Connecticut Audbon Society


EcoTravel Overnight Trips

Young Family Foundation Grant Helps EcoTravel Provide Binoculars and Field Guides to Students in Cuba

EcoTravel Director Andy Griswold delivered a suitcase full of binoculars and field guides for young birders during a recent EcoTravel visit to Cuba, thanks to a gift from the William C. Young Family Foundation. Read about it here.


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 or email for more detail. Call for details.
Panama’s Canopy Tower and Lodge
Year Round Departures.     Six to 21 Days!
For many years, this tiny country roughly the size of South Carolina was known only for the “Engineering Wonder of the World” that connects the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the Panama Canal. More and more people, however, are starting to discover the vast natural and cultural wonders that Panama offers, including Caribbean coral reefs, Pacific mangrove wetlands, dry tropical forests, wet rainforests, and mountain cloud forests. These tropical ecosystems harbor an incredible diversity of colorful flowers and plants and a wide array of wild animals like sloths, anteaters, monkeys, and more. There are about 960 different species of birds—far more than the total number of species found in the U.S. and Canada combined! Panama presents excellent opportunities to see wildlife and learn about the importance of tropical environments. Six day packages start at $1,299. The 21-day package starts at $4,619. Call for details on these packages and others, and for exact departure dates. Not to be missed!  Call for details.

Featured Tours

Search for the Elusive Spruce Grouse
May 28 – 31, 2018     Four Days!     NEW DATES!
Enjoy an escape 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 and roam among the moose, carnivorous pitcher plants and sundew, orchids, and birds unique to this northern habitat. The big target is Spruce Grouse but should also include other hard-to-find species like Bicknell’s Thrush and Three-toed Woodpecker. Leaders: Nick Bonomo and Andy Griswold. Fee: $1,198. With member discount: $998ITINERARY LINK.
Nova Scotia’s National Parks

August 2 – 10, 2018     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: $4,695. With member discount: $3,995. Leader: Andy Griswold. ITINERARY LINK.


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.

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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 Family Membership only $55! CLICK HERE!


Overnight International Tour Listing

   Jaguars and Macaws of the Pantanal
October 19 – 29, 2018     11 Days!    CALL NOW!
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 it is probably the most mammal rich area of South America. A brand-new luxury motor yacht takes you to one of the wildest, most beautiful and remote corners of South America. We’ll cruise the Paraguay and Cuiabá rivers on an epic journey searching for wildlife, including Jaguar, Giant Otter, and Hyacinth Macaw, and we’ll witness the fantastic change of the scenery while the meandering rivers give way to lakes that meet the mountains at Serra do Amolar, in the last refuge of the Guató Indians. Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: $5,198. With member discount: $4,598ITINERARY LINK.

Polar Bear Migration
October/November 2018     Seven Days!
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 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, which is in jeopardy from global warming. See them while you still can! Fee: Call. Includes airfare from Winnipeg to Churchill. Multiple departures available.  Call for details.
  Galapagos Cruise: Islands of Discovery
ear-round Departures. Call for dates and details.
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 $4,500 per person. Ecuadorian Highland, Machu Picchu, and Quito extensions available. Don’t miss out on this tremendous learning experience in the “Enchanted Islands.” Call or email for more detail.

Puerto Rico
January 8 – 13, 2019     Six Days!
Many of North America’s nesting birds spend the winter in tropical regions throughout the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico. Although the island measures only 35 miles north to south and 100 miles east to west—about two-thirds the size of Connecticut—over 350 bird species have been recorded there. Of these, about 120 are nesting, while 93 are considered accidental and 35 introduced. Puerto Rico also features 16 endemic species, which is more than the 11 endemics in the entire Lower 48 States! Twenty-five species endemic to the West Indies can also be found there. Enjoy a winter getaway to warm tropical breezes among great bird species like Elfin Woods Warbler, Puerto Rican Tody, and the extremely rare Puerto Rican Parrot. Leader: Michelle Ekman. Fee: $4,398. With member discount: $3,898. The fee includes a $500 per person donation for bird conservation in Puerto Rico.

East of the Andes: Ecuador’s Amazon
January 16 – 27, 2019     12 Days!
With its equatorial latitude and several distinct climates, Ecuador offers an amazing variety of bird-life: over 1,600 species, about 20 percent of the world’s numbers–more diversity in less space than any other country in the world. The Ecuadorian Amazon is mainly tropical rainforest elevated 1,300 feet above sea level. While it’s borders contain a mere slice of the Amazon, its rainforest is diverse, with quiet blackwater lagoons, raging chocolatey rivers, dense tree canopies, and flooded forests. As a general rule, the farther you travel from civilization and roads, the more wildlife you’ll see. The tour starts in Quito, crosses the Andes, and reaches remote areas of pristine Amazon habitats. Leader: TBD. Fee: $5,798. With member discount: $4,998. Call for details.
Guatemala: Tropical Birds and Tikal
February 4 – 15, 2019   12 Days!    
The tiny country of Guatemala, with its ancient Mayan culture and history, volcanic vistas, and incredible birdlife, is a dream come true for the adventure traveler. Guatemala is home to more than 700 species of birds, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Travel to cloud forest and tropical rain forest, from the Pacific Slope to the central highlands, in search of Guatemala’s many regionally endemic species. The Tikal portion of the trip opens views into the Mayan past as you witness the sunrise from atop pyramids nestled within tropical splendor. Its unique history and geography, combined with a modern tourist infrastructure, good roads, comfortable lodges, and inviting food, have made Guatemala the new premier destination. Don’t miss out on a trip to remember! Leader: Lucretia Bingham. Fee: $5,598. With member discount: $4,898. ITINERARY LINK.

