Connecticut Audubon Society EcoTravel has a great selection of tours that visit many exciting spots close to home and around the globe. All of our tours promise to be special adventures, giving you the opportunity to enjoy some of the most beautiful animals and habitats in the world. The Connecticut Audubon Society strives to be at the forefront of environmental education, and our EcoTravel program plays a strong part in that goal. If our dates or tours do not meet your needs, we can provide you with the itineraries of other natural history travel companies. If you choose one of their programs and sign-up through us, we will earn commissions which support Connecticut Audubon Society’s education programs. It costs you nothing extra and helps us immensely.
Click here for our Full Newsletter.
For Detailed Itineraries of our Overnight Tours, please contact us at:
Connecticut Audubon Society EcoTravel
PO Box 903
Essex, CT 06426
Call us for the lowest prices on Swarovski and Vortex Binoculars and Scopes. Call us at 860-767-0660!
Join Connecticut Audubon Society Standard Membership Only $50! CLICK HERE!
Overnight International Tour Listing
Cuba Bird Survey
February 23 – March 7, 2017 13 Days! CALL NOW for 2018!
We are again offering our licensed bird survey in Cuba. This program has a 20-year history as a conservation project focused on understanding Cuba’s importance as a wintering habitat for migratory birds. Travel with a small group and local guides through rarely explored parts of Cuba, the Caribbean’s largest and most ecologically diverse island nation, home to 25 endemic birds: the world’s smallest, the Bee Hummingbird; one of the rarest woodpeckers, Fernandina’s Flicker; and the elusive Blue-headed Quail-Dove. Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: $5,850. With member discount: $5,250.
Machu Picchu with Lucretia Bingham
April 25 – May 6, 2017 12 Days! WAIT LIST! CALL for 2018!
Follow the footsteps of the Incas and explorer Hiram Bingham! Leader is Lucretia Bingham, a Connecticut native, outstanding travel writer, and granddaughter of Hiram. Visit one of the world’s deepest canyons and search for Andean Condor. Hike to ruins and relax in some of the finest hot springs imaginable. Visit Lake Titicaca for a boat trip. Take a classic railway journey across the high plains to explore Cusco, the former Inca capital, full of culture and history. Travel through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to explore the awe-inspiring lost city of Machu Picchu. Optional post-tour trekking on the Inca Trail. Fee: $4,998. With member discount: $4,398. A bucket list tour!
Cornwall, England: Explore the Panoramic Coast
May 12 – 22, 2017 11 Days! CALL for 2018!
Immerse yourself in maritime heath-lands, tropical valleys, moors, history, and legends. Connect with nature along coastal paths, beaches, and lanes bordered by carpets of brilliant pastel spring flowers or summer heathers in fields stitched together with hedgerows. Enjoy the quiet, the clean air, and the fresh scents as we explore this land of Daphne De Maurier on daily hikes near the cliffs and in the countryside. Our native naturalist/guide, knows the flora and fauna, the geology, significant historic sites, the folklore, birds and wildlife, the back roads, country tea houses, local gossip, and scenic villages off the beaten track. Leader: Priscilla Wood. Fee: $3,675. With Member Discount: $3,275.
Iceland: Land of Ice and Fire
May 25 – June 5, 2017 12 Days!
Visit Iceland and you’ll enter a whole new realm of experience! You’ll discover unspoiled nature as you’ve never seen it before, and the equally original people for whom timeless nature, ancient heritage, and modern lifestyle coexist in harmony. The freedom to roam in the city or the wilds, to explore, and to have fun are key to the Iceland experience. Visit all that makes Iceland unique, including the famed Blue Lagoon, bird-filled islands, and intriguing geological features. Leaders are local naturalist Trausti Gunnarsson and Andy Griswold, Director of EcoTravel. Fee: Call.
Western Ireland: The Wild Atlantic Way
June 2 – 12, 2017 11 Days!
