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Old Sunday 13th February 2005, 01:24   #1
Zolarcon
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Birding vacation- Texas, Costa Rica, Arizona , etc.

Hi BF,


I know its a lot to ask but here it goes:

I was interested in doing a trip to Costa Rica next year for about 5 to 7 days. Can anyone recommend how to go about this without spending 3000 dollars. Local Tours, Time of year? Places to stay?

Also any info on birding in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona-Local Tours, Time of year? Places to stay? Local guides versus the others? Any books, one would recommend to do a modest once in lifetime trip to see some local birds. I cant spend more than a week in any one of these places. So please bare that in mind.



Thank you very much in advance,
Carlos
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Old Sunday 13th February 2005, 02:09   #2
streatham
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Hi Zolarcon,

I would try starting with www.birdingpal.com this will give you a list of people in the states/countries who are willing to help people out with information etc on finding local birds. You can also get a lot of information about rarities which are showing up on www.birdingonthe.net (go to the regional/speciality section for a list of states). You can also get some good info from http://www.camacdonald.com/birding/birding.htm and http://www.fatbirder.com/

Luke

Last edited by streatham : Sunday 13th February 2005 at 17:53.
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Old Sunday 13th February 2005, 02:40   #3
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Texas, New Mexico, Arizona...Any books, one would recommend
I would carry Sibley, East and West. Nice small size in field, but in Texas you need both. There are travel guides to Texas birding areas, or some books that cover the whole country.

Google Texas and Audubon, will get local info.
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Old Sunday 13th February 2005, 16:28   #4
Dave B Smith
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Southeast Arizona is a great little birding destination. In April it's not unbearably hot and there are lots of migrants returning / passing through. We stayed in Green Valley just off the entrance to Madera Canyon. You can also visit Patagonia from here. Check out on line resources for birding in S.E. Arizona.

Costa Rica is truly a once in a lifetime birding trip (though you'll want to go back again and again!). Air tickets from the US can be reasonable and hotels there are certainly reasonable. There are a number of diferent locations and you just need to select an area for a given trip. We've been to Monte Verde (wonderful), Arenal (where you can also watch an active volcano), San Jose (where you have to fly into), Manuel Antonio Park on the Pacific. There are many more great locations so do some web based research. We haven't used a tour company so can't make any recommendations there. For my first trip, I would head to Monte Verde.

Texas is a huge place. I would suggest the lower Gulf Coast / Rio Grande Valley for a birding trip and then either spring ( for migration) or fall ( for migration). Great birds.

Hope this adds a little fuel to your fire.
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Old Sunday 13th February 2005, 18:41   #5
HelenB
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Hi Carlos - have a look at the Kozi Birding website for reasonably priced trips to Costa Rica - they offer one from Houston for under $2000 and that includes the airfare: http://www.kozibirding.com/index.htm

There's an excellent book called "Birding Texas" by Ro Wauer & Mark Elwonger - I'm sure your local library could get it for you so that you can see where all the birding hotspots are. As Dave says, Texas is a huge place - for instance its about 600 miles from Houston to Fort Davis in West Texas and will take 10-12 hours to drive there. Big Bend National Park is then another 140 miles to the south of Fort Davis!!

Don't forget to check on High Island - magnet for spring migrants, on the Upper Gulf Coast (southeast of Houston).

Good luck with your planning
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Old Sunday 13th February 2005, 23:58   #6
craig whitmore
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Originally Posted by Zolarcon
Hi BF,


I know its a lot to ask but here it goes:

I was interested in doing a trip to Costa Rica next year for about 5 to 7 days. Can anyone recommend how to go about this without spending 3000 dollars. Local Tours, Time of year? Places to stay?

Also any info on birding in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona-Local Tours, Time of year? Places to stay? Local guides versus the others? Any books, one would recommend to do a modest once in lifetime trip to see some local birds. I cant spend more than a week in any one of these places. So please bare that in mind.



Thank you very much in advance,
Carlos
Carlos: I just returned from a 5 week trip to Costa Rica and Panama. The Lonley Planet Costa Rican guide book was very helpful to me. First three weeks were in a total immersion language school in the city of Turrialba (1.5 hr by bus East of San Jose. While in Turrialba spent weekends at RANCHO NATURALISTA (found this in the guide book) a 5$ cab ride up the mountain.
This lodge has accomodations for about 10 to 15 guests and is geared specifically to birders. Every morning at first light they put out bananas, oranges, cooked rice, etc below a 20 meter balcony. Walk out the door, pour a cup of Costa Rican coffee, and in 10 minutes have 15 to 20 different species. Their check list from the balcony has over 250, while the list from rancho property has over 450. They have 3 professional naturalists to conduct tours, on foot or horseback, or just help on the balcony. Turrialba is also jumping off point to volcano trips or white water rafting.
If this interests you send me a PM and I'll elaborate
Craig
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