When most people think of Patagonia, the first things that come to mind are stunning scenic vistas, dramatic mountain landscapes and mammals such as foxes, guanacos and pumas.

Raised in California, Greg Homel has been a nature lover from a very early age, but birds have always held a special place in his heart. The avid ornithologist has been guiding birding tours since the late ‘80s, establishing himself as an award-winning photojournalist, documentary film producer and lecturer.

Costa Rica is relatively tiny, as countries go. With a total area of around 19,700 square miles, it’s smaller than the state of West Virginia. That’s precisely what makes the ecotourism hotspot’s legendary biodiversity – which includes approximately 894 species of Costa Rica birds – so impressive.

With over 1,800 species, of which 139 are endemic, the birds of Peru are spectacularly diverse.

But the Peruvian Amazon is a perennial hotbed of avian activity, with around 575 species identified within one 5,500-hectare section of the rainforest (by comparison, only 700 bird species are found in all of North America).

The island of Cuba is colorful and diverse, so it will come as no surprise to learn that its variety of bird species is much the same. Birdwatchers in Cuba will find endemic, Caribbean endemic and more common North American birds all over the island. But the most popular places for to find many birds of Cuba are the wooded areas of the Guanahacabibes peninsula, the Zapata peninsula and to the far southeast.

kelp goose - claudio vidalAt first glance, it appears that the entire population of Kelp geese is male...but wait, on closer inspection of the rocky shorelines of Patagonia, there is a female kelp goose accompanying every male. The reason for this first glance discrepancy is the sexual dimorphism between males and females of this species.

September 16, 2014

The Nuances of Birding

Our friend and expedition leader Greg Greer shares more about his passion for birding, and how he has seen the transformation of a traveler into a true birding enthusiast.

"Oh no...we have a birder on this trip!"

February 21, 2014

The Cuban Trogon: Guest Poetry

Travel to Cuba impacts everyone differently. International Expeditions’ guest James Blackburn wrote a series of poems about his experiences on our people-to-people Cuba tour. James’ poetry includes stars of Cuba's endemic bird species.

The Cuban Trogon

December 06, 2013

The Cuban Parrot: Guest Poetry

Travel to Cuba impacts everyone differently, and many IE guests have found themselves moved to poetry! A guest on our people-to-people Cuba travel program wrote a dozen poems about his experience—all are accounts of Cuba seen through the eyes of birds. James Blackburn's poetry includes stars of Cuba's endemic bird species: the Cuban trogon, the limkin, the Cuban tody and the smooth-billed ani.

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