Join us for an in-depth exploration of rural Ireland. This 10-day, small group experience will bring you to the heart of remote places. Roam the rich heartland, wander the wild rugged Atlantic coastline, and hike a spectacular landscape steeped in the rich heritage of Ireland. Meet the locals and soak up the village culture. Hear the music, listen to the stories, step out with some Irish dancing, and attend colorful local festivals. Experience the authentic life of Ireland. Fee: $3,725. With member discount: $3,225. Leader: Priscilla Wood.
Canada’s Arctic Tundra
June 19 – July 2, 2017 12 Days Rafting!
The Burnside River is frequently referred to as the “wildlife river” because of the incredible wildlife viewing of a classic Arctic adventure. This rafting trip is timed to coincide with the historic caribou migration. The Bathurst caribou herd, which numbers over 300,000 animals, crosses the river on its way to and from its calving grounds along the east side of Bathurst Inlet. Wolves, which follow the herd, may be seen along the river and at their denning sites. Muskox appear in groups of 30 or more and photographers can get quite close. Grizzly Bear, Wolverine, Arctic Fox, and several other mammals are found along with many birds of prey, notably nesting Peregrine Falcon, Gyrfalcon, Golden Eagle, and Rough-legged Hawk. This is a rafting trip friendly to beginners. Leaders are experienced Canadian guides. Fee: $8,949. With member discount: $8,249.
Scotland Highlands: Birds and Wildlife
July 14 – 22, 2017 Eight Days! OPTIONAL GLASGOW EXTENTION!
July 7 – 15, 2017 Eight Days! NEW SECOND DEPARTURE!
This tour of the Scotland Highlands is a great mix of daily adventures exploring the stunning hills, glens, forest, coasts and marshes of the region producing breathtaking encounters with eagles, pine martens, otters, deer, crossbills, badgers, puffins and much more. Scotland is #1 in Europe for wildlife watching and our goal is to get an up-close and personal look at the native birds, mammals, and flora of the region.. Under the guidance of a local and qualified naturalist you will learn the wonders of the wild Highlands and discover a land of colorful history and outstanding beauty. Fee: $3,275 With member discount $2,875. Optional extension to Edinburgh. Leader: Priscilla Wood.
Nova Scotia’s National Parks
July 27 – August 4, 2017 Nine Days!
From the spectacular tides of the Bay of Fundy to the rolling farmland to the heath-lands of Cape Breton, there is no better highlights tour! Search for the rare Right Whale. The tremendous number of shorebirds at this time of year is legendary, known for their incredible aerial ballet. Nights are at Canada’s government-owned four-star lodges. Cape Breton delights travelers with its high cliffs overlooking the North Atlantic and its quaint fishing villages. Fee: $4,495. With member discount: $3,995. Leader: Andy Griswold.
Grand Spain Tour
September 3 – 17, 2017 15 Days!
Spain is the most visited European country by birdwatchers due to its location along the migration route between Europe and Africa, and because it embraces habitats of the Western Pale Arctic. This landscape provides shelter to a great number and variety of species including raptors, alpine birds, steppe birds, aquatic birds, and an unsurpassed representation of typical Mediterranean species. See specialties such as Spanish Imperial Eagle, Lammergeyer, DuPont’s Lark, Wallcreeper, and Moustached Warbler. Visit historic monuments and cultural sites including medieval and Moorish villages. Leader is CAS Staff Member Frank Gallo. Fee: Call.
Italy: Under the Tuscan Sun
October 1 – 12, 2017 12 Days!
Join us for a walking tour in Italy exploring southern Tuscany’s remote and little-known landscapes, flora and fauna, history and culture, and fine Tuscan living. Visit the deeply private heart of Tuscany where you can feel far from the “tourist trail.” Discover the region’s charming small towns and villages, the fascinating ruins, and the beautiful and bountiful natural history. Overnight at a spot on the Mediterranean Sea, a farmhouse in an olive grove, and a 12th-century castle. See authentic Italy. Local and experienced guides. Leader: Priscilla Wood. Fee: $4,698. With member discount: $3,998. Optional post-trip extension!
