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Leader Bios | Frequently Asked Questions

Cape  Breton 

Cape-Breton-Island-Trail-Map web page



 Costa Rica 









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The Audubon Naturalist Society's Nature Travel Program offers exciting opportunities to search for wildlife and explore the wonders of nature in places outside the mid-Atlantic region. Group size is typically limited to 15 persons and many trips fill early. For more information call the Travel Desk at 301-652-9188 x10 or email

Here's just a sample of what ANS travelers are saying about their journeys!

"The leaders' respective and complementary strengths combined to make for an outstanding team."

"The trip was extremely well-run and organized. Our time was very efficiently used. Sites chosen were all very engaging and rich."

"I know from experience that ANS puts together very safe well-planned trips."

"The trip totally exceeded my expectations- I can't stop talking about it since I've returned home."


Cape Breton Island: An Exploration of North Woods and Waters

September 17-25, 2016
Leaders David Farner and Stephanie Mason

 Spruce Grouse SM
 Photograph by Beatrice Grabowski

ANS is returning to Nova Scotia, but this time we’ll focus our explorations on the glacial valleys, coniferous forests, and rocky shores of Cape Breton Island. We’ll begin in Fortress Louisbourg, a Parks Canada site illustrating the Island’s historic past, while preserving scenic natural areas along the Atlantic. We’ll visit trails leading to sandy beaches as well as rocky coast at the Louisbourg lighthouse overlooking the harbor. Among the birds we’ll search for here are black guillemot, great cormorant, common eider and black-legged kittiwake. Moving on to Cape Breton Highlands National Park, we’ll visit its western side at Cheticamp and its eastern side at Ingonish. Daily outings will take us to a variety of habitats, as we search for boreal birds such as spruce grouse, boreal chickadee and gray jay. We’ll also keep our eyes open for migrating warblers, North Woods mammals such as moose and snowshoe hare, and all manner of plant life in woodland, bog, and coastal terrain. Cost of the trip for ANS members is $2350, double occupancy, from Halifax.

Itinerary | Cost Sheet | Registration Form | Important Information

Panama: A Week at the Iconic Canopy Tower  Trip is Full - Please Call to be Added to Wait List

November 9-16, 2016
Optional extension to November 20, 2016
Leaders:  Stephanie Mason & Carlos Bethancourt

Panama's geographic location as the link between South and Central America makes it a land of exceptional biological diversity. The Panama Canal brings income to the nation, making it more prosperous than its neighbors and allowing the country to initiate ambitious park and conservation programs. Explore Central Panama with us and see some of the amazing diversity of birds and other tropical wildlife to be found in the pristine rain forests and related habitats. Our base of study is the remarkable Canopy Tower, a small ecotourism lodge built into the frame of a radar facility formerly run by the US Military during the Cold War era. We will take day trips to various nearby habitats, filling a week with explorations of rich tropical habitats. An optional extension visits the Canopy Lodge, a beautiful sister facility located in the low mountains (2,400 feet in elevation) just three hours to the west. Birds will be a primary focus of our trip, and we're sure to see an incredible variety of tropical birds along with migrants from North America. But we'll also take time to observe other elements of the natural world (mammals, insects, and plants) and human history (our itinerary includes a full-day visit to Panama City) in this biologically and historically rich region.

Itinerary | Cost Sheet | Registration Form | Important Information

Costa Rica: A Trove of Tropical Birds -- and More  Trip is Full - Please Call to be Added to Wait List

February 14-26, 2017
Optional extension to March 1
Leaders Stephanie Mason and Carlos “Charlie” Gomez

CostaRica SMThis will be our Senior Naturalist's 19th year as an ANS leader to this small, tropical wonderland with amazing plant and animal diversity. Our basic trip will visit moist Caribbean lowlands, vast Cano Negro wetlands, tropical dry forest in the northwest Pacific, and lush cloud forest habitat. Our optional extension moves to higher elevations, where tropical oaks grow tall and the Resplendent Quetzal nests. Call to receive the full itinerary and registration information as soon as the planning is complete. Or keep watching our website for details, which will be posted when the registration packet is finalized.

