PO Box 9021, Wilmington, DE 19809, USA
E-mail: font@focusonnature.com
Phone: Toll-free in USA, Canada, & Puerto Rico 1-800-721-9986
 or 302/529-1876; Fax: 302/529-1085




(2 tours: in February/March & in April), GUATEMALA (2 tours: in January & July), HONDURAS, ICELAND, JAPAN (3 tours: in January, May, December), the LESSER ANTILLES (ST. LUCIA & ST. VINCENT), PUERTO RICO, SPAIN, and SWEDEN.



A bird seen during a FONT tour in Japan in 2007
was the Black-naped Oriole,
a species more apt to be seen on the Asian mainland,
but we saw a number of them nicely 
on the small Japanese island of Hegura in May.


People during a FONT tour in Japan in 2007
included these during the December 2007 tour.
They went to Japan from Thailand and California, USA.
Armas Hill of FONT, is, as he often is, in the driver's seat.


The tour summaries here are given with the most-recent tours first. 
For some tours there are links below for longer NARRATIVES.
Also there are links to UPCOMING TOUR ITINERARIES, and LISTS relating to BIRDS, MAMMALS, & OTHER NATURE.

Links to tours:

LESSER ANTILLES  (St. Lucia & St. Vincent)  (December 2007)

JAPAN  (December 2007)

CHILE  (November 2007)

ICELAND  (September/October 2007)

SWEDEN  (September 2007)

BRAZIL  (August 2007)

ARIZONA  (July 2007)

GUATEMALA  (July 2007)

JAPAN  (May 2007)

SPAIN  (April 2007)

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (& adjacent HAITI)  (April 2007)

Puerto Rico (April 2007)

BELIZE (March 2007)

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (& adjacent HAITI)  (February/March 2007)

HONDURAS  (February 2007)

JAPAN  (January 2007)

GUATEMALA  (December 2006/January 2007)

Lesser Antilles (St. Lucia & St. Vincent) - December 2007

During this tour, there were both "Parrots & Pirates of the Caribbean".  
On both of the islands of St. Lucia & St. Vincent, there are endemic & rare Amazon Parrots. We saw both. 
And both "Parrots & Pirates" in that we did some birding at the coastal setting in St. Vincent where the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean" was filmed (the first & second of the 3 such movies that have been made). Birds at the former movie-set included Brown Booby, Magnificent Frigatebird, Antillean Crested Hummingbird, and Yellow-bellied Elaenia in addition to ubiquitous Bananaquits. But those Bananaquits were quite interesting, in that they were all-black except for the red of their mouths visible when they called. Of the 41 subspecies of Bananaquits throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, nearly all have yellow underparts. Only those on the Caribbean islands of St. Vincent & Grenada are all-black. 
At another spot coastal spot during the tour, on the island of St. Lucia, one of our highlights was when about 50 Red-billed Tropicbirds were rapidly soaring about in the strong wind at a high cliff.
This tour continued into 2008 in the Lesser Antilles on the lush, green island of Dominica, where also there were endemic, rare Amazon parrots (2 species) and other filming locations of the 2nd & 3rd "Pirates of the Caribbean" films. 
In all, during this, our annual "holiday tour", we saw 80 species of birds, most of which were Caribbean specialties, and many them were island-endemics, rarities, or birds that were just-plain nice to see.                  

St Lucia Scenery
(photographed during the December 2007 FONT Lesser Antilles tour
by Marie Gardner)


More about the FONT Lesser Antilles Tour in Dec '07/Jan '08

List of Birds during our Lesser Antilles Tour - Dec '07 / Jan '08

Cumulative List of Birds during FONT Lesser Antilles Tours

Cumulative List of Birds during FONT Caribbean Tours (with photos)

Upcoming FONT Caribbean Birding & Nature Tours 



       Throughout much of the New World,
and particularly in the Caribbean,
there are a number of subspecies of Bananaquits.
That number is 41.
The Bananaquit on the island of Saint Lucia
is quite different than the all-black form
on the nearby island of St Vincent.