Brazil’s Atlantic Forests
September 18 – 29, 2017 12 Days!
Located in the heart of a vast mountain range, Itatiaia National Park is the first Brazilian national park and one of the most famous birding spots in the Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest. Mountain roads offer stops for colorful jewels such as Green-headed, Gilt-edged, and Burnished-buff Tanagers. The park is home for myriads of antbirds, woodcreepers, foliage-gleaners, flycatchers, and tyranulets, seen as we walk the trails and roads close to the lodge through lush forest, past lakes and waterfalls, and through alpine meadows. Down to the coast, Ubatuba is one of the most beautiful coastal areas in Brazil, where the remaining Atlantic Rain Forest blankets the land from mountain-tops to sea level. Here we can find numerous species of hummingbird. Walking the trails in the region gives us opportunities too see an outstanding selection of bird and plant species. Leader: Nick Bonomo and our local Brazilian guide. Fee: $5,598. With member discount: $4,798. Optional Rio extension.
Polar Bear Migration
November 5 – 12, 2017 Eight Days! Reserve Early!
This northern expedition in Churchill, Manitoba, on Hudson Bay, will take travelers to the land of the Polar Bear to witness the annual migration. Participants travel on the tundra in specially equipped tundra vehicles, providing them with the best possible views of the bears in their spectacular habitat. Searches for the northern lights, a visit to the Eskimo Museum, and optional helicopter tours and sled dog tours are some of the other activities offered. Local guides provide a wealth of knowledge! This is the most accessible population of Polar Bear but in jeopardy from global warming. See them now. Fee: $6,395. With member discount: $5,895. Includes airfare from Winnipeg to Churchill. Call now to hold your spot! Other dates available. Leader: Andy Griswold.
Northwestern Argentina and Buenos Aires
November 7 – 18, 2017 12 Days!
Northwestern Argentina holds some of the most spectacular landscapes, ranging from humid forests to extremely arid lands, from lowlands to mountains more than 13,000 feet high. A host of localized and endemic birds are present, making this a prime birding trip. Start from Buenos Aires and experience a diversity of climates and habitats. The Torrent Duck and Rufous-throated Dipper have us scanning every stream. The humid Yungas cloud forests and montane forest host hundreds of species. Open grasslands and shrubby ravines are inhabited by the rare and unusual. Enter the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a UNESCO World Heritage site with spectacular scenery, beautiful colonial villages, and lots of wildlife. Ascend to the lakes of the barren Puna, kingdom of the Andean Condor, Giant Hummingbird, and concentrations of water birds. Experience the authentic culture of the Andes; enjoy magnificent scenery, superb wines, and the magnificent city of Buenos Aires. Leader: TBD. Fee: $5,698. With member discount: $4,998.
Ecuador’s Private Birding Reserves
January 15 – 26, 2018 12 Days!
You’ll have the opportunity to visit private birding reserves in the high barren plains, highland rainforest, cloud forest, and tropical rainforest , based from lodges at the reserves. The reserves are all within a two-hour radius of Quito, spanning nine different ecosystems. With over 1,000 possible bird species (65 species of hummingbird), wild orchids, waterfalls, mammals, and butterflies, each of the exclusive reserves is a unique paradise. A must for the serious birder-naturalist! Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: $4,998. With member discount: $4,298.
Japan in Winter
January 2018 15 Days!
