Sky Islands Astronomy, Birding & Biodiversity Tours

In addition to a one-of-a-kind Glamping experience at Raven’s Nest Nature Sanctuary, you may also enjoy exploring the area’s rich natural environments beyond our 42-acre Eco-Lodge. Led by Naturalist, Ethnobotanist, Wilderness Survival Instructor, and Wildlife Biologist Vincent Pinto, you can explore grasslands, woodlands, forests, streams, rivers, and deserts – all in one day – given our strategic location!

Within easy reach are a dazzling array of habitats, hosting a bewildering spectrum of wildlife and native plants:

  • The most Birds in North America
  • The most Mammals in North America
  • The most Reptiles in North America
  • A high number of Butterfly species
  • The most Ants and Bees in North America
  • Over 2,000 species of Native Plants, including many captivating wildflowers

The framework that houses this amazing biodiversity includes soaring mountains, secluded canyons, and sweeping valleys that add a gorgeous scenic component to your wilderness explorations. Led by an expert guide, you’ll have a good chance of seeing wildlife species such as: Pronghorn, Javelina, Coyote, Hawks, Golden Eagles, Mule and White-tailed Deer, Antelope Jackrabbit, Gila Monster, White-nosed Coati, wintering Butterflies, and much more. Many of these species are more typical of Mexico and are found in the U.S. only within our unique Sky Islands region.

At Ravens-Way Wild Journeys we always work one-on-one with our guests to design the perfect half-day or full-day itinerary that best suits their interests, physical abilities, time, and budget. Additionally, guests often choose to incorporate History and Wilderness Survival components into their private tour.

 PRIVATE TOURS DURING YOUR GLAMPING EXPERIENCE

At Raven’s Nest Nature Sanctuary we offer our guests a diverse array of Sky Islands Astronomy, Birding & Biodiversity Tours already designed to enhance their 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 their behavior, unique characteristics, and distinctive habitat.

Our unique Biodiversity Tours focus on all types of wildlife, as well as native plants and fungi. Join us for a private custom-made Biodiversity Tour to enjoy seeing birds, while also being able to discover other wildlife – the Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fish, and Invertebrates that collectively make the Sky Islands a world Biodiversity Hotspot!

At night, after a gourmet dinning  experience al fresco at the Safari Tented Camp, enjoy skies full of stars, planets, and deep sky objects during a Starry Safari, an Owl Prowl, a Moon Walk, or any number of engaging slide shows that will complement your daytime explorations.

  PRIVATE TOUR RATES FOR OUR GLAMPING GUESTS

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. The Couple Rates for our Birding & Biodiversity Tours and Nature Adventures include:
  • Expert guiding by an Ethnobotanist, Wildlife Biologist, Naturalist & Wilderness Survival Instructor
  • Transportation on a 2018 Toyota 4Runner – TRD Off Road
  • A hearty and healthy bag lunch for Full Day Tours
  • Water & Snacks
  • Wildlife species Trip List sent via email after the tour

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 during certain months every year . 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

 MOON WALK AT RAVEN’S NEST NATURE SANCTUARY

When a full or near-full Moon blots out the night sky at Raven’s Nest Nature Sanctuary, it’s time for a nocturnal nature walk! Join Naturalist and Astronomer Vincent Pinto for a short, easy ramble of a mile or less along the groomed trails at Raven’s Nest.  Along the way Vincent will help you find nocturnal wildlife, such as Owls, Javelina, Ringtails, Opossums, Deer, bizarre invertebrates, and more.

Learn about the unique and fascinating habits of rarely-glimpsed species, while marveling at the beauty of a lunar-lit landscape. Additionally, Vincent will use his laser pointer to interpret any visible celestial objects, including the Moon itself. The walk is a perfect complement after a gourmet organic dinner under the stars at the Safari Tented Camp!

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

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

  PRIVATE TOUR RATES FOR OUR GLAMPING GUESTS

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 Birding & Biodiversity Tours must be booked in advance.

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.

In addition, 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 famed Sky Islands region, then this is the right tour for you!

Book any of our unique private Biodiversity Tours and learn about:

  • 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.

 PRIVATE TOUR RATES FOR OUR GLAMPING GUESTS

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 Birding & Biodiversity Tours must be booked in advance.

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!

  PRIVATE TOUR RATES FOR OUR GLAMPING GUESTS

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 Birding & Biodiversity Tours must be booked in advance.

 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.

        PRIVATE WORKSHOP RATES FOR OUR GLAMPING GUESTS

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

SKY ISLANDS OFFSITE TOURS

For details about the Offsite  Sky Islands Tour options that can be arranged by RAVENS- WAY WILD JOURNEYS LLC, please click here: RWWJ OFFSITE TOURS

Join us for a very unique, private, and custom-made nature retreat and wilderness experience!

Current RWWJ Private Tour options include:

  • ORGAN PIPE CACTUS NATIONAL MONUMENT – January 25 – 27, 2019 – For details please click here: RWWJ Tour Details
  • CHIRICAHUA MOUNTAINS EXPEDITION – March 25 – 27, 2019 – For details please click here: RWWJ Tour Details
  • WHITE MOUNTAINS EXPEDITION – June 11 – 13, 2019 –  For details please click here: RWWJ Tour Details

Thank you for supporting our Sky Islands Education & Conservation Mission!