Japan - December 2007

This was the 29th FONT birding & nature tour in Japan, and our third in 2007. Highlights, as usual, during such late-fall and winter tours, included: the cranes, the eagles, and the Blakiston's Fish-Owl
Most of our birding was on the southern island of Kyushu and the northern island of Hokkaido. There was also some birding on Honshu (in the Tokyo area), and during the pelagic trip on the ferry from Honshu to Hokkaido.
Many of our winter tours in Japan have been in January, when it's colder and when there's more snow in Hokkaido. Being a bit earlier in the season, and being a bit warmer, there were some interesting aspects to our visit in Hokkaido this time. We saw both  Steller's Sea Eagles and the White-tailed Eagles, but not as many. We did, however, see, nicely, a raptor that we had never seen on Hokkaido previously - a perched Mountain Hawk-Eagle - a large bird, apparently a female. 
Red-crowned, or Japanese, Cranes were at the feeding station, but we also saw a few of them at various other places as we traveled about in southeastern Hokkaido. And, even though the river was not yet frozen, we did have the good fortune, indeed, to see, one evening, the large and rare Blakiston's Fish-Owl. We've seen that special bird during ALL of our 18 late-fall or winter birding tours in Japan.
During the ferry-ride north to Hokkaido, there were birds all the time. The most abundant of them was the Black-legged Kittiwake. We saw thousands of them flying about above the water in the wind. Also flying with their distinctive arching flight were the 75 or so Laysan Albatrosses we saw. There were also Pomarine Skuas, both Streaked and Short-tailed Shearwaters, and both Fork-tailed and Sooty Storm-Petrels. With the storm-petrels, a single Bonin Petrel was seen. There were not as many gulls (other than the kittiwakes) as during our ferry-trips in January, nor were there as many alcids, although some Japanese Murrelets were seen. 
On Kyushu, in addition to the thousands of cranes that come from mainland Asia to spend the winter (Hooded & White-naped), other highlights were in a river valley that we visit. Along that river in picturesque hills, we saw hundreds of Mandarin Ducks. Where that river meets the sea, on a mudbar, there were Spoonbills - both the rare Black-faced, and the Eurasian.
The Mandarin Ducks were not the only attractive waterfowl during the tour. We also enjoyed, on Hokkaido, the equally attractive Smews and Harlequin Ducks. With such birds as these, as we were in nice settings in the Japanese countryside, partaking in the Japanese culture, we enjoyed the entire tour! 


More about the FONT Japan Tour in December 2007

List of Birds during our Japan Tour - December 2007

List of Birds during FONT Japan Tours in 2007

Cumulative List of Birds during our Japan Tours (with photos)

Upcoming FONT Japan Birding & Nature Tours


Chile - November 2007

There was a pelagic trip offshore from Valparaiso that was again, as it always has been, a part of our annual FONT birding & nature tour in Chile
And again, during that boat-trip, on November 23, 2007, some "very good birds" were seen. 
But this time, the "best" of them were 2 Northern Royal Albatrosses, both seen sitting on the water very close to us. Those large albatrosses, so big, even seemed to dwarf the other 3 species of Albatrosses that were either on the water or flying by us in the air: the Black-browed, the Buller's, and the Salvin's
The wingspan of the Northern Royal Albatross is as much as 138 inches (that's 11.5 feet, or nearly 6 feet per wing!) Wow, what a bird to see as we did! The plumages of the 2 individuals were a bit different; one was an adult, and the other nearly so. The wingspan of the Salvin's Albatross is 98 inches. That of the Black-browed, 88 inches; the Buller's, 83 inches. So these wingspans (of the albatrosses also known as "Mollymawks") are in the realm of 7 to 8 feet in length - that is each wing being from about 3.5 to 4 feet long.
Those albatross-wings enabled the birds to fly a long way. 3 of our 4 albatross species flew from New Zealand breeding sites to the offshore Chilean waters where we saw them. 
We only went offshore a couple hours out, and a couple hours back to land. It's 9,647 kilometers (one-way) from New Zealand to Chile. For those of us who flew by jet from North America to Chile, as a comparison, it's 6,959 kilometers (one-way) from New York. The 3 species of albatrosses that crossed the Pacific (the Northern Royal, the Salvin's, and the Buller's) traveled further to see us than we did to see them (referring to our flights in planes from places such as Texas and Pennsylvania). And, yes, those albatrosses certainly did see us too, as "chum" was tossed from the boat, attracting the oceanic birds by scent from miles around.

