Connecticut Audbon Society


EcoTravel Overnight Trips

Favorite Tours

Macaw - Ben Lunsford

Amazing Amazon Cruises
Year-round Departures.    
Seven Days!
Our most popular cruise explores some of the most untouched rainforest in all of Amazonia. On an eight-cabin expedition vessel, travelers venture far up some of the least inhabited rivers in the Amazon Basin for a full seven days and explore areas rarely visited, seeking out the mysterious life in the heart of the Amazon. This is the most thorough, detailed, and sophisticated trip offered in the entire Amazon and comes with rave reviews from past participants. Guides are accomplished local naturalists. This is a trip of a lifetime, easy for seniors and families! Fee starts at $3,795 per person. Extensions are available to Iguacu Falls, Machu Picchu, Pantanal, Galapagos, and Ecuadorian Highlands. Call for details.

Galapagos Cruise: Islands of Discovery
Year-round Departures.
Galapagos, a remote archipelago where life goes on much as it has for millions of years, is the world’s greatest living laboratory for study and observation of nature. Here the animals have no fear of humans, and you can be at one with nature as nowhere else on Earth. Over centuries, animal and plant life reached the islands and gradually evolved into new life forms. Opportunities for photography are unparalleled, with sea lions, iguanas, and penguins in arm’s reach. Cabins available from $4,700 per person. Ecuadorian Highland, Machu Picchu, and Quito extensions available. Don’t miss out on this tremendous learning experience in the “Enchanted Islands.” Call for details.

Connecticut Audubon Society EcoTravel has a great selection of overnight tours that visit many exciting spots, both close to home and around the globe. All 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’ll earn commissions which support Connecticut Audubon Society’s education programs. It costs you nothing extra and helps us immensely.

Click here for a printable version of our Full Newsletter.


Overnight International Tours

May 2024

Iceland: Circumnavigation via The Ring Road      Waitlist Only! Reserve for 2025!
May 24 – June 4, 2024     12 Days!
Travelers visiting Iceland today follow in the steps of the mighty Vikings who first visited the island in the 9th century. Whether you delight in vast uninhabited expanses of landscape or walking around town making friends, you’ll feel free in Iceland and enter a whole new realm of experience. You’ll discover original nature as you’ve never seen it before while visiting thousands of cliff–nesting birds and exploring the culture, history, geology, and more.
Leaders: Andy Griswold and native Icelander Daniel Bergmann.
Fee: $8,998. Members: $7,998.

September 2024

Gardens of Art and Architecture: Marx, Niemeyer, and Brazilian Modernism      Three Spots Left! Call Now!
September 7 – 21, 2024     15 Days!
Brazil is a land of staggering beauty and unsurpassed diversity. It’s also the birthplace of Roberto Burle Marx, one of the most influential and groundbreaking landscape artists of the 20th century. Explore his landscape design genius, the natural wonders of the unique Atlantic forest biome, and the art, history, culture, and cuisine of three cosmopolitan cities: Rio de Janeiro, Petropolis, and Teresopolis. This tour has something for everyone!
Leaders are garden designer and bird guide Cole Burrell and local guide Patricia Silva.
Fee: $12,995. Members: $10,995.

October 2024

The Pantanal: Brazil’s Birds and Cats      Two Spots Left! Call now!
October 16 27, 2024     12 Days!
Situated in the Paraguay River Basin in Central South America, the Pantanal is the largest wetland in the world and one of the last major nature reserves on the face of the Earth. The wildlife is amazingly abundant here; its seasonally flooded plains attract immense numbers of birds and caiman and are probably the most mammal–rich area of South America. Experienced guides take you to one of the wildest, most beautiful and remote corners of South America. Cruise the rivers on an epic adventure searching for wildlife, including Jaguar, Giant Otter, and Hyacinth Macaw! Travelers visit the Brazilian Central Plateau, a fabulously scenic area of scrubland bordered by huge sandstone cliffs and lush gallery forest.
Leaders: Andy Griswold and local guides.
Fee: $6,298. Members: $5,598.

January 2025

Tanzania Safari: Birds and Mammals
January 21 – February 4, 2025      15 Days!      Call now! Taking reservations!
This is Africa as you’ve always imagined it: the magic of a Serengeti sunset, the teeming wildlife of Ngorongoro Crater, and some of the most wonderful birdlife you’ll ever see. A safari to Tanzania is a special adventure into the premier wildlife-viewing country of Africa, with national parks and reserves unsurpassed anywhere in the world. We’ll see all of the major plains animals: lions, hippos, zebras, giraffes, impalas, gazelles and other herbivores, baboons and monkeys, and herds of elephant and buffalo. You’ll stay in outstanding lodges, and a side trip to Oldupai Gorge will take you to the cradle of mankind. Travelers are accompanied by staff members Rob Taylor and Miley Bull, along with talented Tanzanian guides.
Fee: $11,698. Members: $9,698.

