2017 Trips, Excursions and Camps


The 10,000 acres of Little St. Simon Island are an unspoiled jewel, and home to phenomenal birding. ©Scott WeidensaulSpring Birding Days, Little St. Simon Island, GA

The weird, laughing calls of least bitterns are a common spring sound at Little St. Simon Island. ©Scott Weidensaul

April 23-30, 2017

Welcome the arrival of the spring migration in one of the most beautiful settings on the Eastern Seaboard -- Little St. Simon Island, an unspoiled, 10,000-acre barrier island on the Georgia coast.

Join Scott Weidensaul for up to six days of exceptional birding in habitat ranging from forests of ancient, Spanish moss-draped live oak to freshwater and tidal marshes, mudflats and miles of beach empty of all but the sound of waves and thousands of birds.

The spring migration of both songbirds and shorebirds will be at their peak, but you may want to take time to kayak, beachcomb, do some fishing for speckled trout or drum, bike or hike along miles of undeveloped trails, or explore the island's many ecosystems with its staff of skilled naturalist-guides. There are never more than about 30 visitors to LSSI at any time, making this an extraordinary experience. 






Hearing the cries of a hatching gull chick is the kind of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity you find at Hog Island. ©Scott WeidensaulHog Island Audubon Camp, Maine

Summer sessions at Hog Island usually include visits to the restored puffin colony on Eastern Egg Rock. (©Scott Weidensaul)June 18-23, 2016

Sept. 3-8 and Sept. 10-15, 2016

Join Scott Weidensaul and an exceptional faculty of instructors at Hog Island, the National Audubon Society's oldest educational center -- a spectacular 330-acre island in Muscongus Bay, on the beautiful mid-coast of Maine.

Scott will be directing three sessions at Hog Island in 2017:

Field Ornithology, June 18-23

Join some of the top ornithologists in the country for a week-long exploration of the science of birds, hands-on and in the field. We'll explore the region's boreal forests, hardwoods, offshore islands and open bay, with instructors that include Dr. Sara Morris of Canisius College; Dr. Kevin McGowan of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Dr. John Kricher of Wheaton College in Mass.; and Dr. J. Drew Lanham of Clemson University.  All that, and puffins, too! 


 Living on the Wind: Migration and Monhegan, Sept. 3-8 and 10-15

These special, small-group sessions are devoted to fall migration, and include overnight excursions to Monhegan Island, a world-renowned Monhegan Island isn't just ruggedly beautiful, it is one of the best migrant traps in the East. (©Scott Weidensaul)migratory hotspot and beautiful island village. 

This intensive week of birding will take participants from tidal marshes and beaches to hawk watches, spruce forests, and the outer islands and waters of Muscongus Bay, depending on where the birding is hottest. The highlight will be a trip to Monhegan Island, one of the best "migrant traps" in the Northeast -- a place justly famous for its birding and dramatic rocky coastline, which has inspired artists for more than a century. Learn about how and why birds migrate and the conservation challenges facing them. 

Register as soon as possible, as these sessions are limited and tend to sell out very quickly.





Collared inca is one of the most common hummingbirds in the Ecuadoran cloud forest. (©Scott Weidensaul)Northern Andes to the Amazon

Aug. 5-20, 2017


 Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth, and this tour, co-led by Scott Weidensaul and Edison Buenaño, will take you from the weird, foggy paramo above 15,000 feet where Andean condors and spectacled bears roam, through cloud forests dripping with hummingbirds and endemic species, and down into the Amazonian lowlands on the Rio Napo. This 16-day, 15-night trip by Wildside Nature Tours includes time in the Yanacocha Reserve, Mindo Valley, the famous hummingbird feeders of Guango Lodge, a hunt for the mysterious "San Isidro" owl, and Wildsumaco Lodge, among other destinations.

(You can also pair this trip with an Aug. 20-Sept. 1 Wildside trip to the Galapagos with Kevin Loughlin and Melissa Groo.)

Dramatic though it is, the sword-billed hummingbird is just one of more than 1,600 species found in Ecuador. (©Scott Weidensaul)