Not only were the albatrosses drawn in. There were many other seabirds also in the waters around us, including shearwaters, petrels, giant-petrels, storm-petrels, pelicans, gulls, terns, boobies, and phalaropes. The last of these, the Red Phalaropes, actually were not attracted to the "chum", but there were many this year, as we estimated that we saw about a couple thousand of them.

On land, during our November '07 Chile Tour, there was another wonderful encounter with a big bird - one of the biggest of American birds that soars in the sky. The Andean Condor has a wingspan of up to 122 inches. That's over 10 feet. The Andean Mountains, that were the backdrop to condors were saw, were also big. But still, how impressive it was to see a dozen condors, fly by between us and the mountain, one after the other, from right to left, as if in a parade. The grouping was a mix of adult and immature birds. 

A bird with "Giant" in its name has already been alluded to here. The Southern Giant Petrel has a wingspan of 81 inches (almost as long as that of the Buller's Albatross - and almost as long as that of another of our "biggies", the Peruvian Pelican which has wingspan of 90 inches). 
In the mountains, we saw another bird named "Giant". With a length of up to 9 inches, it was the Giant Hummingbird, the largest of the 320 or so species in that family (which is, by the way, the second largest of bird families in the Americas, and which contains, at the far end of the scale from the Giant Hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world).

During our November 2007 tour in central Chile, we saw over 125 species of birds, during the 17th FONT tour in that country. The first FONT birding & nature tour anywhere was in Chile, back in November 1990.
Click the link above for more regarding the birds we saw during this, our latest, Chilean tour. 

During our November 2007 Chile tour, 
we saw over a dozen Andean Condors fly by in procession.
In all during the tour, we saw from 15 to 20.
(photo by Alan Brady during A FONT tour) 


More about the FONT Chile Tour in November 2007

List of Birds during our Chile Tour - November 2007

List of Birds during FONT Chile Tours

Upcoming FONT Chile Birding & Nature Tours

Iceland - September/October 2007

This was the 15th FONT birding & nature tour in Iceland. In late September & early October, as usual, birds in Iceland are either migrating or about to, mostly to mainland Europe. Staging flocks are found of waterbirds, such as Whooper Swans & various geese; of shorebirds such as European Golden Plovers, and of landbirds such as the Redwing. Some birds arrive in Iceland in September/October to spend the winter, among the Iceland Gull (it breeds further north in Greenland). Other birds seen in the fall are in Iceland all year, including the Gyrfalcon, White-tailed Eagle, Black Guillemot, Barrow's Goldeneye, Harlequin Duck, and Rock Ptarmigan. Again, in '07, it was a wonderful time to see these birds in Iceland, as well as, after dark, the Northern Lights



Cumulative List of Birds during FONT Tours in Iceland

Cumulative List of European Birds during FONT Tours

Upcoming FONT Birding & Nature Tours in Europe

The Rock Ptarmigan is always a treat to see in Iceland.
Some years there are more. Some years there are less. The population fluctuates.
On the basis of what we saw October 2007, it's been a good year for them.  

