Surprising to me, many birders are reluctant to travel for fear of the unknown and the possibility of discomfort. Yes, plane trips can be long and tiresome, but seldom does it take more than a day from your life, and when else do you get to watch such an amazing array of humanity? Will there be times when you are less than comfortable? Probably, but with a measure of patience, and a clear head, things typically improve. Will you see all the birds you want to see? Probably not, but with preparation, practice, common sense, and perhaps some professional guidance, you can see many.
I have been addicted to travel birding most of my life. I get my greatest “high” when arriving in a distant country surrounded by unfamiliar sounds and smells with a myriad of new bird species waiting to be seen. The cares of work and home vanish to be replaced by the excitement of seeking the unknown. Travel birding is for me a compelling game in which the participants match wits against the whims of nature and instincts of feathered inhabitants, the twist being that it all occurs in an unfamiliar landscape and with unfamiliar birds. How many new species will we see and which of the target species will be missed? Like most games, there are great rewards and humbling defeats, but the fun and excitement of the search combined with the stimulus of being in a new place, is irresistible.
What follows in this website are all the tricks and techniques I’ve gleaned through the decades of travel birding. My hope is that they will help you prepare for and engage in a birding vacation that is safe and productive. If you are a traveling birder, or just a traveler, feel free to share comments and travel tips by typing in the reply box at the bottom of any page.