This spectacular itinerary will take us to the three largest islands in Japan’s archipelago, Honshu, Kyushu, and Hokkaido. From the spectacle of thousands of cranes in the frosted paddy fields of southern Kyushu, to the fabled Snow Monkeys bathing in the hot springs, to the forests of the Japanese Alps of Honshu, to the rare and enormous Blakiston’s Fish Owl and the majestic mass gatherings of White-tailed and Steller’s Sea Eagles, Japan in winter offers unparalleled photographic and wildlife viewing opportunities and a cultural experience which captivates the most seasoned traveler. Visit the Imperial Palace and Botanical Gardens in Tokyo. A Taiwan extension is offered. Fee: TBD. Leader: Rob Taylor.
February 8 – 21, 2018 14 Days! FILLING QUICKLY! SIGN-UP NOW!
Visit at the best time to view the animals of the Serengeti! Lions, cheetahs, hyenas, and other predators are especially visible during this season. Visit Ngorongoro Crater, described as the eighth wonder of the world, Lake Manyara National Park in the Great Rift Valley, and Oldupai Gorge, where the Leakeys made their famous archeological discoveries of early hominids. Witness the calving of thousands of wildebeest. Travelers are accompanied by Miley Bull, CAS Senior Director of Science and Conservation, who has led this trip for many years. Fee: $6,198. With member discount: $5,398. Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro Trek extensions available.
Overnight Domestic Tour Listing
Arkansas and Ivorybills?
January 22- 29, 2017 Eight Days! CALL FOR 2018!
Join our ninth exciting expedition into southern woodland mature forest that once hosted the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and perhaps still does! Enjoy the private lodge while experiencing the history and tales of the elusive “Grail Bird.” This tour is by special arrangement in an area that is not open to the public. Henslow’s Sparrow, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, and clouds of waterfowl in the heart of America’s rice belt! Fee: $2,395. With member discount: $1,998. Leader: Andy Griswold.
Birding Florida’s Gulf Coast
February 6 – 12, 2017 Seven Days! CALL FOR 2018!
The subtropical ecosystem makes the region around Sarasota a major stopover on the Eastern Flyway and a premier birding destination. Tour numerous birding hotspots along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, a network of hundreds of sites spread throughout the state. Florida hosts a variety of habitats from tropical hardwood and scrub forests to tidal flats, marshlands, and mangrove swamps. Visit Cork Screw Swamp, Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, and many other preserves. Some target birds are Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Florida Scrub-Jay, Bachman’s Sparrow, and Whooping Crane. Many species are typical “backyard birds” for Florida residents, but a real treat for anyone from the North. Leader: Priscilla Wood. Fee: $3,075. With member discount: $2,675.
February 10 – 12, 2017 Three Days!
The town of Montauk, on the far eastern tip of Long Island, is one of the best winter birding spots. The open ocean and the harbor provide opportunities to see many winter waterfowl not so commonly seen in Connecticut. Eiders, all three scoter species, gulls, alcids, grebes, loons, and other winter specialties are among the many birds one can expect. Enjoy the quiet of an off-season resort town and the fresh air of winter beaches. Fee: $845. With member discount: $645. Leader: Andy Griswold.
Nebraska’s Crane Migration
March 26 – 31, 2017 Six Days!
Nearly half a million Sandhill Cranes descend upon the broad valley of the Platte River, and by March approximately 80 percent of the world’s Lesser Sandhill Cranes crowd a 150-mile stretch of the river in the largest gathering of cranes anywhere in the world! We may even find a few of their rare and elegant cousins, the endangered Whooping Crane. Witness one of North America’s greatest wildlife spectacles! Fee: $2,695. With member discount: $2,295. Leader: Frank Gallo.
Colorado’s Grouse and Prairie Chickens
April 15 – 25, 2017 Eight Days! CALL FOR 2018!
Our tour is designed to allow time birding the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, the Colorado Plateau, and the marvelous leks of Colorado’s grasslands, emphasizing the western birds you seldom or never see on the east coast. The tour provides the best opportunity to find each of the many target bird species, including Greater Sage-Grouse, Gunnison Sage-Grouse, Lesser Prairie-Chicken, Greater Prairie-Chicken, Dusky Grouse, White-tailed Ptarmigan, Three-toed Woodpecker, rosy-finches, and more. Each day will be a total natural history experience! Limited to two 4×4 vehicles. Fee: $5,485. With Member Discount: $4,885. Leaders: Phil Rusch and James Restivo.