Sweden - September 2007

This tour focused on a most intriguing aspect of the natural world: "bird migration". And it took place in some of the most pleasant settings anywhere! Two places in particular that we visit are the southernmost point in Sweden, at Falsterbo and Skanor, and the long, narrow island in the Baltic, off southeastern Sweden, known as Oland. In 2007, at both of these places, again for us, as in the past, during the last week of September, our experiences were wonderful. 
At Falsterbo and Skanor, the birds were funneling through. Those birds were of various sorts, including: landbirds, waterbirds and raptors overhead in the sky. There were many! 
Even without birds, Oland would be a very nice place. Every little village there is like a postcard. But with the birds, it's all the better - and it can't be much better than thousands of cranes, and geese and ducks - in addition to an assortment of others. Also in the thousands, one day, were Common Eiders, in flocks on their migration south. As many as 35,000 eiders were tallied one morning before 10am, and they continued beyond that. Distracting from that, however, were White-tailed Eagles (both adult and immature), and small trees near the coast that were dripping with Goldcrests and European Robins. At the bird-banding (or ringing) station at the south end of Oland, one day during our visit, the bird "number 1 million since 1946" was banded (or, as the Europeans say, ringed). It was a European Robin.

A European Robin photographed during the FONT Sep 07 Sweden tour
(photo by James Scheib)


More about the FONT Sweden Tour in September 2007

Birds & Other Wildlife during our Sweden Tour - September 2007

Cumulative List of Birds in Sweden during FONT Tours

Cumulative List of European Birds during FONT Tours

Mammals & Other Wildlife during previous FONT tours in Sweden

Photos of Swedish Nature & Scenery during the FONT Sep '07 Tour

Upcoming FONT Birding & Nature Tours in Europe

Brazil - August 2007

We've called this our tour for "Jabiru & Jaguar".  And, again this year, as last year, it was. We saw both. 
In 2006, during our tour in the Brazilian region of Mato Grosso do Sul, we saw a Jaguar at night, first as it was still and then as it walked across a field. 
During this tour, in 2007, our sighting of the magnificent animal was during the day. From an open vehicle, a few feet above the ground, we saw it, closely, not more than a few yards away. The spots on its back were visible in the tall grass, and a few times the animal raised its large head to look at us. What a sight! What an experience!
The Jabirus that day (also large) were wonderful to see as well. We saw a number of them, usually standing or walking on the ground or at pools of water. But a particularly nice sighting was of an adult Jabiru and 2 smaller ones an a nest high up in a tree.   
One time, as we were observing a pair of Jabirus feeding in a pool, a herd of more than a dozen White-lipped Peccaries walked by between us and the birds. Among the peccaries, there were some very small ones, recently born.
The Jabiru was certainly not the only large bird during the tour. There were also Greater Rheas and Hyacinth Macaws. The latter were very exciting to see, one morning, as one pair, then another, flew across against the blue sky above us!
In all, 305 species of birds were found during this 10-day tour, the 41st FONT birding & nature tour in Brazil.

A Saffron Toucanet photographed as it feasted
during the FONT  Aug 07 Brazil tour
(photo by Dan Coleman)

FONT tour participants birding along the side of a quiet road
in the state of Minas Gerais
during our August 2007 tour in Brazil.  


More about the FONT Brazil Tour in August 2007

Birds & Other Wildlife during our Brazil Tour - August '07

Cumulative List of Birds during our Brazil Tours - Part 1 (Tinamous thru Flycatchers)  

Cumulative List of Birds during our Brazil Tours - Part 2 (Antshrikes thru Grosbeaks)

Upcoming FONT Birding & Nature Tours in Brazil


Arizona - July 2007

During this tour, our path crossed with a couple very special birds from Mexico: the Mexican Yellow Grosbeak and the Rufous-backed Robin
Another bird that we saw, very rare for Arizona, was a Ruddy Turnstone at the edge of a lake.
These birds were, of course, along with the regulars, including a number of Hummingbirds such as the White-eared, and a fine assortment of raptors
Among species in the last category, we saw: Short-tailed Hawk, Black Hawk, Gray Hawk, Mississippi Kite, Northern Crested Caracara, in addition to numbers of Cooper's, Red-tailed, and Swainson's Hawks

Certainly a highlight of the tour was when a pair of Montezuma Quail was close to us on the ground. The female had just walked in front of us across the road. Our good sighting notwithstanding, we can assure you from our experience, that Montezuma Quails after being seen well can quickly, however, become very difficult to see in the grass.     


