The colorful face of the Montezuma Oropendola, one of the many birds we will encounter on our Nicaragua: Cloud Forests & Coffee tour. Photo by L. Pellegrini


We should see quite a few Crimson-collared Tanagers on our Nicaragua Tour. 
Photo by G. Duriaux

  Dec 4-15, 2017

The Cuban Pygmy-Owl! Photo by CCT

Island of Borneo

Orangutans will certainly be one of the highlights of our Borneo trip. Photo by Stijn de Win
Spring is off to an excellent start!

We hope that you've been enjoying all the wonderful birding that the spring season offers, wherever you may be! We've just wrapped up some of our favorite local day trips here in Western NC, including trips to the Green River Gamelands, Stecoah Gap, and the Blue Ridge Parkway. We've seen lots of great warblers (including Cerulean, Golden-winged, Kentucky, Blackburnian, Black-throated Blue, and many more), Vireos, Orioles, Tanagers, and more so far - if you haven't gotten a chance to take a day trip with us yet this year, fear not! We have lots more planned for the rest of the spring and more in the works for later in the year.

Looking forward and abroad, we're excited to share with you a few new destinations on offer for 2017/2018:

Our inaugural Nicaragua: Cloud Forests & Coffee tour this November will take participants on a birding exploration of the lush cloud forests of Nicaragua's northern highlands. There will be a focus on  conservation and  bird-friendly coffee production - both of our lodges produce their own delicious, organic, sustainable blends while maintaining critical wintering habitat for Golden-cheeked and Golden-winged Warblers, Wood Thrush, and many other species. Reserva El Jaguar, the primary base for this trip, was the recipient of last year's Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society (EMAS) Birdathon donations, so if you donated to last year's event or plan on donating this year, this trip may be of particular interest to you! 

Over to the Caribbean - our first trip to Cuba: Western Mountains, Zapata Peninsula, Atlantic Archipelago, & Havana is set for Dec 4-15, 2017. We target all possible Cuban and West Indian endemics, including the world's smallest bird - the Bee Hummingbird. We'll visit an assortment of national parks and reserves as well as a number of historical landmarks, take a walking cultural tour of beautiful Havana, and of course, we will eat delicious Cuban cuisine!

Last but not least, Simon & Mark will be co-leading a Venture to the Island of Borneo next June. Home to 222 species of mammals (including Orangutan and Borneo Pygmy Elephant), plus 37 endemic species of birds, Borneo is truly a naturalist's paradise! This is certainly a trip you don't want to miss! Join Simon & Mark on our first Venture to this amazing place!

We will be announcing details for more trips in 2018 very soon, including 2 different trips to Spain! Keep checking our website and let us know if you are interested in any one of these great trips.

Thanks and we hope to see you on Venture soon!

Support TEAM PEREGRINE for the 2017 Annual EMAS Bird-a-Thon 
 While the teams have fun vying to out-do each other, birding from pre-dawn to near midnight, the larger goal here is to raise money for conservation. If you would like to donate, you can pledge a certain amount per species seen by one of the teams or make a flat donation. Team Peregrine ruled last year, with 130 species seen - so if you pledged 0.50 per bird, you'd donate $65. Of course, the Peregrines will be looking to improve upon last year's tally! The Peregrines are once again composed of Ventures guides - Simon, Aaron, Emilie, Kevin & Clifton. We'd love to get your pledge, but flat donations are just as good!
This year, the majority of the Bird-a-Thon donations will go to an American Bird Conservancy project in Nicaragua to increase habitat connectivity and to create shade-grown coffee systems to benefit  Golden-winged WarblersWood Thrush, and other neotropical migratory birds. The Golden-winged Warbler is of particular concern as it has suffered one of the steepest population declines of any songbird species in the past 45 years and is being considered for listing as an endangered species. Audubon North Carolina is actively engaged in Golden-winged Warbler research and conservation in Western North Carolina and on its wintering grounds in Nicaragua . These donations will also fund a  $1,000 scholarship award for a UNC-Asheville Environmental Biology student.

For more information on the EMAS Bird-a-Thon, click here.

Ventures Birding Tours
(828) 253-4247 Office & Fax