 Cuba Bird Survey
March 3  – 10, 2019     Eight Days!
We are again offering our licensed bird survey in Cuba. This program has a more-than-20-year history as a conservation project focused on Cuba’s importance as a wintering habitat for migratory birds. Travel with a small group and local guides through less traveled parts of Cuba, the Caribbean’s largest and most ecologically diverse island nation, home to 26 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: $4,698. With member discount: $3,998. ITINERARY LINK
Tanzania Safari
February 7 – 20, 2019     14 Days!
Visit this stunning landscape to view the animals of the Serengeti! Lions, cheetahs, hyenas, and other predators abound. 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 migration of thousands of wildebeest. Travelers are accompanied by senior director of science and conservation Miley Bull and local guides. Fee: $6,198. With member discount: $5,398. Zanzibar Retreat and Kilimanjaro Trek extensions are available.  ITINERARY LINK.
India and Bhutan
India, March 17 – 31, 2019
Bhutan Extension, March 31 – April 6, 2019
Blessed with an incredible diversity of birds, environments, and cultures, India offers an intense spectrum of avian riches. With more than 1,300 species recorded in India and representing 12.5 percent of the world’s birds, 42 are endemic. While outdoors, a serious birder will not have a moment to relax, and the variety can be spoiling. From the Himalayan region, to desert, to marshes, to swamps, riverine, and woodland birds, the list is endless. The Bhutan extension features a country covering an area roughly the size of Switzerland, offering opportunities for peace and solitude in a striking mountain setting. Lying in the eastern Himalayas, Bhutan’s is almost completely mountainous, with altitudes varying from 492 feet to 24,600 feet within a distance of less than 62 miles. It’s northern border lies in the main Himalayan chain on the southern edge of the Tibetan plateau. Fee: Call. Leader: Rob Taylor. ITINERARY LINK.
Machu Picchu with Lucretia Bingham
April 19 – 30, 2019   12 Days!
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: $5,698. With member discount: $4,798. This is a bucket list tour!  ITINERARY LINK.
Cornwall, England: A Hiking Tour of the Coast
May 16 – 26, 2019     11 Days!
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, Doc Martin, and Poldark on daily hikes near the cliffs and in the countryside. Our native naturalist/guide knows the flora and fauna, geology, significant historic sites, folklore, birds and wildlife, back roads, country tea houses, local gossip, and scenic villages off the beaten track. Leader: Rami Haxhi. Fee: $3,898. With member discount: $3,198ITINERARY LINK.

Iceland: Land of Ice and Fire
June 18-26, 2019     9 Days!    
Visit Iceland and 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, explore, and 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: Andy Griswold. Call for details.

Brazil Garden Tour
Celebrating Roberto Burle Marx
July 8 – 22, 2019 15 Days!
Brazil is a land of staggering beauty and unsurpassed diversity. It is 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 birder Cole Burrell and local guide Patricia Silva. An extension to Belo Horizonte is available. Fee: $8,298. With member discount: $7,598ITINERARY LINK.



Overnight Domestic Tour Listing

Monhegan Island: Migration Hotspot
September 22 – 25, 2018   Four Days!
Join our Audubon leader on a relaxing tour of Monhegan Island at the peak of the migration. 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! Leader: Jim Sherwonit. Fee: $1,198. With member discount: $998ITINERARY LINK.

Block Island Weekend Escape
September 28 – 30, 2018   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 as indicated by our many repeat participants. Fee: $865. With member discount: $665. Leader: Andy GriswoldITINERARY LIINK.