More about the FONT Arizona Tour in July 2007 

Birds & Other Wildlife during our Arizona Tour - July '07

Cumulative List of Birds during our Arizona Tours

Mammals during our Arizona Tours (with photos)

Upcoming FONT Birding & Nature Tours in Arizona

Guatemala - July 2007

This was the 14th FONT tour in Guatemala.  Among its highlights were: 
an Olive Ridley Sea Turtle hatchling that we watched on a beach as it made its way into the surf of the ocean, 
and then, the following day, seeing 2 spectacular Horned Guans! on branches in trees just above us, in a mountain forest.

In the highlands of Guatemala, there are numerous volcanoes,
and on one of them during our July 2007 Guatemala Tour,
we saw a very rare bird - the Horned Guan! 
In the photo below, one of the two that we saw.

And again, during this tour, as during others in Guatemala previously, at the Mayan ruins of Tikal, the Orange-breasted Falcon was seen at a temple.

A Tikal temple 


More about the FONT Guatemala Tour in July 2007

Birds & Other Wildlife during our Guatemala Tour in July '07

Cumulative List of Birds during our Guatemala Tours (with photos)

Upcoming Guatemala Tour Itineraries

Japan - May 2007

During this, our 28th birding & nature tour in Japan, and our 11th in the spring, we visited 5 islands. 2 among them were the major Japanese islands of Honshu and Kyushu. Also we went to the more-southerly islands of Okinawa and Amami
And the other island we visited was a small one, offshore from Honshu in the Sea of Japan, called Hegura. Although the island is small (one can walk its perimeter in less than an hour), it was on Hegura that we saw biggest number of birds: 111 of the 204 species found totally during the tour.

Our Spring 2007 Japan tour was our 6th to Hegura Island. That tally of 111 species was our highest there (surpassing the 102 species that we saw in 2004). 

Hegura Island is a place to see not only "Japanese" birds, but also some more common elsewhere in Asia. 
Such birds, that are vagrants or rarities in Japan, that have been nearly annual for us on Hegura, have included these, seen again during our tour in '07: 
Mugimaki Flycatcher, Swinhoe's Robin
, and Tristram's Bunting
Other birds more of mainland Asia that we saw on Hegura in '07 were: 
& Yellow-browed Buntings, Isabelline & Pied Wheatears, Chinese Grosbeak, Daurian (or Purple-backed) Starling, Black-naped Oriole, and the avian "star of the show" for the Japanese birders also on the island, the Black Drongo.
On Hegura, we saw 2 Chinese Pond Herons. Nearby, on the picturesque Noto Peninsula, a rural part of Honshu, on a wet ricefield, we saw a Chinese Heron.

From the passenger ferry between Hegura Island and the Noto Peninsula, we saw Japanese Murrelet on the water, and many Streaked Shearwaters in flight. (Yes it's a passenger ferry. On Hegura, there are no motor vehicles other than 1 small red firetruck and 1 small white ambulance.)    

On the island of Okinawa (in a forested region called Yambaru), we saw both the Okinawa Rail and the Okinawa Woodpecker. The former was "new to science" in the 1980's. The latter is very rare. The rail we saw at dusk our first day on the island. The woodpecker we saw the next morning at a nest.

