aba events

ABA Birding Rally – Delaware Bayshore Shorebird Spectacle

Experience one of North America’s great birding and wildlife spectacles as thousands of breeding-plumaged shorebirds gorge on the eggs of Horseshoe Crabs, one of the oddest. and oldest, creatures on Earth. Nearby wetlands and forests are bursting with breeding birds and migrants, making for a wonderful long birding weekend!

Shorebirds galore along the Delaware Bay shoreline.

  May 17 – 20, 2018

Where:  We’ll stay at the comfortable Virden Conference Center on the edge of the quaint seaside town of Lewes, Delaware.

How Much:$895.00 per person Single Supplement $200.00

Skill level: New to Birding to Been Birding Forever – All Welcome!

Register Here!  

Contact: Email [email protected] with any questions you may have about this rally.Or call 1-800-850-2473 ext. 653 or 302-838-3653

What is a Birding Rally?

The month of May along the Delaware Bayshore brings enormous numbers of horseshoe crabs along the beach to lay their millions of eggs, and it is also the time for hundreds of thousands of migrating shorebirds to feast upon those eggs as they refuel prior to their last 3000 mile non-stop flight to their breeding grounds.

This evolutionary spectacle has to be seen to be believed! Some years are better than others…thanks to conservation efforts, it has been getting better every year!

Migrating shorebirds  feast upon a bountiful supply of Horseshoe Crab eggs, willingly fattening themselves up for the breeding season.

The Delaware Bayshore is the critical stopover habitat for northbound shorebirds migrating along the Atlantic Flyway. They stop here to feed on abundant and protein-rich Horseshoe Crab eggs, in one of the more unusual and wonderful natural spectacles anywhere. We’ll enjoy great, close studies of thousands of shorebirds of 20 or so species, most wearing their gorgeous breeding colors.

And while shorebirds along the beach are the star attraction, they are just the beginning.  Within a short driving distance of two acclaimed National Wildlife Refuges, Bombay Hook and Prime Hook, and thousands of acres of mixed hardwood and pine forests, participants will experience the rich diversity of bird species found during May in this unique birding bonanza.

There is a distinct southern element to the avifauna here, with species like Summer and Scarlet tanagers, Worm-eating, Kentucky, Prothonotary, and Yellow-throated warblers, and Brown-headed Nuthatch.

We will pick the best days for shorebirding and when the tides and winds aren’t as favorable we will head out for some forest and field birding. Top the birding weekend off with a traditional Delaware Style Blue Crab Picking session. (optional)

Bird photography opportunities are excellent throughout.

The ABA is headquartered nearby, and we are always excited to welcome birders to our home area at its birding peak. Expect a warm welcome, exciting birding, and an opportunity to see behind the scenes of this natural phenomenon in a way that few visitors do. See you in May!

When the tides and the weather conditions are right male Horseshoe Crabs follow the females to the shore where she lays her eggs.

The Horseshoe crab eggs provide a veritable smorgasbord for all the creatures along the shoreline.



ABA Birding Rally — South Florida & Dry Tortugas and Keys Extension

Photos by Mark Hedden

Birding in South Florida in the spring is a bit like playing a slot machine rigged in your favor. You don’t know exactly how it’s going to work out, but odds are something good will happen.

Between the Everglades, the surrounding agricultural areas, the Florida Bay ecosystem, the upper Keys, and various parks and neighborhoods in Miami, it is hard to not see great birds.

      The most reliable birds in South Florida are the resident species, such as Wood Stork, White-crowned Pigeon, Roseate Spoonbill, Purple Gallinule, Swallow-tailed Kites and Black-bellied Whistling Duck. But there are a number of resident species that give you a sense of jackpot when you find them – American Flamingo, Snail Kite, Mangrove Cuckoo, Cable Sable Seaside Sparrow, Short-tailed Hawk, Shiny Cowbird and Smooth-billed Ani among them.

Miami’s urban areas are the home to large populations of escaped exotic birds, many of which are ABA countable, including Spot-breasted Oriole, Common Myna, Nanday Parakeet, Green Parakeet, and Red-whiskered Bulbul.

Late April is also the northbound migration. Many neotropical migrants come up from the Caribbean or fly across the Gulf of Mexico and South Florida is crucial stopover habitat for them. Dozens of species of songbirds pass through the area – warblers, thrush, buntings and grosbeaks, as well as a handful of raptors.

And then there are the Caribbean strays. Almost every spring something shows up. La Sagra’s Flycatcher, Western Spindalis, Key West Quail-dove, Cuban Vireo, Loggerhead Kingbird or, well, pretty much anything.

We will spend time birding in the Everglades

No matter what, birding in South Florida is always an adventure.

3 SPACES LEFT Sign up now!

Click here to REGISTER

When: April 26-30, 2018

Where: We will base ourselves in Homestead, central to Everglades National Park, Miami, and the Upper Keys.