March 2025

Costa Rica: The Osa Peninsula      Waitlist Only!
March 14 – 25, 2025     12 Days!
Located on the southern coast near the Panama border, the Osa Peninsula is home to over 50% of all species found in Costa Rica! Travelers will experience a true tropical adventure as we hunt after Costa Rica’s four mainland endemics including Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager, which is found only on the Osa. We’ll also venture high into the Talamanca Mountains, searching for iconic species such as Resplendent Quetzal amongst the clouds. Over 40 species of hummingbirds and 12 species of parrots can be expected, including Scarlet Macaw.
Leaders: Matt Bell and local guides.
Fee: $6,898. Members: $5,998.

Cuba’s Birds, Culture, and Landscapes
March 2025     Nine Days!
This program is coordinated under U.S. Government authorization through the Connecticut–based Caribbean Conservation Trust. In addition to EcoTravel Director Andy Griswold, our team will include esteemed Cuban biologist Dr. Giraldo Alayon and expert local naturalists who will guide you through the Caribbean’s largest and most ecologically diverse island nation. While there’ll be daily opportunities to see many birds, including the World’s smallest, the Bee Hummingbird, our focus expands to include a range of Cuban fauna and flora, along with the ecology and history of regions we visit. We’ll also enjoy opportunities to swim, snorkel, and encounter some of Cuba’s interesting marine life in a safe, natural habitat. Our informal discussions will expose the main issues of conservation in the Cuban Archipelago, and our Cuban guide will answer your questions and offer explanations of Cuban history, politics, and daily living.
Leaders: Andy Griswold and Giraldo Alayon.
Call for dates and pricing.

May 2025

Iceland: Circumnavigation via The Ring Road
May 22 – June 2, 2025     12 Days!
Travelers visiting Iceland today follow in the steps of the mighty Vikings who first visited the island in the 9th century. Whether you delight in vast uninhabited expanses of landscape or walking around town making friends, you’ll feel free in Iceland and enter a whole new realm of experience. You’ll discover original nature as you’ve never seen it before while visiting thousands of cliff–nesting birds and exploring the culture, history, geology, and more.
Leaders: Andy Griswold and native Icelander Daniel Bergmann.
Fee: $10,498. Members: $8,998.

June 2025

Romania: Transylvania and the Danube Delta
June 4 – 17, 2025     14 Days!
After a popular and successful first trip in 2023, we return back to Romania! On this adventure, we’ll explore the mountains of Transylvania, famous for Vlad the Impaler and ancient old growth forests. We’ll also visit the Danube Delta, considered the best preserved delta in Europe. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, the delta is home to over 300 species of birds throughout the year. Our visit will be timed with the start of breeding season, with birds in full display and colorful plumage. Enjoy the stunning birdlife while also experiencing Eastern European culture and history.
Leaders: Matt Bell and local guides.
Fee: $6,698. Members: $5,998.

Overnight Domestic Tours

Regional Overnight Tours include transportation from a central meeting spot.
Some trips can be followed in your personal vehicle as a Self-Drive Trip.

June 2024

New York’s Adirondacks      One Spot Left!
June 6 – 9, 2024     Four Days!
Adirondack Park in Upstate New York, founded in 1892 to ensure the land would remain accessible to everyone who visited, encompasses nearly all of the Adirondack Mountains. Located on the southernmost boundary between the boreal and eastern forest habitats, the region features Canada Jay, Black–backed Woodpecker, and Boreal Chickadee, along with nearly 20 species of breeding warblers. The mountains are also home to Bicknell’s Thrush, a rare and declining species that breeds only on the peaks of northeast mountains.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $1,898. Members: $1,398.

Connecticut Lakes
June 17 – 21, 2024     Four Days!
The Connecticut Lakes region is the wild area at the northern tip of New Hampshire, the center of the North Country’s moose habitat where the Connecticut River is born. Birds may include Spruce Grouse, Black–backed Woodpecker, Canada Jay, Mourning Warbler, and Boreal Chickadee. Stay at a peaceful lakeside lodge and hike to the headwaters of the river where it begins its journey.
Leader: Jim Sherwonit.
Fee: $1,798. Members: $1,498.

July 2024

Southeastern Arizona Desert Bloom
July 17 – 25, 2024     Nine Days!
Late July welcomes the summer rains and is prime time for finding hummingbirds. As many as 15 species are possible, including White–eared, Violet–crowned, Berylline, and Plain–capped Starthroat. This is also the time for Mexican rarities, such as Aztec Thrush. These are but a few of the many species we’ll search out as we journey through this lovely, varied landscape, which draws birders from all over the world. Visits to Saguaro National Park and Kartchner Caverns are planned. Great birds and adventure not so far from home!
Leader: Jay Hand and Matt Bell.
Fee: $4,298. Members: $3,698.