Another very rare bird was seen during our stay on the island of Amami. It's an endemic, the Amami Thrush
Also on that island we saw an animal that's seen only very rarely, the nocturnal Amami Rabbit of the deep forest in the hills, where also after dark, one night, we encountered at least 25 Ryukyu Scop-Owls. Most of them we heard; a few we saw.

Among the birds that we saw on Kyushu were the Fairy Pitta and the Copper Pheasant. Both of these are certainly "notables"! 
The latter is a Japanese endemic, as is the Green Pheasant that we also were glad to see earlier during the tour. These Japanese pheasants were really 2 of many sightings that we were happy to have in Japan in the Spring of 2007.

The Black-naped Oriole is a bird most apt to be seen on the Asian mainland,
but we saw a number of them nicely during our Japan Spring Tour
on Hegura Island in 2007.



More about the FONT Japan Tour in May 2007

Birds & Other Wildlife during our Japan Spring Tour - May 2007

Cumulative List of Birds during our Japan Tours (with photos)

Birds during FONT tours on Hegura Island (with photos)

Birds during FONT tours on the island of Amami

Birds during FONT tours on the island of Okinawa

Upcoming FONT Birding & Nature Tours in Japan

Spain - April 2007

This tour was in southern and central Spain. It was the 24th FONT tour in that country, where it was springtime with the birding good indeed. In fields there were symphonies of larks. At those where we were with Great and Little Bustards, there were songs and displays of Calandra and Short-toed Larks. Crested Larks seemed to be everywhere. In mountains where Bluethroats were also singing on the tops of bushes, Skylarks were displaying with their seemingly never-ending song high in the sky. In southern Spain, waterbirds in and near the renowned Coto Donana Reserve included flocks of Flamingos, some rare White-headed Ducks, and the Red-knobbed Coot, a bird more often seen in Africa. Throughout the tour, we saw raptors, including Old World Vultures (Griffon, Eurasian Black, and Egyptian), Eagles (Short-toed, Booted, and Golden), and Kestrels (both Lesser and Common), just to name some. At one particular cliff, late one day, we saw nicely an adult Eagle Owl, and nearby two fluffy offspring. Again, the birding in Spain in the springtime, during April '07, was good indeed.


List of Birds during our Spain Tour - April 2007

Cumulative List of Birds during our Spain Tours

Upcoming FONT Birding & Nature Tours in Europe

Dominican Republic
(& adjacent Haiti) - April 2007

This was the second FONT tour in the Dominican Republic in 2007, and our 16th tour there in all. 
During this tour, we found 124 species of birds, including most of the endemics, rarities, and specialties. 
Among them were: the LaSelle Thrush, Hispaniolan Crossbill, and Golden Swallow
Always good to see, as they were again, in the Dominican Republic were: the Hispaniolan Trogon, both of the Todies (the Broad-billed & the Narrow-billed), the Antillean Piculet, and the Flat-billed Vireo
At dusk, one evening, we encountered both the Least Poorwill and the Hispaniolan Nightjar
In April, some birds that had wintered in South America had arrived such as the Antillean Nighthawk and the Least Tern. Additionally, there were migrants, and the resident breeding birds were in song on territory. 
At the shore of the large lake, Lago Enriquillo, about 200 feet below sea-level, in addition to American Flamingos and other waterbirds, there was, on land, the rare Rhinoceros Iguana.      


