about Arizona’s other flora and fauna and current environmental issues. I am active in the birding community and donate my time guiding for the Tucson Audubon Society, as well as other non-profit groups. I am an extra class ham radio operator to insure we have communication when in the field. Southeast Arizona is my backyard. It is where I sleep, eat and live with the birds, a truly LOCAL guide who knows how and where to look for the birds. Sharing with you my love of birds is my reason for living. Whether you need one day in the field to locate your nemesis bird or wish to spend several days to enjoy a more comprehensive tour, are obsessive or casual , Melody’s Birding will customize your tour to meet your needs.

For more details please send a message to Melody.   


Birding guide Allan Mueller, your local Birdingpal guide
I am a lifelong birder and a wildlife biologist retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy. For four years, I was a leader in the Arkansas search for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and served as president of the Arkansas Audubon Society and the Mississippi Ornithological Society, and on the species recovery teams for the Bald Eagle and the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

For more details please send a message to Allan.   


Birding guide Michael Elsohn Ross, your local Birdingpal guide
Michael specializes in walking tours at locations where a wide variety of species can be observed. These are moderate walks of 1-4 miles. More strenuous hikes may be necessary to observe alpine species, such as gray-crowned rosy finches. Besides identifying species by field marks and vocalizations, Michael shares his knowledge of life histories and specific habitat relationships. Let him help you design your own custom birding trip to search for the Yosemite bird species that you wish to see.

Really enjoyed the last two days of bird study. It has been a long time since I have gone out "into the bush" to look for birds. Most of my watching has been at the seashore. Very different, as the birds are in plain sight- the lazy man's birding.
Craig Knox, CA
Kathi and I just wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed our outing. The pygmy owl was the bird highlight.
Kathi and Greg Jacobs, CA
Here are some of the pictures from our June trip to Yosemite. I had a great time! I hope all is well.
Prem McMurdo, CA

For more details please send a message to Ross.   


Birding guide John & Heather Riggins, your local Birdingpal guide
John and Heather were both already avid birders in the early 1960's but began assisting two legendary banders (Amelia Laskey and Dr. Katherine Goodpasture ) in the mid 1960's. By 1968 both John and Heather had been issued Master Banding permits by the U.S. government.
This couple first became involved with visitors interested in birding while traveling through the web site and they hosted many individuals, couples and groups. After numerous visitors praised their bird guiding skills as well as on their attention to local attractions, history, culture and the fact that they not only were knowledgeable about Kauai birds but also marine life, plants, flowers and other lore, the Riggins decided to commercially offer their services and to promise more then just a bird tour. They customize their time spent with clients based on client interests.
John and Heather are still licensed federal banders and were recently honored by being asked to spearhead a banding workshop for university, state and federal employees working in a “Kaua'i Forest Bird Recovery Project” involving endemic bird species in Koke'e State Park and the Alaka'i Swamp. In a “field” setting with multiple mist nests erected, they reviewed bird banding techniques, aging and sexing criteria and prudent catch and release protocols with numerous staff of this prestigious endemic bird recovery project.

What a great day! I do so appreciate all the time and especially the knowledge you shared with us. Mike calls our birding day the highlight of our trip, B.L. CA
Our trip sure started out great when you and Heather took us around the north end of Kauai looking for birds. We sure enjoyed seeing the birds at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge and at the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge plus seeing the Mannikins and the resting Laysan Albatrosses at the local places you took us to. We sure appreciate the two of you taking the time to take us around and sharing your birding knowledge with us. T. C. -- Ann Arbor, MI
We had a most lovely adventure with you both. Thanks for everything. 20 new species is very good, I understand, for any birder. H. T. -- Br. Columbia, Canada

For more details please send a message to John & Heather.   