How much: $1195 per person, double occupancy. Single Supplement $250.

Keys & Dry Tortugas Extension

Key West and Dry Tortugas extension

Keep on Birding with us in the Upper Keys, stopping at sites in Islamorada and Marathon to seek out migrants and local specialties, such as Mangrove Cuckoo, White-crowned Pigeons and Roseate Tern, two well-known Key West migrant traps.

Then then we will venture off to the Dry Tortugas National Park, 70 miles west of Key West. The park is home to the massive Civil War-era Fort Jefferson, as well as the only North American breeding colonies of Masked Booby, Magnificent Frigatebird, Sooty Tern, and Brown Noddy.

Fort Jefferson is also often a major stopover for migrants and rarities, with sightings in recent years of such species as Loggerhead Kingbird, Black Noddy, Red-billed Tropicbird, and the Caribbean subspecies of Short-eared Owl. You won’t want to miss it!

When: April 30 to May 2, 2018

How Much: $900 per person double occupancy $150 single supplement

Click here to REGISTER

Birds of Alaska: A Breeding Extravaganza and Asiatic Vagrants

An Endorsed Tour of the American Birding Association featuring High Lonesome BirdTours

WHEN: May 19 – 30, 2018

WHERE: St. Paul Island (Pribilofs); Gambell on St. Lawrence Island; Nome on the Seward Peninsula

PRICE: $7550.  Single Supplement not available at Gambell. Single Supplement for Pribilofs/Nome subject to availability is $500.

Tour Size: Limited to 23 participants Hurry sign up now! ONLY 3 spots Left! 


We hope you’ll consider joining this tour to spectacular Alaska. We will visit three quintessential hotspots for birders: St. Paul Island (Pribilofs); Gambell on St. Lawrence Island; Nome on the Seward Peninsula.

The Pribilof Islands, often called the “Galapagos of the North,” lie in the middle of the Bering Sea about 300 miles from landfall. St. Paul Island, where we stay, hosts some of the largest colonies of alcids (auklets & other seabirds) in the world, as well as the largest Northern Fur Seal colony in the world. St. Paul is an isolated and charming island with a small Aleut population. Asian vagrants regularly visit St. Paul in late May, and we expect to see a few of them along with the resident species. Huge colonies of seabirds nest on the cliffs and in the rocks on the island, including Parakeet, Least and Crested auklets; Horned and Tufted puffins; Thick-billed and Common murres, Northern Fulmar, Black-legged and Red-legged kittiwakes.

St. Lawrence Island lies in the Bering Sea just off the Siberian coast. Gambell is a small, timeless Eskimo village subsisting much as it has for thousands of years. On clear days, Siberia can be seen clearly 35 miles in the distance. Whale, walrus, seal, polar bear and birds account for most of the native diet. High Arctic and Asian vagrants are the draw at Gambell. Many of the Asian species recorded in North America have been seen in Gambell and environs. We will spend much of our time within a couple of miles of the village. There are huge colonies of Parakeet, Least and Crested auklets on the cliffs within walking distance. Northwest Point provides a “super-highway” for seabirds passing very close by the island in migration and usually yields Arctic Loon, Yellow-billed Loon , Dovekie, Emperor Goose, and Ivory Gull as well as many other seabirds and ducks. The centuries-old bone yards often hide vagrant passerines, e.,g, Eurasian Bullfinch, Hawfinch, and Common Cuckoo. The marsh about two miles from town is superb for shorebirds and typically yields several of the Asiatic species.

Nome lies on the Seward Peninsula, jutting into the Bering Sea. It’s a frontier town in a world where few such curiosities remain. Nome is accessible only by boat and airplane, bordered on the West and South by the Bering Sea, and to the North and East by miles of trackless wilderness. Nome is a fascinating and challenging destination. During June, the midnight sun is at its brightest, the tundra is in full bloom, and the birds and mammals are breeding. Our tour will cover the prime birding areas along the seacoast, the high tundra and, if time permits, the only boreal forest on the Seward Peninsula. Most of the birds are in their resplendent breeding plumages— rarely if ever seen in the “lower 48.” We’ll make an extra effort to locate the Western Alaska specialties that include the Rock & Willow ptarmigans; Bristle-thighed Curlew; Bar-tailed Godwit; Red-necked Stint; Aleutian Tern; Gyrfalcon; Bluethroat; Eastern Yellow Wagtail; White Wagtail; and others. The road system of Nome provides the best access to the Alaska bush without an airplane, and we will drive it extensively.

Join us for a great birding adventure.

Download the full itinerary here: ABA Endorsed Tour: Alaska High Lonesome BirdTours

To see our event on the High Lonesome BirdTours  Website click here

BIRD CUBA with the ABA!

April 4–14, 2018 • with ABA Host Ted Floyd (P.S. It is Ted’s 50th Birthday-help him celebrate)

September 8–18, 2018 • with ABA Host Nate Swick

Cost: $4,490–11 days, 10 Nights

Limited to 8 Participants each trip.                                   

