Spot an elusive raptor soaring above the high cliffs or listen for the familiar call of your target species while being led through several diverse habitats in Yosemite National Park. Whether you are someone who just loves looking at birds or an expert looking to track down specialty birds of the western mountains, we can create a custom birding package to match your needs. Your guide on these remarkable tours will be a birding expert who is well known in the Yosemite region. David Lukas, co-author of the forthcoming “Field Guide to Sierra Nevada Birds” and a local bird expert with over 15 years experience leading bird tours in the Sierra Nevada. Dan Webster and Pete Devine, are also expert in the field of birding, share an involvement with the Audubon Society, and also have been leading birding groups in the past couple of decades.
Please note that each excursion requires a minimum of two participants.
BIRDING TOURS IN YOSEMITE
One of the real joys of birding in the Yosemite region is the ready access to an incredible diversity of habitats, from valley grassland and oak woodlands on the west slope, to alpine peaks at the crest, and Great Basin desert habitats on the east slope. Each zone has a unique subset of birds, making it possible to target a single habitat, or do a whirlwind tour across all the habitats, and see completely different birds with each option.
Our custom birding tours fall into two broad categories: Half Day Tours that focus on target birds or habitats with long stops at each site, and Transect Tours that will introduce you to a full range of Yosemite habitats with shorter stops at each site. These tours will also vary dramatically in response to the shifting seasons and bird populations, with the goal of taking you to the most productive and interesting sites on an almost week-by-week basis.
Half Day Birding Tour
Crane Flat, Foresta, and Yosemite Valley
Find some of Yosemite ‘s many birds with a naturalist on this tour through some of the park’s most productive habitats. We will travel in our own cars and make stops that focus on target birds or habitats with long stops at each site. (Note: This tour may be modified to search for certain target species or to take advantage of shifting bird populations.) Tours will last approximately five hours and have a 2 person minimum.
Birding Tour Prices:
2 people – $300 ($150 each)
3 people – $375 ($125 each)
Transect Birding Tour
Spend a day in Yosemite with a naturalist as we transect through the park in search of diverse ecosystems. This car caravan tour will introduce you to a full range of Yosemite habitats with shorter stops at each site. (Note: This tour may be modified to search for certain target species or to take advantage of shifting bird populations). Tours will last approximately eight hours and have a 2 person minimum.
Transect Tour Prices:
2 people- $400 ($200 each)
3 people- $525 ($175 each)
WINTER BIRDING TOURS IN YOSEMITE
Tours during winter season (November to March) will focus on highly productive low-elevation habitats around El Portal, with excursions into Yosemite Valley and Foresta when snow conditions allow. This is a fantastic season to savor the rich mix of resident birds and winter visitors that gather on the sun-warmed slopes of the Merced River Canyon to eat insects and berries. Expect to see huge flocks of American Robins, plus Western Bluebirds, Townsend’s Solitaires, and Cedar Waxwings, passing overhead. While at close range we will see wrentits, woodpeckers, quail, jays, nuthatches, chickadees, sparrows, and more. Although you don’t start seeing colorful spring migrants until April, this is a surprisingly beautiful and interesting season. It is David’s favorite habitat and favorite time of year to be birding in the Sierra Nevada. Outings with David Lukas, Dan Webster, and Pete Devine are offered throughout the year. Please call for their availability.
All Birding Tours can be made private by adding $125 to the price of the Hike.
Enroll in our Nature Excursion Series as David Lukas, Dan Webster, and Pete Devine share knowledge of their favorite places with individuals eager to connect with the ecosystems of Yosemite. Learn about the unique natural history and ecological roles of the flora and fauna while connecting with the outdoor world known as the Sierra Nevada. Half Day Nature Tours will last approximately five hours while the Naturalist Transect will be an all day event. Each excursion requires a minimum of two participants.