Delmarva Peninsula: Maryland’s Eastern Shore
April 19 – 23, 2017 Five Days!
This trip will take travelers to the Delmarva Peninsula, that piece of mainland sandwiched between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic. The group will visit a number of parks and refuges, including Bombay Hook NWR and Assateague Island National Seashore. After visiting key natural and historic areas, you will come away with a good feel for the land, its economy, and its wild inhabitants. Spring is a great time to visit the area, since summertime is well known for high heat and humidity. Although not a concentrated birding trip, birding is included as a big part of the overall nature exploration. Leader: Priscilla Wood. Fee: $1,598. With member discount $1,298.
Texas: Coast, Valley, and Hills
April 24 – May 4, 2017 Ten Days!
Join the popular guide team of Jay Hand and Andy Griswold as they reunite for another great adventure in “The #l Bird State.” Three-quarters of all birds occurring in the continental United States have been recorded in Texas, where on this ten day trip you can see over 275 species, including Green Kingfisher, Plain Chachalaca, Great Kiskadee, Green Jay, Tropical Parula, and more. The scenery is fabulous, featuring vast open spaces unlike anything in the East. Visit famed High Island, Bolivar Flats, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, King Ranch, Sabal Palm, Santa Anna, Bentsen, and the Edward’s Plateau. Jay and Andy are known for their expert knowledge of Texas birds. Fee: $3,898. With member discount: $3,498.
Texas: Big Bend and the Davis Mountains
May 4 – 12, 2017 Nine Days!
In West Texas where night skies are dark and rivers carve temple-like canyons in ancient limestone, at the end of the road hundreds of bird species take refuge in a solitary mountain range surrounded by weather-beaten desert. Tenacious cactus bloom in sublime southwestern sun, and diversity of species is the best in the country. This magical place is Big Bend, and the Chisos Mountains of this national park host one of the rarest species in the United States, the Colima Warbler. In the Davis Mountains, changes in altitude produce both plains grasslands and pinyon juniper-oak woodlands. Montezuma Quail can be found alongside nesting Common Black-Hawk and the nocturnal calling Common Poorwill. This landscape of superb vistas holds many special birds. Both Texas trips can be done in conjunction to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Leader is CAS Director of Education Michelle Eckman. Fee: $3,295. With member discount: $2,995.
Sensational Mt. Auburn
May 5 – 7, 2017 3 Days!
This is absolutely the best place on the east coast to see and hear large numbers of migrant warblers during the peak of spring migration. Birds are often at eye level, offering excellent views and photographic opportunities. Mt. Auburn, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was founded in 1831 by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society as a “garden cemetery,” a concept since copied by many communities across the country. The stupendous variety and scale of the trees alone is not to be missed; providing an oasis that birds find irresistible. Fee: $865. With member discount: $665. Migration at its best in a setting that is unrivaled! Leader: Joe Bear.
Ohio’s Magee Marsh and Canada’s Point Pelee
May 9 – 18, 2017 Ten Days!
Magee Marsh, on the shore of Lake Erie, is a prime stopover for North American warblers. Every spring thousands of birders and photographers, flock to this location to witness the spectacle of large songbird concentrations preparing to migrate across the great lake toward their breeding grounds in the North. Point Pelee National Park situated on Lake Erie’s north shore is one of the most important migration highways in North America and since 1918 has been preserved as a national sanctuary. It is located within the true deciduous forest region commonly called Carolinian Forest, in Canada found only on a narrow belt along Lake Erie’s north shore featuring plants and animals that are rare or absent elsewhere in Canada. The Point is perfectly situated as a migrant trap and in springtime can boast as many as 260 species, with a single-day high of 170! Fee: $3,300. With Member Discount: $2,898. Leader: Andy Griswold.