Birding guide Jim Denny, your local Birdingpal guide
Jim Denny has been guiding visiting birders along Kauai trails for more than 10 years. He is the author of The Birds of Kaua`i (University of Hawaii Press, 1999) and A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Hawai`i (University of Hawaii Press, 2010) and co-author of Hawaiian Butterfies (Mutual Press, 2001). Among the many clients he has guided are film crews and photographers from BBC London, NHK Japan, and National Geographic. His photos have appeared in many magazines including Audubon, Smithsonian, and National Geographic. His photos are also on the websites of many government and private conservation agencies. In addition, he is the producer of two videos about Hawai`i that would be helpful before visiting the islands: Hawai`Birds and Hawai`i Butterflies.

Thanks again for the Alaka'i Swamp birding walk June 3. On the way down I looked into the field between Mile 2 and 3 on Rte. 550 and, just as you said there might be, a Short-eared Owl was hovering. Going back up with my wife a few days later, we saw an Erckel Francolin cross the road in front of us, just as and where your book describes. Your longtime work in helping document what's been going on is admirable and remarkable. Your insights into the changing ecology of the island were really valuable, and I appreciated the outing very much. E.M. --- California

For more details please send a message to Jim.   


Birding guide John, your local Birdingpal guide
My personal birding started in 1964, at college. Since then, I have lived and birded in South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and various locales around the United States. My only functional language is American English. Now 70 years old, I am a retired airline pilot, and spend most of my time either reading or playing golf. My life list (937) includes 410 North America and 216 Nevada birds, not greatly spectacular for one so well traveled, but there you are. I would not characterize myself as an expert, but an enthusiastic novice. I carry a Swarovski 20-60x80mm scope, and Canon 10x30 IS binoculars, and have access to additional optics if needed.
$50 for half day and $150 for a run up the mountain. These estimates are based on mileage, my time and fuel costs and entry fees to local venues.

For more details please send a message to John.   

New York City/New Jersey

Birding guide Bill Elrick, your local Birdingpal guide
I have 20 years experience as a bird guide in NY, NJ, PA and GA leading bird walks for bird clubs and organizations. I have travelled and birded in Europe, Costa Rica, Belize and Canada. I have birded since I was very young and have 40 years of birding experience. I have a masters U,S,G,S, banding permit and earned a B,T,O, "A" ringing permit before emigrating to the USA. I have worked with the New Jersey Audubon during their spring banding of Semi and Least sandpiper study. I volunteered with the Delaware Red Knot study group for three years as they researched the connection between Horse shoe crab eggs and Red Knot survival. I contributed to the BTO and the NJA breeding bird surveys.

For more details please send a message to Bill.   


Birding guide Carolyn Wilcox, your local Birdingpal guide
Carolyn Wilcox is permitted to guide in Olympic National Park, an International Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site. Carolyn started birding in Arizona and New Mexico in 1996 and decidedly found her calling. She learned to bird by ear while studying Neotropical migrants for the Missouri Forest Ecosystem Project in 1997. Being a teacher, Carolyn considers her guiding roots to have started as a student teacher in Costa Rica in 2003. Carolyn volunteered for HawkWatch International in Utah in 2011 and is always interested in improving her bird identification skills. She recently started an ecotourism company out of Port Angeles, WA to merge her passions for hands-on education, natural history, and outdoor exploration. She originally moved to Port Angeles in 2007 and hopes to become a local birding expert on the Olympic Peninsula sometime in the future. Birding tours are not yet specifically advertised as ExperienceOlympic Tours, so you will be extended a Birdingpal discount, with more driving miles possible and more time in the field (because who can stop birding). We will likely bird Hurricane Ridge, Ediz Hook, and other Peninsula hotspots as it makes sense seasonally in order to hit your target birds.

My connection to the natural world was enthusiastically brought to a new level by Carolyn Wilcox. She embodies a great combination of conscience traits for a naturalist guide: great knowledge level and organizational skills; a desire to continue to learn; and she made great efforts to ensure I was comfortable while we searched out my target birds. - Jan Wilson, CA

For more details please send a message to Carolyn.   

More Birdingpal guides around the world

Last update 20/02/2014