Sky Islands Biodiversity Tours

As a Naturalist, Ethnobotanist, and Wildlife Biologist, Vincent Pinto has been offering Sky Islands Biodiversity Tours since 1987 to showcase the unique biodiversity of the area.  Vincent is passionate about sharing his knowledge about the amazing fauna and flora of this gorgeous region. The learning experience with Vincent will always include multiple fascinating Naturalist topics and disciplines – suitable for Nature lovers and those who are interested in adding another dimension to the traditional Birding experience.

Passionate about the urgent need to protect the area’s unique biodiversity and promote conservation efforts in the region, Vincent came up with the concept of a new film:  Biodiversity in the Heart of the Sky Islands – serving as the Film’s Screenwriter, Film Narrator, and on-screen Presenter.  In this new Nature documentary Vincent explores the rich ecology and inherent beauty of key wild areas in the Sky Islands – including looming threats to their ecological integrity, valuable natural resources, and continued survival. Will generations to come have these natural treasures to enjoy or will they be carelessly squandered? Read the  PRT Film Review and enjoy the NPR Radio Interview & Web Article.

YOU CAN NOW RENT THE FILM ON VIMEO:   Biodiversity in the Heart of the Sky Islands

Join Vincent to explore a dazzling array of habitats, including: grasslands, woodlands, forests, streams, rivers, and deserts – all in one day – given our strategic Sky Islands location!

Within easy reach you will have the rare opportunity to visit pristine, off-the-beaten path wilderness that host a bewildering spectrum of wildlife and native plants:

  • The most Bird 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 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 LLC we always work one-on-one with our guests to design the perfect Half-day, Full-day, or Multi-day Tour itinerary that best suits their interests, physical abilities, time, and budget.  Our Private Sky Islands Tours allow inquisitive guests a very comprehensive exposure to the famed Sky Islands abundance.   You choose the focus of your Tour based on your interests!  Are you a fanatic Birder interested in adding Sky Islands species to your Life List? Or instead, are you interested in a Sky Islands Birding & Biodiversity Tour? In addition to incorporating fascinating Natural History topics along the way, for those that are interested, Vincent can also weave practical and relevant Wilderness Survival components into their private tour.


Our Nature Adventure & Conservation organization offers our guests a diverse array of Sky Islands Birding & Biodiversity Tours designed to either enhance their Safari Tented Camp experience. Alternatively, we provide Nature Adventures to clients lodging elsewhere, or for nature enthusiasts who live in the region and want to deepen their seasonal knowledge about the famed Sky Islands Biodiversity.

Our unique,  private, and custom-made Sky Islands Birding & Biodiversity Tours are ideal for  Birders who are also interested in a broad spectrum of natural history topics. While we focus mainly on Birds, in addition, we also seek all types of wildlife, as well as native plants and fungi.  Join us for a very unique experience to enjoy 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!

Our private Sky Islands Birding & Biodiversity Tours  visit multiple Biodiversity Hotspots to showcase the amazing range of contrasting habitats, which display bird species diversity, plants, wildflowers, photographic opportunities, broad spectrum of natural history topics, and unique biodiversity of the region. In the field, Vincent constantly adjusts the tour as it unfolds to reflect not only the specific client’s interests, but also the activity of the birds, butterflies, other invertebrates, etc… in order to capture all the special learning opportunities in all the secluded Sky Islands wilderness areas that you will explore.


1 – 2 Guests $ 250 $ 400 $ 600
3 – 4 Guests $ 350 $ 500 $ 700
5 – 6 Guests                  $ 600                   $ 850                  $ 975

At Ravens-Way Wild Journeys LLC, we offer our local Sky Islands Birding & Biodiversity Tours for groups of any size. Given our fully-booked schedule all our Sky Islands Birding & Biodiversity Tours must be booked in advance. The tuition for your private experience includes:

  • Expert Sky Islands Ethnobotanist, Naturalist, Wildlife Biologist & Wilderness Survival Instructor Vincent Pinto
  • For Full-Day Tours a healthy organic bag lunch & snacks
  • Wildlife Species List  sent via email after the Tour
  • Delicious Well water

Once you share the following parameters with us via email, we will choose the most suitable destination(s) and format(s) from all the amazing Sky Islands Tour options available.

Please include:

  • The total number of participants
  • Half-Day, Full-Day, or Multi-Day expedition
  • Date preference
  • Specific Natural History areas of interest
  • “Target Species List”
  • Preference between a more passive Tour or a very physical active Tour

We will respond with our suggestions for your private Sky Islands Tour. If you are a group, we will also include the group tuition along with the suggestions to best meet your group needs. Given our often fully booked schedule, reservations must be made in advance.


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 experience based on your fitness level and preferences. This tour is ideal for hard-core Birders with a “Target Species List” and looking to add “Lifers”.

Are you coming to the Sky Islands hoping to some of the famed “Mexican Specialties?” Is the majestic Elegant Trogon top of your “Target Species List?” Are you hoping to add the Gray Hawk to your “Life List?” Let us know and we will suggest the best time of the year to add these “Lifers”!

The pace of our Sky Islands Birding Hotspots Tour is determined by your preferences. For example, if you are looking to trek deep into the wilderness looking for birds in a remote habitat, we have the perfect Hotspot suggestion. Set amidst 9000 acres of pristine wilderness we can spend the day 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. 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 Birding Hotspot Tours range from Half-day, to Full-Day, to Multiple-day ventures, depending upon your Birding goals.

Given our strategic Sky Islands location, regardless of which Birding Adventure or Birding & Biodiversity Tour you choose, you may see species more typical of Mexico -without having to travel there, 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


Our private Sky Islands Biodiversity Tours are designed to search for, find, observe, and enjoy a broad spectrum of native wildlife, large and small. Designed for “Nature Lovers” who equally enjoy seeing birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, and invertebrates. Join us if 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 Full-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.


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!


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

Current RWWJ Private Offsite Tour options include:

  • ORGAN PIPE CACTUS NATIONAL MONUMENT – For details please click hereRWWJ Tour Details
  • CHIRICAHUA MOUNTAINS EXPEDITION – For details please click here: RWWJ Tour Details
  • WHITE MOUNTAINS EXPEDITION –  For details please click here: RWWJ Tour Details

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


  • Patagonia Regional Times – August/September 2019 Read Article
  • Nogales International – September 1, 2017 Read Article
  • Green Valley News – September 18, 2017 Read Article
  • The Vermillion Flycatcher – Tucson Audubon Society Read Article