Birds of Baxter State Park
June 8 – 11, 2017 Four Days!
Enjoy an escape that takes you to clear mountain waters, lakes abundant with native trout, and the brightest star-filled nights you’ve ever seen—all in the beautiful woods of Maine. Visit the places where Frederick Church painted landscapes of Mount Katahdin. Get away from the busy world and roam among the moose, carnivorous pitcher plants and sundew, orchids, and birds unique to this northern habitat. Bicknell’s Thrush, Three-toed Woodpecker, and Spruce Grouse are targets. Leaders: Nick Bonomo and Andy Griswold. Fee: $1,198. With member discount: $998.
June 15 – 18, 2017 Four Days!
The Connecticut Lakes region is the pristine area at the northern tip of New Hampshire offering unlimited, unspoiled wilderness. This is the center of the North Country’s moose habitat where the mighty Connecticut River is born. Birds may include Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, Morning Warbler, and Boreal Chickadee. Stay at a peaceful lakeside lodge and hike to the headwaters tostraddle the river as it begins its journey south. Fee: $1,198. With member discount: $998. Leader: Priscilla Wood.
Maine’s Puffins and Whales
July 6 – 10, 2017 Four Days!
Whale watching is perhaps one of the most exciting activities you’ll ever experience! You will be amazed at these gentle yet awesome animals. Enjoy traveling to the whales aboard a high speed catamaran. Naturalists point out whales, seals, eagles, porpoise, dolphin, and a variety of offshore seabirds, including Atlantic Puffin. Revel in the scenic beauty of coastal Maine, its historic towns and hidden coves, Mount Desert Island, and Acadia National Park. Hike or just relax and take in the scenery. Fee: $1,425. With member discount $1,125. Leader: Priscilla Wood.
Grand Canyon National Park and Sedona
September 18 – 26, 2017 Nine Days!
With the spectacular rock formations as your backdrop, enjoy scenic hikes of the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, a canyon created by the Colorado River over a six-million-year period. Learn about the history of the Canyon, the animals and birds that inhabit the area, and the magic of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Travel farther to Sedona, characterized by massive red-rock formations rivaling the beauty of many national parks. Located in Arizona’s high desert, Sedona is blessed with four mild seasons and known for the “energy vortexes” that create what many consider a spiritual power center. Leaders: Duane Weber (National Park Service) and Priscilla Wood. Fee: $3,998. With member discount: $3,498.
Monhegan Island: Migration Hotspot
September 22 – 25, 2017 Four Days!
Join leader Joe Bear on a relaxing tour of Monhegan Island at the height of the migration season. Off the coast of Maine, Monhegan serves as a stopover point for birds caught out over open water. With no roads and no cars on the island, participants stroll along the many trails while searching for what arrived overnight and enjoying eye-level looks at many of the warbler species, tanagers, and flycatchers. In the fall, nature and beauty are at their apex on Monhegan. Stay at a lovely island inn and don’t miss the blueberry pie! Fee: $1,198. With member discount: $998.
Block Island: Weekend Escape
September 29 – October 1, 2017 Three Days!
Revel in the wilds of Block Island, Rhode Island, after summer tourists have left the beaches and town. Often a magnet for wayward birds, “Block” will delight travelers with its island architecture, wild flowers, and natural beauty. This is our most popular weekend escape. Fee: $845. With member discount: $645. Leaders: Jay Hand and Andy Griswold.
Click here for a printable version of our Full Newsletter.
Donate your car, boat, truck, RV, Jet Ski or snowmobile to Connecticut Audubon EcoTravel and receive a tax deduction. This no cost, no hassle process begins when you contact our fundraising partner, Donation Line LLC at 877-227-7487. Make sure to ask for our extension 3087. Or you can click here “Donate Car” to donate online, now.