Birdingpal provides birdwatching contacts in countries around the world. For travel companions not interested in birds, the local knowledge of the Birdingpal can turn the trip into an educational tour as the traveler gains insight into the area from one who lives there.
How Birdingpal Works
The Birdingpal website lists local birdwatchers willing to share the local avian hotspots. Their availability and an email address for making direct contact are provided on the site. Each birdingpal lists the languages he speaks and may include details of avian species likely to be seen. There may also be some detail as to important birding areas such as wildlife sanctuaries or national parks nearby.
This program allows travelers to fit a quick birding tour into a business travel schedule. It also can be used to create a personalized birdwatching holiday, which is enhanced by getting to know a fellow birder, whose local knowledge adds to the cultural and educational interest on the tour.
Birdingpal Also Offers Guided Tours with Set Itineraries
For birdwatchers who have an idea of where they would like to go or who have target species they are trying to see, a customized professional guided tour may be a better option. These birding trips can have the added advantage of providing insight into local culture, history and traditions, which will appeal to traveling companions who are less interested in birds.
The guided birding tours differ from simply hooking up with a local birdingpal in that these birdwatching trips have set itineraries and there is a set fee. This fee is often less than that of a fulltime professional birding guide.
Birdingpal is a Free Service
Birdingpal does not charge any fees for using their service, however, in recognition of the time and effort of the local host it is suggested that covering transportation costs such as fuel for the car or bus and taxi fares as well as paying for lunch or a snack are greatly appreciated by the local birding guide.
A small gift, especially something from the traveler’s home area or local birding group, is a thoughtful way to say an extra thank you for someone taking their time to show you around.
Become a Birdingpal
Birdwatchers are always welcome to become a birdingpal for their local patch. Being able to take birders from other countries to places that are not in the guidebooks and enjoy the excitement of their discovery can enhance the local birding experience. Ability to converse in other languages is greatly appreciated but not required.
Bird watchers may also want to read about birding Cape May in New Jersey, Cape Ann in Massachusetts and the Florida Everglades-Big Cypress area.