List of Birds during our Dominican Republic Tour - April 2007

Cumulative List of Birds during our Dominican Republic Tours

Upcoming FONT Birding & Nature Tours in the Caribbean

Puerto Rico - April 2007

This was our 27th birding tour in Puerto Rico, and again a good one! Just about all of the endemic and specialty birds that we sought were seen. (Unfortunately, the very rare Puerto Rican Parrot has become quite difficult to find, and we did not see it as we have in the past.) 
Among the fine birds that we did see were: White-tailed Tropicbird, Key West Quail-Dove, Puerto Rican Lizard-Cuckoo, Puerto Rican Tody (always a favorite), Adelaide's Warbler, and both the Puerto Rican Spindalis and the Puerto Rican Tanager
At one rather remote spot in southwestern Puerto Rico, we saw 4 members of the blackbird tribe at once: the rare Yellow-shouldered Blackbird along with Greater Antillean Grackles, the Shiny Cowbird, and the colorful Troupial. Not long prior to that we had seen the Puerto Rican (formerly the Black-cowled) Oriole, making 5 icterids seen during an hour. 
During 2 of our nights, in addition to hearing the Coqui Frogs outside our rooms, we heard the varied vocabulary of the Puerto Rican Screech-Owl. 


More about FONT Birding & Nature Tours in Puerto Rico

List of Birds during our Puerto Rico Tour - April 2007

Cumulative List of Birds during FONT Puerto Rico Tours

Upcoming FONT Birding & Nature Tours in the Caribbean


Belize - March 2007

We have not done many Belize tours over the years; this was only our second since 1992. 
But that small country is a wonderful destination for nature in general and birds in particular. 
Over 200 species of birds were found during our tour, in an assortment of habitats, including an offshore coastal caye (or island), where off its shore there was some fine snorkeling, and onshore: savannas and wetlands, and forests of pines in the hills and tropical broadleaf trees in the lowlands. 
Among our favorite birds were: a Northern Potoo perched ever so still during the day, a Jabiru at its nest, a Southern Lapwing seen our first day of the tour, a Shiny Cowbird, most likely one of the first in the country, and 2 species of Catbirds seen together, the Gray and the Black (the former a non-breeding visitor on the offshore island where the latter is an uncommon resident, a globally near-threatened species). 
Other nature included: West Indian Manatees (called "sea cows" in Belize), Yucatan Black Howler Monkeys (called "baboons" in Belize), a Red Brocket Deer (called "antelope" in Belize), and the Paca (in Belize called the "gibnut"). We didn't see a Jaguar, but we did find large fresh tracks of one in the mud. 
In the sea, there were a number of colorful tropical fish at the reef, along with rays and a Hawksbill Sea Turtle. Easy to get to, this great natural destination is one that we'll be visiting in the future many more times than we have in the past. 



More about the FONT Belize Tour in March 2007

Lists of Birds & Other Wildlife during our Belize Tour - March 2007

Cumulative Lists of Birds & Other Wildlife during our Belize Tours

A Photographic Sampling of the Nature & Culture in Belize from the FONT March '07 Tour

Upcoming FONT Birding & Nature Tours in Central America


Not that long ago, the Southern Lapwing (pictured above),
a common bird in South America,
occurred in Central America about as far north 
as the Panama Canal.
More recently it's spread into Costa Rica
(where during our tours we've seen adults at a nest).
During our March 2007 tour in Belize,
we saw a Southern Lapwing at Crooked Tree.
We're told that it appeared there over a year
prior to our tour - and it stayed. 

The Dominican Republic (& adjacent Haiti) - Feb/Mar 2007

This was the 15th FONT birding & nature tour on the Caribbean Island of Hispaniola, where a number of rare & endemic birds occur, along with various Caribbean specialties. 
Over 100 species of birds were found during this tour, including most of the endemics. 2 species during this tour were "new" for our cumulative Dominican Republic list, bringing it up to 185. Those 2 species were Brown Booby and Wilson's Phalarope (the latter a vagrant on Hispaniola). 
As we've done in the past, we visited the Haitian border where we saw some birds in that country. 
In addition to birds during the tour, we saw the rare Rhinoceros Iguana (endemic to Hispaniola), the Buffy Flower Bat, and a fine assortment of butterflies. (Another FONT tour took place in the Dominican Republic in April '07.) 