YES! It is still possible to go to Cuba in 2018! 

Join us on a magical journey to the land of the enchanting Cuban Tody, the eerie sounding Cuban Crows, the ridiculously tiny Bee Hummingbird, and so much more. Come and enjoy the miniature Silver palms of Cayo Coco and bird the land that Hemingway used as a getaway! Enjoy getting to know the birds with Arturo Kirkconnell, the author of the Field Guide to the Birds of Cuba, and meet ornithological legend Orlando Garrido, a world famous tennis player turned birder and field guide author.

This Cuban tour provides you with a great opportunity to see all possible Cuban endemic birds. Of course, we will take in all the birds—among them a goodly number of Caribbean endemics. We’ll look for Gundlach’s Hawk, Bee Hummingbird (the world’s smallest bird!), Cuban Trogon, Cuban Tody, Cuban Parakeet, Zapata Wren, and 18 other birds found nowhere else on Earth.

We will also get to experience the local Cuban culture, and have an opportunity to explore Havana and other interesting locations. Our friendly Cuban bird guides offer a rich local perspective on Cuban life, in addition to their extensive knowledge of the country’s birds and wildlife. This is a trip that you don’t want to put off!

Check out the detailed itinerary here.

To Book by Phone: Call Charles toll free at 888-203-7464, ext. 912.

For more information contact our partners [email protected].

Interested but have questions? Give us your contact information and Liz will be delighted to answer your queries!


ABA Birding Rally — Aloha! Hawaii

Photo by: Jack Jeffrey

When:  September 10-18, 2018 SOLD OUT!!
Where: Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island of Hawaii
How Much: $5955.00 per person sharing — Single Supplement $950.00
Registration Limit: 23 people

For the Complete Itinerary click ABA Birding Rally: Aloha Hawaii 2018 to download the PDF. 

Interested in a 2019 trip?

Click here to leave your contact information.

Aloha! Join the ABA and our local hosts, Hawaii Forest and Trail, for our very first ABA Birding Rally in spectacular Hawaii! We will bird on three islands: Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island, seeing many of the spectacular endemic and other birds that are among the newest additions of the ABA Area.

From the stunning scarlet Iiwi to the iconic Nene, to migrants and seabirds like Bristle-thighed Curlew, Laysan Albatross, and White-tailed Tropicbird, Hawaii hosts a treasure trove of spectacular birds and offers abundant scenic beauty and cultural interest.

Our itinerary is designed to give you an excellent sampling of the birding and other charms of the Aloha State at a reasonable price and enjoyable pace. A special highlight will be participating in the 3rd annual Hawaii Island Festival of Birds, where we will be in the company of many of the most passionate and knowledgeable of Hawaii’s birders and conservationists, both in the field and out. 

The beauty of Hawaii is reason enough to visit and as birders we will be privy to a deeper more intense beauty than most. Come to the islands and meet the omnipresent Goddess of Fire, Pele, and let the continuously growing landscape lead you into a colorful history of man, birds, volcanoes, and ocean.

Join us on this most historic ABA Birding Rally. Mahalo!  


ABA Tanzania: Birds and Big Game Safari

Eastern Bearded Wildebeest, Serengeti Tanzania Photo by: Adam Riley

Grey-crowned Crane,Tanzania Photo by: Markus Lilj

Tanzania is without doubt one of the most exciting trips a birder can make, with hundreds of species of birds, many of them large, tame, and colorful. Add to that the iconic mammals, scenery, and culture and you have a experience that will rank as among the most memorable of a lifetime. Our itinerary includes the Serengeti, meaning “Endless Plain” in Maasai, which is famous for its extravagant megafauna, but also home to star birds like Gray-crested Helmetshrike, Red-throated Tit, and Steel-blue Whydah. Our tour is timed with hopes to see the magnificent migration of wildebeest, zebra and antelope. We will also visit Ngorongoro crater, Earth’s largest intact volcanic caldera, which also harbors dense populations of large mammals, as well as forest brimming with birds such as Hildebrandt’s Francolin, Schalow’s Turaco, and dazzling Tacazze Sunbirds, among others. For superb birding, masses of iconic animals, and photo ops galore, join the ABA and Rockjumper for an incredible adventure into the heart of Africa. 

When:  March 31-April 10, 2018
Where: Arusha, Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Serengeti National Park
How Much: $4250 per person sharing — single supplement $495.
Registration Limit: 120 people (small field groups of 12 people)

TO REGISTER NOW: click here.

For the Complete Itinerary click this link

ABA Tanzania Apr 2018 to download the PDF. 

Join us for a fabulous safari where we’ll see everything from the smallest birds to the largest mammals. This trip is not to be missed!

Questions: [email protected]  or  [email protected]











Green-winged Pytilia, African Elephant, Lilac-breasted Roller, and African Lion a fine sample of the wildlife we will see on this safari. Register Today!