ABOUT OUR TOURS
WHAT TO EXPECT
You don't have to be an experienced birder to enjoy our tours! As your guides, we will be spotting and identifying the birds that we see. Many of our tour participants are either completely or relatively new to birdwatching; however, experienced birders also enjoy our tours. We are happy to provide loaner binoculars and field guides. We encourage photography during our tours.
The pace of our tours is quite relaxed, as we want to be sure that you have as much time as you like to enjoy watching, learning about, and photographing the things we see. Although our primary focus is on birds, our trips are nature tours, and as a master naturalist Kristine is always happy to share information about other wildlife and flora that we come across during the trip. The trips are fun and relaxing, and a great way to enjoy nature with friends and family.
Tour participants will ride in air-conditioned/heated comfort in a car or passenger van, where they will be able to get close views of the birds without doing a lot of hiking. These tours are perfect for those who want to stay out of the weather but still want to enjoy nature, and for those with limited mobility.
At times we may visit locations where some walking is required; if so, this will be clearly indicated in the tour description. Any hiking is done at a moderate pace, with opportunities to rest if needed. We are more interested in enjoying the birds and nature that we see along the way than covering a large amount of territory. We will try to accommodate those who may not be able to fully participate in an activity due to physical limitations, although we request that you make us aware of any concerns in advance, and ultimately must keep the participation and enjoyment of the overall group in mind.
Our tours may include up to eight people plus the leader(s). Although we frequently utilize 12- or 15-passenger vans, we never book more than 8 people on any given tour, as we want participants to be comfortable and have plenty of room for personal belongings such as backpacks, purses, camera bags, etc. We also occasionally offer tours on chartered boats that require a larger group size in order to book. Minimum participation requirements, if any, will be clearly noted in tour descriptions. If no minimum is listed, the tour will be conducted as scheduled even if only one person has registered.
Although the overall pace of our tours is relaxed, we do endeavor to start and end on-time. A bird list is compiled each day, and available by request.
Longer tours will include breaks for meals, as indicated in the tour description. We enjoy taking time for a "sit-down" lunch or dinner at a local restaurant of interest to allow tour participants to get to know each other. Meals are not included in the cost of the tour, and participants are responsible for payment of their own meals. Participants are always welcome to bring their own lunch if preferred due to food allergies or other concerns. When a good local restaurant is not in close proximity, we will sometimes ask that participants bring a picnic lunch. We also encourage participants to bring snacks and water on tours that do not extend across mealtimes.
For tours involving overnight travel, we will plan lodging in comfortable hotels/motels, negotiate a discount for the group whenever possible, and provide participants with the information necessary to book their reservations in advance, at their own cost.
Participants are expected to stay at the pre-selected lodging location in order to ensure that activities are well-coordinated and occur on time. Should any participant choose to make alternate lodging arrangements, he/she will be responsible for transportation to and from the group lodging location to the alternate location, and will be expected to be on-time for all activities or risk not being included.
WHAT TOUR COST INCLUDES
The price for tours includes all travel as noted in the itinerary and the services of the leader(s). As noted above, the costs of snacks and meals are not included, and are the responsibility of the participant. Participants are responsible for the cost of lodging on overnight tours, as well as any associated amenities such as room service, laundry service, snacks, etc. Gratuities for tour leaders, boat captains, etc. are at your discretion.
Participants should be able to complete gentle walks, ride in any seat in tour vehicles, and meet the simple schedule of the tour. We reserve the right to send home persons unable or unwilling to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with the satisfactory operation of the tour.
Please note that we do not allow the collecting of any living plants or animals during any tour, and only allow collecting of other materials (such as shells, driftwood, etc.) as allowed by law and based upon available space in the tour vehicle.
Registrations are accepted in order of their receipt, and may be made online here. Payment is due in full at the time of registration unless otherwise noted. Registration will not be considered complete, and no place will be held, until payment has been received. Payment must be made in US dollars by credit card (MasterCard, Visa, or Discover) or ACH bank transfer.
All deposits and payments are non-refundable except when registrations occur after a tour is already full, or in the case of cancellation by BIRDING FOR FUN. Please note that we reserve the right to cancel all or part of a tour at any time if we feel that the health and/or safety of our participants is at risk, or if minimum participation requirement as outlined in the tour description has not been met.
Please note that tour leaders may make itinerary adjustments during the course of tours if local conditions warrant. If significant changes to itinerary or mode of operation are forced upon us while a tour is in progress—for example, by a weather delay or political crisis—BIRDING FOR FUN will adjust the tour to meet the needs of the situation as best we can; however, BIRDING FOR FUN is not responsible for any additional costs incurred. These costs, if any, are at participant's expense.
If a registrant cancels a booking of a daytime guided tour more than 24-hours before its scheduled start time, BIRDING FOR FUN permits a one-time penalty-free transfer of a tour deposit to a subsequent tour which begins within 2 months of the date of cancellation. If the registrant cancels the subsequent tour, the original deposit will not be refunded or transferred. No refunds or transfers are available for cancellations that occur less than 24-hours before the tour's scheduled start time.
Tours involving overnight travel include a non-refundable deposit of $100; the amount paid less the deposit will be refunded ONLY if cancellation is made at least 2 weeks prior to the start date of the tour. For any cancellations made less than 2 weeks prior to the start date of the tour, BIRDING FOR FUN permits a one-time penalty-free transfer of a tour deposit to a subsequent tour involving overnight travel which begins within 15 months of the date of cancellation. If the registrant cancels the subsequent tour, the original deposit will not be refunded or transferred. No refunds or transfers are available for cancellations that occur less than 3 days before the tour's scheduled start time.
ASSUMPTION OF RISK AND LIABILITY AGREEMENT
While BIRDING FOR FUN makes every effort in its attempt to provide its clients and staff with a safe travel environment, we expect our clients to take reasonable and prudent care for their own safety and to recognize that BIRDING FOR FUN cannot guarantee anyone’s personal safety. For these reasons, we are willing to provide you with the tour opportunity you have requested only if you accept your personal responsibilities and you release us from liability for your safety within the limits of the law by entering into the Assumption of Risk and Liability Release Agreement that will be emailed to you upon registration for a tour.