Birds & Other Wildlife during our Dominican Republic Tour in Feb/Mar. '07

Cumulative List of Birds during our Dominican Republic Tours

Upcoming Caribbean Tour Itineraries


Honduras - Feb 2007

This birding & nature tour was in a country, Honduras, not known as much for such tours as let's say Costa Rica, Trinidad, and others. But Honduras is a wonderful place for such travel, with a variety of habitats to be explored including rain forest, cloud forest, pine forest, grassland, and mangrove-lined estuaries. 
During our tour, we visited each of the habitats just mentioned, each with its set of birds. 
Among the more than 200 species during the tour, we saw one that's "resplendent", and another that's "lovely". The Resplendent Quetzal was in a cloud forest filled with the beautiful sounds of solitaires and nightingale-thrushes. The Lovely Cotingas that we saw in a tree feeding on fruits. There were both male and female cotingas, about a half-dozen in all. The male's a brilliantly bright blue. 
It was a colorful day, that day, for birds, also with chlorophonias, honeycreepers, tanagers, toucans, trogons, and a selection of hummingbirds
Yes, Honduras is a good place to go for birds, and we'll be going back.  


Birds & Other Wildlife during our Honduras Tour in Feb. '07

Cumulative List of Birds during our Honduras Tours

Upcoming Central America Tour Itineraries

Japan - January 2007

This was the 27th FONT birding & nature tour in Japan, and the 17th such tour in the winter, when among the highlights are the cranes and the eagles
During this tour, there were 5 species of Cranes (Red-crowned, White-naped, Hooded, Common, & Sandhill), and large numbers of both Steller's Sea-Eagles and White-tailed Eagles were observed.
 And once again, as during every FONT Japan tour in the winter, we saw the big & rare Blakiston's Fish-Owl

Other notable bird species during the tour included: Copper Pheasant, Solitary Snipe, Black-faced Spoonbill, Spectacled Guillemot, Long-billed Murrelet & other alcids, Laysan Albatross, Mandarin Duck, and Hodgson's Hawk-Eagle.  

During the tour the 3 main Japanese islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, and Kyushu were visited. 

Lastly we went to the smaller island of Amami, where we saw the bird specialties (endemic or nearly-so) including: the Amami Woodcock, Amami Thrush, Lidth's Jay, and Ryukyu Robin

During this tour, Japanese Macaques (or "Snow Monkeys") were seen on 2 islands, Honshu & Kyushu.   

Red-crowned Cranes were seen, and enjoyed, again
during the FONT Japan Tour
on Hokkaido in January 2007


More about the FONT Japan Tour in January 2007

Birds & Other Wildlife during our Japan Winter Tour - January '07

List of Birds during FONT Japan Tours in 2007

Cumulative List of Birds during our Japan Tours (with photos)

Birds of the Island of Amami

Upcoming FONT Birding & Nature Tours in Japan

Guatemala - December 2006 / January 2007

Again, our annual holiday tour was in Guatemala, a great destination not just for the festivities of the season, but also for a nice assortment of birds and other nature. And certainly not to be ignored is that the weather during the time of the tour was, as usual, about perfect. Thus, there were the components for an enjoyable tour, in each of the varied habitats that we visited, including the marshes near the Pacific, the high mountain forests nestled between volcanic peaks, and during our treks along rivers and forest trails by temples remaining from a civilization that flourished over a thousand years ago. Collectively, we found over 250 species of birds in these settings, where we also saw animals, butterflies, and wonderful scenery, during this, the 13th FONT tour in Guatemala. 
Click the link above to other links with a fine collection of photos taken during the tour, and lists of birds and other wildlife during both this tour and in Guatemala cumulatively during all of our tours there. About 550 birds are now in the cumulative list. 


More about the FONT Guatemala Tour in Dec '06 / Jan '07

Photos of Nature & Scenery from our Guatemala Tour Dec '06/Jan '07

Birds & Other Wildlife during our Guatemala Tour in Dec '06/Jan '07

Cumulative List of Birds during our Guatemala Tours (with photos)

Upcoming FONT Birding & Nature Tours in Guatemala