Maine’s Whales and Puffins      Waitlist Only! Reserve for 2025!
July 18 – 22, 2024     Five Days!
Maine is one of the most beautiful states on the East Coast. With its rocky shores, dense forests, and access to the ocean, it gives nature lovers a wide range of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. This trip allows participants to experience much of what Maine has to offer, with a puffin cruise, whale watch, forest walks, ocean strolls, and amazing views. Explore the beauty of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park, one of the most picturesque parks and home to Cadillac Mountain, where sunrise and sunset are unequalled. Revel in the scenic beauty of historic towns and hidden coves
Leaders: Jim Sherwonit and Matt Bell.
Fee: $2,398. Members: $2,098.

September 2024

Monhegan Island: Migration Hotspot    Call now! This trip will sell out!
September 18 – 21, 2024     Four Days!
Join leaders Jim Sherwonit and Andy Griswold on a relaxing tour of Monhegan Island at the peak of migration. Off the coast of Maine, Monhegan serves as a stopover point for birds caught out over open water. With no roads or cars on the island, participants stroll along the many trails searching for what arrived overnight and enjoying eye-level looks at many species of warbler, tanagers, and flycatchers. Nature and beauty are at their apex. Stay at a lovely island inn, and don’t miss the great breakfasts!
Fee: $1,598. Members: $1,398.

Block Island Weekend Escape     Call now! This trip will sell out!
September 27 – 29, 2024     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 trip and timed well for the fall migration!
Leaders: Andy Griswold and Matt Bell.
Fee: $898. Members: $698.

October 2024

Cape May Migration      Filling a Second Van. Limited Space Remaining!
October 17 – 20, 2024     Four Days!
Without a doubt, one of the top 10 birding spots in the country is Cape May, New Jersey, where every fall hundreds of thousands of migrating birds funnel through the southern tip of the state. Birdwatchers come from all over the world to enjoy not only the diversity of hawks, shorebirds, and warblers, but also the scenic beaches, meadows, and lively historic town. There’s something for everyone!
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $1,498. Members: $1,198.

Louisiana: Rail Bonanza      Waitlist Only!
October 27 – November 2, 2024     Seven Days!
Each fall, nearly every North American species of rail descends upon the coastline of Louisiana. In fact, Yellow Rail, one of the most secretive species in North America, is regularly seen as rice farmers harvest their fall crop. Some nighttime exploration may also yield the highly sought after Black Rail! Other target species include Red-cockaded Woodpecker; Seaside, Nelson’s, and LeConte’s sparrows; and multiple species of waterfowl. With luck, we may also stumble upon late migrants or vagrants. Join us in Cajun Country as we explore one of the hidden gemstones of North American birding.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $2,998. Members: $2,498.

November 2024

Martha’s Vineyard Escape
November 7 – 10, 2024     Four Days!
Located just off the coast of Massachusetts, this island offers an unspoiled charm probably best exemplified by its many scenic beaches, varying from protected, shallow, clear–water stretches on the northern and eastern sides to expanses of rumbling surf along the south side. The coastal sand plain ecosystem found on Martha’s Vineyard and the surrounding Massachusetts islands is one of the most beautiful and threatened natural systems in the world, with only one percent of its original global acreage still remaining. Found in only a few other locations in the northeastern United States, the coastal sand plains include rare natural communities such as coastal grasslands and heathlands. Travelers will enjoy some great birds and come to understand how the geological forces that created the island determined its subsequent history. Enjoy this island escape in the off–season.
Leader: Andy Griswold.
Fee: $1,798. Members: $1,498.

December 2024

Cape Cod in Winter
December 6 – 8, 2024     Three Days!
In December, Cape Cod is a fabulous place to explore when tourists are few and the region takes on a more relaxed feel. Unfortunately, at this time of year Kemp’s Ridley, Green, and Loggerhead sea turtles are often stunned by cold water and end up stranded along the beaches. Participants learn about these fragile marine reptiles at Massachusetts Audubon’s Wellfleet Sanctuary. Scour the beaches of Cape Cod Bay for stranded turtles, take part in winter birding, and be magically absorbed into the wildness of grass-topped dunes, empty beaches, and ceaseless crashing waves. While sea turtles are possible, they are not guaranteed.
Leader: Jim Sherwonit.
Fee: $1,198. Members: $998.

January 2025

California: Winter Escape
January 2 – 11, 2025     11 Days!      Waitlist Only!
January 13 – 23, 2025     11 Days!    Second departure! Call now!
Southern California is a legendary birding destination. The mild, Mediterranean climate is the perfect escape from traditional cold winter weather for birds and humans alike! Join us as we explore from San Diego to Los Angeles in search of the Californian endemic species, along with countless other wintering birds. We’ll explore a variety of habitats, from the rocky coast to the expansive desert to the towering mountains. Upwards of 200 species are possible! A trip to Channel Islands National Park is planned.
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $4,998. Members: $4,498.

