The new Madagascar Trip Report is online

What? The new Madagascar Trip Report is out??? – Malagasy Scops-Owl at Andasibe-Mantadia NP

In November, Whitehawk completed its first tour to Madagascar. Covering the southern and eastern parts of the country, tour participants were treated to an amazing mix of habitats – from the unique spiny forests of Ifaty, to the incredible rock formations of Isalo, to the expansive rainforests of Ranomafana National Park. As you can imagine, such a diversity of habitats often equals a comparable diversity of wildlife – and Madagascar does not disappoint, specially when you consider that over 90% of its flora and fauna are endemic!  You can read our Madagascar Trip Report here

We got to see many species on this trip: eighteen different lemur species including the largest living lemur, the Indri, in Perinet and one of the smallest – the Gray-Brown Mouse Lemur in Berenty Reserve. We also saw 6 species of chameleons – mostly on our night walks!

White-footed Sportive Lemur at Berenty Reserve

But, of course, this was a birding tour and so our focus  was on the unique and beautiful species of the island. We saw close to 160 species on our two week trip, with some of the highlights being the Helmet Vanga, all five species of ground-rollers, the Sickle-billed Vanga and the Madagascar Cuckoo-hawk.

The Amazingly-looking Sickle-billed Vanga

If you are interested in Madagascar and want to explore the possibilities of doing a trip with us, contact us and we will either arrange a private tour or inform you of an open space in one of our future trips.

Costa Rica Birding Challenge and some Owls

Costa Rica Birding Challenge: Crested Owl near Guapiles, Costa Rica
Crested Owl near Guapiles, Costa Rica

The Costa Rica Birding Challenge finished last week with an amazing number of birds seen or heard collectively: more than 550 species in over a week’s time. The Tico Tickers, Yeray’s team, came in first place with 488 species!

We want to congratulate all the participants and organizers for an amazing event, which we are sure will be repeated in the future.

Here  is a selection of the owls seen during the competition, which shows the great potential of the country when it comes to Owling!

Costa Rica Birding Challenge: Bare-shanked Screech Owl at Monteverde, Costa Rica
Bare-shanked Screech Owl at Monteverde, Costa Rica
Tropical Screech Owl seen during the Costa Rica Birding Challenge
Tropical Screech Owl seen during the Costa Rica Bird Challenge
the Pacific Screech Owl seen during the Costa Rica Birding Challenge
You couldn’t get any farther from this Pacific Screech Owl, it was in a very low branch!
Young Spectacled Owl seen during the Costa Rica Birding Challenge
Extremely cute young Spectacled Owl

Zapata Wren during our last tour in Cuba

Zapata Wren
Zapata Wren

The Zapata Wren is the most restricted endemic in Cuba, only present in the Zapata Peninsula and certainly a must-see when you go to Cuba. It is also the only member of its genus: ferminia! We got to see it this well during our last tour, allowing everyone in the group to have good looks and even take some pictures with the sunrise light!

If you want to know more about our next tour to Cuba, follow this link.

Snow Leopard Tour – New Trip Report

Snow Leopard in Ladakh
Snow Leopard in Ladakh

The trip report from our last Snow Leopard Tour is now online! Written by Marta Curti, it contains a detailed itinerary description with all wildlife findings and beautiful pictures taken during this trip to the Ladakh region in India. Also, there’s additional information about the successful Tiger extension trip!

To know more, just follow this link to the trip report.

Bushy-crested Jay in #Guatemala #Birding

Bushy-crested Jay
A “backyard” bird in Guatemala – the Bushy-crested Jay

We just finished a fantastic fam-trip in Guatemala, which included presentations and debate sessions about birding tourism and conservation. There was also time to see some great birds – including the raucous Bushy-crested Jay, pictured above. We want to thank to the organizers and collaborators of Birdforum for a great event and for inviting us to participate.

We are looking forward to coming back to this tremendously diverse country, which has improved so much in terms of tourism services and safety, and is already attracting higher numbers of enthusiastic naturalists and travelers. If you would like to add some really special regional endemics like the Horned Guan or the Pink-headed Warbler to the formula, Guatemala is one of the best destinations in Central America for any birder with an interest in neotropical birds.


#Cuba #Birding Tour 2018 available, check out

Cuba Birding - the Cuban Today is just one of the endemics on the island
The lovely Cuban Tody

Our 2018 Endemic Birds of Cuba tour is now available. During this tour we will spend eleven days enjoying the finest Cuba birding, beginning on the 1st of February 2018. The tour is designed to see all the island endemics as well as the regional endemics. We have had several people sign up, but there are still some spaces available. Let us know if you are interested!

For more details, check out:

Bee Hummingbird, the world’s smallest bird, in Cuba

The Bee Hummingbird, smallest bird in the world, found only in CubaWe have uploaded our Birding Cuba Trip Report for our 2017 tour. Everyone involved had an incredible experience. We were able to observe a staggering number of birds during our last tour to Cuba – 181 species in all, including all the viable endemics and most of the regional endemics. One of the highlights, of course, was the must-see Bee Hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world.

We are already getting reservations for our upcoming tour. Let us know if you are interested!

See the link for the trip report below:…

Cuban Trogon – Cuba’s colorful national bird

Cuban Trogon - a Cuban endemicOur first tour to #Cuba is about to begin! Cuba is the largest and most biodiverse island in the Caribbean. Pictured here is a Cuban Trogon, one of the 26 endemic species that can be seen in Cuba, in addition to the many near endemic and regional endemics. If you are interested in participating in our next tour to the island, send us an email. We have 8 spots available right now!

We found the Elusive Snow Leopard !

Snow Leopard in LadakhThe Snow Leopard is one of the rarest and most elusive felines in Nature. They live in the mountains of Central Asia in areas of difficult access. Their low numbers continue to be threatened by poaching and the illegal trade.
Very few people have had the chance to observe this animal in the wild and even fewer have been able to photograph it.
Whitehawk is currently in India, leading a trip looking for these beautiful cats and we are happy to report that once again, our clients have been very fortunate and have seen one or more Snow Leopards nearly EVERY day of the tour.
We will be repeating this fantastic trip very soon and encourage you to contact us if you are interested in participating.
Whitehawk donates 25% of its profits from this trip to @SnowLeopardTrust, one of the leading organizations dedicated to the conservation of this endangered cat.