Sky Islands Astronomy, Birding & Biodiversity Tours

At Ravens-Way Wild Journeys we have a diverse array of Sky Islands Astronomy, Birding & Biodiversity Tours already designed to enhance your Safari Tented Camp experience. Going at a slow pace, each Birding Tour allows you to not only find various species, but also to enjoy and learn about them. During our Biodiversity Tours, while you’ll enjoy seeing birds, you’ll also be able to discover other wildlife – the Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fish, and Invertebrates that collectively make the Sky Islands a world Biodiversity Hotspot! Biodiversity Tours focus on all types of wildlife, as well as native plants and fungi.  At night enjoy skies full of stars, planets, and deep sky objects during a Starry Safari, an Owl Prowl, or any number of engaging slide shows that will complement your daytime explorations.  Rates for our Birding Tours, Nature Adventures, Wildlife Safaris, and Biodiversity Tours include:

  • Expert guiding
  • Transportation on a Toyota 4Runner TRD
  • A hearty and healthy bag lunch for Full Day Tours
  • Snacks and beverages
  • Trip lists

RWWJ PRIVATE TOUR RATES

Half Day Tours:  5 hours for 2 guests = $250 total
Full Day: 8 hours for 2 guests = $400 total
Given our fully booked schedule all our Astronomy, Birding & Biodiversity Tours must be booked in advance.

 

ASTRONOMY PROGRAMS

The night skies of Southeastern AZ include some of the best celestial viewing sites in North America. Year-round you can explore the mystery of the night skies, including a constellation tour, planetary views, and a multitude of deep sky objects.  Following dinner under the stars at the Safari Tented camp, Naturalist and amateur Astronomer Vincent Pinto will guide you through the visible cosmos. He’ll help you identify stars, constellations, star clusters, and more! Enjoy Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn through the telescope. Vincent will use a combination of high-tech equipment, as well as various myths associated with the constellations, to help you know your way around the night sky as never before. Join us for this very unique stargazing experience at Raven’s Nest Nature Sanctuary.

Tuition per couple: $100

SKY ISLANDS BIRDING HOTSPOTS TOUR!

Ethnobotanist, Naturalist, Wildlife Biologist, Wilderness Survival Instructor, and local Bird expert, Vincent Pinto will lead you on a fascinating Sky Islands Birding Hotspots Tour. We offer many choices and will tailor your Tour based on your fitness level and preferences. For example, you may choose to trek deep into the wilderness amidst 9000 acres of pristine habitat in one of our area’s hidden riparian gems.  Such an immersion into one area often allows you a better chance of spotting elusive birds, while traveling at a measured pace.

Alternatively, you can explore a number of different fascinating Sky Islands Habitats within one day, such as a typical Madrean Evergreen Woodland, Desert Scrub, and Grasslands. This multi-site approach allows you to experience a grater diversity of bird species within a short time frame.

Either way, during a Birding Adventure you may see species more typical of Mexico and the Southwest including:

  • Golden Eagle
  • Gray Hawk
  • Zone-tailed Hawk
  • Common Black Hawk
  • Montezuma Quail
  • Black-bellied Whistling Duck
  • Neotropic Cormorant
  • Inca Dove
  • Common Ground Dove
  • Greater Roadrunner
  • Whiskered Screech Owl
  • Elf Owl
  • Mexican Spotted Owl
  • Lesser Nighthawk
  • Broad-billed Hummingbird
  • Violet-crowned Hummingbird
  • Magnificent Hummingbird
  • Blue-throated Hummingbird
  • Elegant Trogon
  • Green Kingfisher
  • Gila Woodpecker
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker
  • Arizona Woodpecker
  • Northern Beardless Tyrannulet
  • Vermillion Flycatcher
  • Dusky-capped Flycatcher
  • Brown-crested Flycatcher
  • Tropical Kingbird
  • Thick-billed Kingbird
  • Mexican Jay
  • Bridled Titmouse
  • Juniper Titmouse
  • Verdin
  • Cactus Wren
  • Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
  • Black-capped Gnatcatcher
  • Curve-billed Thrasher
  • Crissal Thrasher
  • Phainopepla
  • Virginia’s Warbler
  • Lucy’s Warbler
  • Grace’s Warbler
  • Painted Redstart
  • Red-faced Warbler
  • Rufous-capped Warbler
  • Hepatic Tanager
  • Abert’s Towhee
  • Canyon Towhee
  • Rufous-winged Sparrow
  • Botteri’s Sparrow
  • Five-striped Sparrow
  • Pyrrhuloxia
  • Varied Bunting
  • Bronzed Cowbird

Birding Hotspot Tours range from half-day to multiple-day ventures, depending upon your interests.