Itinerary | Cost Sheet | Registration Form | General Terms & ConditionsImportant Information 

Spain: Spring Bird Migration Across the Strait of Gibraltar

April 17-25, 2017Black-Stork-ad-Lesvos w93791
Leaders: Stephen Daly & Terry Lawson Dunn

Southern Spain's Andalucía region is a birdwatcher's paradise that attracts bird enthusiasts and ornithologists year round. But the best time of year to see birds is during the spring, when many migrating birds from Africa overlap with species already wintering in Spain. The area is, in fact, one of two primary routes for migratory birds between Europe and Africa (the other one being Istanbul). The Straits of Gibraltar, in the Southernmost tip of Andalucia is a key point of passage for raptors, storks and other birds. On this special spring tour, we will cover a rich variety of landscapes and habitats from our base near Barbate, Spain. We will travel from the mouth of the Rio Guadalquivir in Huelva province's Atlantic coast, to the Rio Guadarranque which flows from the sierras to the Mediterranean, in the hopes of seeing many of the nearly 400 bird species that can be found near the Straits of Gibraltar. The region is also known for its stunning medieval architecture, castle fortresses, Moorish history, and of course, tapas and flamenco. 

Itinerary | Cost Sheet | Registration Form | Important Information 

Galapagos Islands: Darwin's Wild Classroom  Trip is Full - Please Call to be Added to Wait List

Galapagos SM

June 23-July 2, 2017
Leaders Stephanie Mason, Michael O’Brien, Louise Zemaitis & local guides

A trip to Ecuador's Galapagos Islands is one of the world's greatest natural history excursions, and ANS is collaborating with industry leader Victor Emmanuel Nature Tours for our third trip to this fascinating archipelago. A pre-trip visit to the Tandapaya region of mainland Ecuador (June 20-23) and a post-trip extension to Machu Picchu (July 1-7) are also planned. Registration is underway for the basic trip, as well as the pre-and post-trip journeys. Contact our travel staff for instructions for enrolling in the trip. Prices per person vary, depending on the size and location of cabins on the boat.


Washington's Olympic Peninsula

Two Trip Dates Offered: July 7-15, 2017; August 12-20, 2017
Leaders: Mark Garland & Neal Fitzpatrick

Path thru Olympic - Mark GarlandThe Olympic Peninsula, located in the northwestern corner of Washington state, is an area of remarkable natural beauty and biological diversity. Much of the land is protected as Olympic National Park, where leader Mark Garland worked as a Park Naturalist early in his career. Habitats range from the wild rocky coast of the Pacific Ocean to mountain meadows filled with summer wildflowers, located beneath a mix of rocky and snow-capped peaks. The mountain slopes and valleys are home to half a million acres of magnificent old growth forest, where many of the trees are over 200 feet tall and more than 8 feet in diameter. Come explore this diverse landscape at the peak of summer and learn about birds, butterflies, trees, wildflowers, marine life, and more. Detailed itinerary and costs will be available soon.

Itinerary Cost Sheet | Registration Form

New Mexico: A Natural and Cultural Exploration

NewMexicoSeptember 9-16, 2017

New Mexico is known as the land of enchantment, but it's also a land of great diversity -- diverse wildlife, diverse ecosystems influenced by a huge range of elevations and past geological events, diverse cultures where Native American and Spanish influences dominate, and a history that is unlike any other. Visiting New Mexico in September means catching the birds while they are migrating and the chile when it has just been roasted! Detailed itinerary and costs to follow.



Cancellation Policy

Future Destinations? Help Us Decide!


We currently offer about seven Nature Escapes each year, but there are dozens of great nature destinations we consider. Help us choose!
Call 301-652-9188 x10 or email with your selection, and if we choose that destination you'll receive advanced notice and have an opportunity to register early. Current candidate destinations include:

  • West Texas
  • Alaska
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Kenya
  • Quebec
  • Southwestern deserts of Arizona and California


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