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Birding Destinations

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Soo Whiting and Flip Harrington ran Osprey Tours, a birding and natural history tour company, for thirty years. Although they are now retired, the following is a list of a selection of their favorite places to visit and their tour operators of choice, as well as their plans for participating in upcoming tours.

Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival> Florida, USA Their next trip will be to Titusville-Cape Canaveral, Florida where they will be participating in and volunteering for the thirteenth annual Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival. The dates are January 27-February 1, 2010.  They will also be attending the North American Gull Conference which is a special part of the Festival.

La Selva Biological Station> Costa Rica

Soo and Flip’s favorite birding destination is Costa Rica. The Organization for Tropical Studies> has three terrific properties there. The first is La Selva Biological Station (internationally renowned research center and home of thousands of species). They offer simple but comfortable rooms with shared bathrooms, or housing units with private baths.

Las Cruces Biological Station and Wilson Botanical Garden> Costa Rica The second is Las Cruces Biological Station and Wilson Botanical Garden, Costa Rica’s premier garden and Central America’s richest plant collection so there is incredible bird watching. There are 12 cabins with twin beds, balcony and private baths.
Palo Verde Biological Station> Costa Rica The third is Palo Verde Biological Station. Next to Palo Verde National Park, this a great area to enjoy tropical dry forest. The Station has very simple rooms with shared bathrooms, double bunks and a fan.
Hotel Grano de Oro> Costa Rica Additional destinations in Costa Rica include a “sanctuary” in the heart of down town San Jose. This property is a converted tropical Victorian mansion that has 32 rooms and three suites. There is an excellent restaurant as well.
Hotel Bougainvillea> Costa Rica A gem of a hotel located in the hills outside of San Jose. It possesses a fabulous garden.  A great hotel to visit at the start your Costa Rica trip.
Tiskita Jungle Lodge> Costa Rica A marvelous family run lodge with a tropical fruit collection and 800 acres of nature reserve overlooking the Pacific Ocean close to the Panama border. They have interesting packages!
Arenal Observatory Lodge> Costa Rica A lodge situated only 1.7 miles from Arenal Volcano where one can have a combination of front row seats to an active volcano, good bird watching, hiking and horseback riding.
Victor Emanuel Nature Tours> New Zealand Soo and Flip's most recent trip was to the Southern Ocean to visit New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands. The trip focused on pelagic and endemic birds of the area (See Vineyard Gazette’s Bird News> Column of January 1 and 15, 2010). Soo and Flip joined Victor and Barry of Victor Emanuel Nature Tours for this excellent trip. They have traveled with VENT before and will again!
Tropical Birding>


In January 2009 Flip and Soo joined another couple from Martha’s Vineyard for a birding and wildlife journey to Namibia and Botswana. They had a superb guide and the arrangements for that tour were done by Tropical Birding.

Rockjumper Tours> South Africa

In March 2008 Flip and Soo traveled to South Africa to join a ship for a cruise around the south eastern coast of South Africa and then joined a super guide from Rockjumper Tours for a trip to Kruger National Park, Pietermaritzburg and Lesotho. They had previously traveled with Adam of Rockjumper Tours to Madagascar and will travel with Rockjumper Tours again.