SKY ISLANDS BIODIVERSITY TOURS

Our private Sky Islands Biodiversity Tours are designed to find, observe, and enjoy a broad spectrum of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, and invertebrates – basically all of our native wildlife, large and small.  In addition to enjoying birds you will also quest for the other wildlife typical of the Sky Islands region, including:

  • Mountain Lions
  • Bobcats
  • Gray Fox
  • Coyote
  • 4 species of Skunks
  • White-nosed Coati
  • Coues Whitetail Deer
  • Mule Deer
  • Pronghorn
  • Bighorn Sheep
  • Collared Peccary
  • Antelope Jackrabbit
  • Arizona Gray Squirrel
  • Madrean Fox Squirrel
  • Dozens of Bat species
  • Gila Monster
  • Clark’s Spiny and other Lizards
  • Sonora Mud Turtle
  • Fascinating Snakes
  • Sonoran Toads
  • Bountiful Butterflies
  • …and a myriad of amazing Insects and other Invertebrates

Our Biodiversity Tours can range from half-day to multiple-day ventures, depending upon your interests.

Our private Biodiversity Tours expand the focus of your Nature Adventure even further, adding countless native plants, wildflowers, and fungi to the species you’ll discover and learn about.  If you are looking for a comprehensive approach to understanding the overall ecology and natural history of the Sky Islands region, then this is the right tour for you!

At RWWJ all your private Biodiversity Tours will cover:

  • Sky Islands Geology
  • Wildlife Tracks and Signs
  • Local Botany, including local specialty plants of the arid southwest and Mexico
  • Ethnobotany – the uses of Native Plants
  • Local History – from Paleo Indians to present

Our Biodiversity Tours range from half-day to multiple-day ventures, depending upon your interests.

GIVEN THE TRAVEL TIME THIS TOUR REQUIRES AT LEAST A HALF-DAY COMMITMENT.

OUR AMAZING MEXICAN SPECIALTIES TOUR!

Another exciting option is to explore a very remote Canyon which is the centerpiece of the 7,500 acre Pajarita Wilderness and it is home to one of the few perennial streams in extreme southern Arizona. The strategic location of this off-the-beaten-track Canyon, lends a very distinct tropical air to this secluded wilderness. Birds are particularly diverse in this wilderness in this Birding Hotspot, including a good number of species more characteristic of Mexico. These so-called “Mexican Specialty” birds include:

  • Painted Redstart
  • Hepatic Tanager
  • Elegant Trogon
  • Northern Beardless Tyrannulet
  • AZ Woodpecker
  • Mexican Jay
  • Montezuma Quail
  • Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher
  • Gray Hawk
  • Zone-tailed Hawk

They are also joined by other borderland specialties such as Sonora Chub, White-nosed Coati, Brown Vine Snake, Ball Moss (AZ’s only member of the Pineapple family), and Mexican Blue Oak to name a few. Many eye-catching “hoodoos” or towering rock spires, along with Grasslands, Madrean Evergreen Woodlands, Oak Savannahs, and Canyon Riparian Forest provide a wide range of different habitats hosting unique and diverse plant and wildlife species. Over 625 species of plants – some rare or endangered – have been identified within the wilderness.  Enjoy a secluded wilderness with renowned Sky Islands Biodiversity more reminiscent of Mexico!

GIVEN THE TRAVEL TIME THIS TOUR REQUIRES AT LEAST A HALF-DAY COMMITMENT.

 WILDERNESS SURVIVAL SKILLS

Do you have what it takes to survive a night out in the wilds of Arizona? If you love the outdoors, yet lack the skills to survive any number of emergency situations, then you owe it to yourself to learn now! Wilderness Survival expert & Naturalist Vincent Pinto, will share a wide variety of vital & life-saving Desert Survival Skills. Drawing upon his 30 years of Wilderness experience Vincent will show you “Do’s and Don’t’s”, how to craft effective Survival Tools, find & purify Water, keep hydrated, construct a shelter, Navigate without a compass, identify Dangerous Plants & Animals, & more! Learn about the many exciting Wilderness Survival Skills  you can learn during your stay at the Safari Tented Camp Eco-Lodge. For details in all the different choices available at RWWJ click: WSS

Given our fully booked schedule all our Wilderness Survival Skills Workshops must be booked in advance.

Lodging

Ideally you are guests staying at our Safari Eco-Lodge, enjoying a Glamping experience. Alternatively, you are lodging at our Main Camp, savoring the beauty, peace and quiet of Raven’s Nest Nature Sanctuary.  Either way you are well-positioned for most of the RWWJ tours offered above.

For tours further afield, RAVENS- WAY WILD JOURNEYS  can arrange for other accommodations including bed and breakfasts, remote research stations, nice hotels, or rustic lodges, depending upon your requirements and the range of options available in each area. Just tell us what your preference is and we’ll be happy to find a place or places that suit your needs.