Tours and Private Guiding


Searching for Black-breasted Pufflegs

James Fisher once said that “The observation of birds may be a superstition, a tradition, an art, a science, a pleasure, a hobby, or a bore; this depends entirely on the nature of the observer”. I hope that my trips fulfill a little of all but the last category! I love getting out into nature and showing people the wonders that surround them and sharing my knowledge with them. I think by experiencing places personally we start to gain an awe and respect for nature and a desire to preserve it for future generations.

Personally for me as a tour leader I enjoy the sharing the excitement of these trips and hope that participants get to learn something new and exciting whenever they are with me. As a tour leader I think one of the greatest compliments I ever received was when one of my regular participants told me that he enjoys the slower days in my company as much as the ones that are non-stop birding action.

I am excited to be part of the High Lonesome BirdTours and  Wildside Nature Tours teams as well as leading tours for the Hawk Migration Association of North America.  I also have a couple of private tours and some local trips for Pasadena Audubon Society (details and how to join PAS on their website). I am looking forward to being able to share with other people some of the more exciting and interesting places that I have visited over the years both in the USA and around the globe. Here are some of the forthcoming highlights:

photo (14)

Noah Strycker – Ross’s Goose down, 6,041 to go

Private Guiding

In Los Angeles for work or vacation and want to go birding but not sure where to go, want some expert company for the day or even just dreading facing trying to navigate the city traffic then why not hire me as a private guide?  Whether you want to look for specific species or just spend a day enjoying some of the excellent birding Los Angeles, and beyond, has to offer.

Full days are $250 ($75 per extra person) for up to twelve hours: This opens up a wealth of different possibilities including looking for some introduced local specialties like Spotted Dove or Scaly-breasted Munia, checking out a local beach for rocky shoreline shorebirds. Other possibilities include searching local parks for wintering or migrant bird species or even take an evening run to the mountains to look for White-headed Woodpecker, Green-tailed Towhee, Thick-billed Fox Sparrow and at the right time of year Mountain Quail. A day in the desert might include a run out to the desert for things like Bell’s Sparrow and Le Conte’s Thrasher or a northward run to search for Yellow-billed Magpie, Tricolored Blackbird and California Condor or a combination thereof.

Send me a message and I can work with you to suggest an itinerary that will meet your needs You can see some of the birds we might expect to see on these kind of trips on my flickr page (here).

Ps You are not required to be involved in a global big year.

Longer Tours


Rufous-tailed Hummingbird – Luke Tiller

October 18-25 2018 — Panama Migration Spectacular — SOLD OUT!

Come join me for the week of a lifetime witnessing the magic of migration through Panama. Based at the world renowned Canopy Tower the tour will take in visits to both their own hawkwatch (Semaphore Hill) and to the world famous Ancon Hill. We will visit at the peak of raptor movement when flights might range anywhere from the tens of thousands all the way up to a record breaking 2 million birds that were tallied on Nov 2nd 2014!

As well as the astonishing passage of migrant raptors there will be incredible local hawks to enjoy including everything from King Vulture to Tiny Hawk. Other migrants on their way south will include large numbers of shorebirds as well as a mix of interesting warblers, tanagers and vireos. Focusing on the canal zone will allow us to thoroughly bird all the local hotspots and we will enjoy birding that will garner us a host of incredible and bejeweled neotropical bird species: hummingbirds, motmots, toucans, tanagers, parrots and a whole host more (266 species in 2017).

Report from 2017 (here). Photos from the tour on my flickr page (here).

Price $2400.00 per person. $500.00 Deposit required to hold place. No single supplement while single rooms remain. Detailed itinerary in link: (UNDERCLEARSKIES BIRDING Panama Raptor Migration Oct 2018). Contact me on to reserve a place.


Pale-bellied Hermit – Luke Tiller

January 5 – 12, 2019 Panama:Canopy Camp

Eight days at a one of a kind lodge boasting some of Central America’s best birding.

The Darién: a species rich region long coveted by avid birders hosts a number of localized specialties including Gray-cheeked Nunlet, Spectacled Parrotlet, Dusky-backed Jacamar and Double-banded Graytail. It’s also one of the best places in the world to seek out perhaps one of the globe’s most iconic birds, and national bird of Panama, the Harpy Eagle.

Our home for the week will be at the amazing Canopy Camp Darien, where we will enjoy comfortable, large, safari-style tent accommodations, each with wooden floors, full-size beds, private bathroom facilities with refreshing showers and a large deck area for relaxation. The luxurious ‘tents’ give an incredible feeling of being enveloped by the surrounding forest and we will awaken each morning to the tropical dawn chorus of roaring Mantled Howler Monkeys, whinnying Little Tinamou and perhaps the hoots of a local Mottled Owl.

Price $3800: For more details and registration visit High Lonesome BirdTours website (here).

3 responses

8 11 2009

what’s this trip to costa rica you mention? let’s make it happen! we’re probably heading down in late february/ early march. check out the review for saladero on tripadvisor if you need some convincing!

21 03 2010

I was a member of the BwTCB group that you led in June. I was wondering if you will be leading walks in Fairfield on April 3rd. Might be staying at my moms and thought I might get some birding in.

Thanks cindy

22 03 2010

Hi Cindy,

Good to hear from you again. There should be some details about my upcoming walks on the Sunrise Birding website in the next day or so.


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