Winter Owl Blitz
January 26 – 31, 2025     Six Days!
For many people, the first images that come to mind when thinking of Minnesota winters are of cold, snow, ice, and frozen lakes. To birders, those images exist only as a glittering backdrop for Great Gray and Northern Hawk owls hunting from spruce–top perches; Ruffed Grouse stripping the buds from birches by morning’s glowing light; flocks of colorful Pine and Evening grosbeaks filling-up at bird feeders; frenzied redpolls darting about an alder thicket; and tamarack bogs occupied by industrious Black–backed and American Three–toed woodpeckers. Join us as we venture into the North, searching for the rare and breathtaking species that call the boreal forests home. The birds may be different each year, but the camaraderie remains the same!
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $3,298. Members: $2,698.

Long Island’s North and South Forks
January 30 – February 2, 2025     Four Days!
Montauk, on the far eastern tip of Long Island, is one of the best winter birding spots in the Northeast. The open ocean and harbors provide opportunities to see many winter waterfowl not so commonly found in Connecticut. Eiders, three scoter species, gulls, alcids, grebes, loons, Snowy Owl, and other winter specialties are among the many birds one can expect. Enjoy the quiet of off–season resort towns and the fresh air of winter beaches from Greenport to Montauk and Montauk to Shinnecock Inlet.
Leader: Andy Griswold.
Fee: $1,798. Members: $1,498.

February 2025

Nantucket: Seasons in Transition       Waitlist Only!
February 18 – 21, 2025     Four Days!
The birding starts the minute we board the ferry and gets better as we leave the mainland behind. Revel in the peace of an off–season resort, the inescapable sense of history, and the abundance of open space. Expect sea ducks, rare gulls, and the spectacular Snowy Owl as we search the desolate beaches by four–wheel–drive vehicle. Relax in the delightful teahouses and pubs in the heart of the historic town and at our private house in the village of Siasconset.
Leaders: Andy Griswold and island native Rich Newman.
Fee: $1,798. Members: $1,498.

March 2025

Nebraska’s Crane Migration
March 28 – April 3, 2025     Seven 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 (a distinctive subspecies) 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 federally endangered Whooping Crane. Witness one of North America’s greatest wildlife spectacles and enjoy the vastness of the Great Plains!
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $3,098. Members: $2,598.

April 2025

South Carolina’s ACE Basin
April 6 – 13, 2025     Eight Days!
If you’re looking for prime spring birding mixed with southern hospitality, visit the lush and mysterious 350,000-acre ACE Basin, one of the largest undeveloped estuaries on the East Coast. The Basin hosts a wealth of wildlife, including nesting Bald Eagle, Great Horned Owl, Northern Parula, and Yellow-throated Warbler. Destinations include the “best birding spot in South Carolina,” Bear Island. A visit to I’on Swamp will allow time to reflect, as the swamp was once home to four now extinct species. Take a trip back in time with a full day in America’s most beautifully preserved architectural and historic treasure, Charleston. The spring gardens and migration will be at their peak!
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $3,798. Members: $3,298.

Florida: Everglades, Keys, and Dry Tortugas
April 10 – 17, 2025     Eight Days!
One of North America’s “Top–Ten Birding Spots,” South Florida hosts a large number of unusual birds and other wildlife that are found nowhere else. Visit unique and sensitive habitats, including such well–known places as Big Cypress, Loxahatchee, Shark Valley, Anhinga Trail, Key West, and the famed Dry Tortugas. Bird species include the federally endangered Snail Kite, Short–tailed Hawk, Masked Booby, Brown Noddy, federally threatened Florida Scrub–Jay, and Sooty Tern. Spend a day looking for the Miami exotics that are American Birding Association countable. Witness first–hand how special a place the Everglades truly is!
Leader: Andy Griswold.
Fee: $5,198. Members: $4,798.

May 2025

Magee Marsh: Warbler Capital of the World
May 11 – 17, 2025     Eight Days!
World-famous Magee Marsh has without a doubt earned the title of “Warbler Capital of the World.” Throughout spring migration, nearly every species of eastern warbler passes through the marsh, many times down low and at eye level! After enjoying all Ohio has to offer, venture into Michigan to yet another migration hotspot, Tawas Point. A day will also be dedicated to searching for the rare Kirtland’s Warbler, which breeds almost exclusively in the Jack Pines of Michigan. This is a can’t-miss trip that combines the wonders of bird migration with experiencing the greater birding community!
Leader: Matt Bell.
Fee: $3,098. Members: $2,698.


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