Cape May, New Jersey
October 11 – 14, 2018     Four Days!
Without a doubt one of the top ten birding spots in the country, Cape May is where every fall hundreds of thousands of migrating birds funnel into the southern tip of New Jersey and 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. Something for everyone! Leader: Jim Sherwonit. Fee: $1,098. With member discount: $898ITINERARY LINK.
Sleepy Hollow, New York
November 2 – 4, 2018     Three Days!
The names of the famous and the infamous, both historic and legendary, have left their mark on this quiet Hudson River village. Defying the passage of time, this magical area has managed to preserve much of the history and natural beauty that have drawn people to it. The village offers a wide variety of outdoor adventures and activities featuring parks, forests, rivers, lakes, streams, and trails along one of the most scenic stretches of the river in the country. Join us as we explore the quaint riverside town. Leader: TBD. Fee: 855. With member’s discount $655.  Call for details.
Louisiana Swallows and Swamps
November 26 – Dec 3, 2018     Eight Days!
Just outside of New Orleans, Tree Swallows seemingly magically appear until the entire sky is filled. On some evenings, by some estimates, one can view two to five million swallows, representing between 10 and 25 percent of the world population. This swallow tornado is likely the most under-appreciated natural phenomenon in the United States. Spend time exploring the exciting city of New Orleans, its museums, historic streets, and unique cuisine. Fee: $3,198. With member discount: $2,698. Leader: TBD.  Call for details.
Sea Turtles and Cape Cod Exploration
December 7 – 9, 2018     Three Days!
In December, Cape Cod is a fabulous place to visit and explore as tourists are few and the region takes on a more relaxed feel. Unfortunately, at this time of year Kemps Ridley, Green, and Loggerhead sea turtles are often stunned by the cold water and end up stranded along the beaches. Participants learn about these fragile marine reptiles at Massachusetts Audubon’s Wellfleet Sanctuary. We’ll scour the beaches of Cape Cod Bay for turtles, take part in numerous nature related activities, and be magically absorbed into the wildness of grass-topped dunes, empty beaches, and ceaseless crashing waves. Expect the rare and unusual. Leader: Jim Sherwonit. Fee: $855. With member discount: $655ITINERARY LINK.

Arkansas’s Cypress and Tupelo Bayous
January 13- 20, 2019     Eight Days!
Join our tenth exciting expedition into a mature southern woodland 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. Leaders: Andy Griswold.

Montauk Escape
February 8 – 10, 2019 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: $865. With member discount: $665. Leader: Andy GriswoldITINERARY LINK.

Florida’s Everglades, Keys, and Dry Tortugas
March 21 – 28, 2019   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 Loxahatchee, Big Cypress, Shark Valley, Anhinga Trail, Key West, and the famed Dry Tortugas. Bird species include the rare Snail Kite, Short-tailed Hawk, Masked Booby, Brown Noddy, Florida Scrub-Jay, and Sooty Tern. Witness, first-hand, how special a place the Everglades truly is! Fee: $4,198. With member discount: $3,698. Leader: Andy Griswold. ITINERARY LINK.

Nebraska’s Crane Migration
March 24 – 29, 2019   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: Jim Sherwonit.

Nantucket: Seasons in Transition
April 9 – 12, 2019     Four Days!
The birding starts the minute we board the ferry and gets better as we leave the mainland behind. Revel in the peace and quiet of an off-season resort, the inescapable sense of history, and the abundance of open space. Expect sea ducks, rare gulls, and spectacular Snowy Owls as we search the desolate beaches by four-wheel-drive vehicle. Take time to relax in the delightful teahouses and pubs in the heart of the historic town. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the experience of the island in winter. We’ll be staying in a private house in the village of Siasconset. Fee: $1,498. With member discount: $1,298. No single supplements! Leaders: Andy Griswold and island native Rich Newman.  ITINERARY LINK.
Colorado’s Grouse and Prairie Chickens
April 13 – 23, 2019 Eight Days!
Our tour is designed to allow time for 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! Fee: $5,485. With Member Discount: $4,885. Leaders: Phil Rusch and James Restivo.  Call for details.

Texas: Coast, Valley, and Hills
April 23 – May 2, 2019   Ten Days!
Join the guide team of Jay Hand and Andy Griswold for a grand 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, Golden-cheeked Warbler, 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: $3,498ITINERARY LINK.

Cape Cod in Spring
May 3 – 6, 2019   Four Days!
Explore the Cape, Chatham to Provincetown, in Springtime when the Cape is quiet and bustle of summer tourisms has yet to begin. Besides scouring the beaches and inlets, you will have many activities to keep you busy and intrigued with all that can be found at the edges of a marine environment and the world’s largest glacial peninsula. Travelers will stop to visit Massachusetts Audubon’s facility in Wellfleet, the Cape Cod National Seashore, and spend time enjoying the birds, gardens, and beaches in Provincetown, Falmouth, Chatham, and Eastham. Participants will be magically absorbed into the early spring wildness of the outer Cape: its grass topped dunes, sprawling beaches, and ceaseless crashing waves. Leader: Rami Haxhi. Fee: $1,298. With member discount: $998.

Ohio’s Magee Marsh and Canada’s Point Pelee
May 7 – 16, 2019     Ten Days!
Magee Marsh, on the south 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. 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! Trip via our luxury van from Connecticut. Fee: $3,398. With Member Discount: $2,998. Leader: Andy Griswold. The tour is limited to seven participants.

Hunt for the Elusive Spruce Grouse
May 27 – 30, 2019     Four Days!
Enjoy an escape 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 and roam among the moose, carnivorous pitcher plants and sundew, orchids, and birds unique to this northern habitat. The big target is Spruce Grouse but should also include other hard-to-find species like Black-backed and Three-toed woodpeckers. Leader: Andy Griswold. Fee: $1,198. With member discount: $998.


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