Five Bucket List Birdwatching Destinations For 2023 - Quick Telecast Five Bucket List Birdwatching Destinations For 2023 - Quick Telecast Five Bucket List Birdwatching Destinations For 2023 - Quick Telecast

Five Bucket List Birdwatching Destinations For 2023

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From the depths of Antarctica to the heart of the Amazon, the earth is teeming with a massive array of passerines, waterfowl, raptors, and other avifauna—and for seasoned birders, there’s no better time than now to begin planning your next feather-filled expedition. While each continent has its own fascinating array of wildlife, the following destinations offer a truly memorable experience, giving visitors a chance to explore remote ecosystems, catch a once-in-a-lifetime natural phenomenon, or lengthen your life list with some elusive endemics.

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia

Colombia is renowned for its spectacular avian biodiversity, with more than 1,900 species recorded within its borders—and for those wishing to spot some of the most elusive birds in the nation, a trip to the Sierra Nevada is certainly in order. This sprawling region is home to some of the tallest coastal mountains on the planet, and its unique high-altitude ecosystem has fostered endemic species including the streak-capped spinetail, Santa Marta wren, and black-backed thornbill. For those wishing to experience the Sierra Nevada in person, Colombian ecotourism company Manakin Nature Tours operates an expedition into the region, offering ample opportunity to spot these elusive creatures in the flesh.

North Platte River Valley, Nebraska

Nebraska is home to a whole lot of wheat, corn, and soybeans, but crops aren’t the only thing that the state has to offer. From February to April, the North Platte River Valley springs to life with hundreds of thousands of migratory sandhill cranes, each one using the region as a crucial stopover point before making the journey north to breed. While riverside cities like North Platte, Kearney, and Grand Island are all rife with cranes throughout the season, those wishing for a more in-depth experience can book an early morning blinds visit with The Crane Trust or Rowe Sanctuary, two Nebraska organizations that are dedicated to ensuring the safety of these birds for years to come.

Mount Leuser National Park, Indonesia

Stretching across the Indonesian provinces of North Sumatra and Aceh, the iconic Mount Leuser National Park measures in at 792,700 acres of protected rainforest—and all of that sprawling jungle plays host to a massive array of native birds. Some of Southeast Asia’s most majestic avifauna can be found soaring through the park— brahminy kites, barred eagle-owls, and rhinoceros hornbills, to name a few—while dazzling species like the Temminck’s sunbird and lesser green leafbird can also be found flitting through the forest. Beyond birds, the more remote Aceh side of the park is home to some of Indonesia’s most iconic mammals including tigers, rhinos, elephants, and orangutans.

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Wildlife abounds across the Okavango Delta, an ultra-biodiverse natural feature that’s earned both Ramsar Wetland and UNESCO World Heritage status. In terms of majestic megafauna, each of the five big game animals (elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, and rhinos) can all be found within the region, while giraffes, cheetahs, and spotted hyenas are just a few of the other creatures found populating the park—and when it comes to birds, there are more than 400 different varieties to keep an eye out for. Marabou storks, southern ground hornbills, and golden crowned cranes are all captivating creatures, but be sure to watch for the iconic lilac-breasted roller, a particularly sought-after species thanks to its dazzling feathers.

Tiritiri Matangi Island, New Zealand

New Zealand’s extreme isolation has blessed it with particularly high rates of endemism, and while many native species have suffered due to predation from introduced species, one tiny island has been carefully cultivated to avoid that fate. Located roughly 19 miles north of Auckland, Tiritiri Matangi was subject to intense afforestation efforts followed by the eradication of Polynesian rats, and in the modern era, this lush island is a haven for many of New Zealand’s native birds. During a visit, newcomers can expect to find endemic specimens ranging from the tūī to the North Island kōkako to the little spotted kiwi.

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From the depths of Antarctica to the heart of the Amazon, the earth is teeming with a massive array of passerines, waterfowl, raptors, and other avifauna—and for seasoned birders, there’s no better time than now to begin planning your next feather-filled expedition. While each continent has its own fascinating array of wildlife, the following destinations offer a truly memorable experience, giving visitors a chance to explore remote ecosystems, catch a once-in-a-lifetime natural phenomenon, or lengthen your life list with some elusive endemics.

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia

Colombia is renowned for its spectacular avian biodiversity, with more than 1,900 species recorded within its borders—and for those wishing to spot some of the most elusive birds in the nation, a trip to the Sierra Nevada is certainly in order. This sprawling region is home to some of the tallest coastal mountains on the planet, and its unique high-altitude ecosystem has fostered endemic species including the streak-capped spinetail, Santa Marta wren, and black-backed thornbill. For those wishing to experience the Sierra Nevada in person, Colombian ecotourism company Manakin Nature Tours operates an expedition into the region, offering ample opportunity to spot these elusive creatures in the flesh.

North Platte River Valley, Nebraska

Nebraska is home to a whole lot of wheat, corn, and soybeans, but crops aren’t the only thing that the state has to offer. From February to April, the North Platte River Valley springs to life with hundreds of thousands of migratory sandhill cranes, each one using the region as a crucial stopover point before making the journey north to breed. While riverside cities like North Platte, Kearney, and Grand Island are all rife with cranes throughout the season, those wishing for a more in-depth experience can book an early morning blinds visit with The Crane Trust or Rowe Sanctuary, two Nebraska organizations that are dedicated to ensuring the safety of these birds for years to come.

Mount Leuser National Park, Indonesia

Stretching across the Indonesian provinces of North Sumatra and Aceh, the iconic Mount Leuser National Park measures in at 792,700 acres of protected rainforest—and all of that sprawling jungle plays host to a massive array of native birds. Some of Southeast Asia’s most majestic avifauna can be found soaring through the park— brahminy kites, barred eagle-owls, and rhinoceros hornbills, to name a few—while dazzling species like the Temminck’s sunbird and lesser green leafbird can also be found flitting through the forest. Beyond birds, the more remote Aceh side of the park is home to some of Indonesia’s most iconic mammals including tigers, rhinos, elephants, and orangutans.

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Wildlife abounds across the Okavango Delta, an ultra-biodiverse natural feature that’s earned both Ramsar Wetland and UNESCO World Heritage status. In terms of majestic megafauna, each of the five big game animals (elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, and rhinos) can all be found within the region, while giraffes, cheetahs, and spotted hyenas are just a few of the other creatures found populating the park—and when it comes to birds, there are more than 400 different varieties to keep an eye out for. Marabou storks, southern ground hornbills, and golden crowned cranes are all captivating creatures, but be sure to watch for the iconic lilac-breasted roller, a particularly sought-after species thanks to its dazzling feathers.

Tiritiri Matangi Island, New Zealand

New Zealand’s extreme isolation has blessed it with particularly high rates of endemism, and while many native species have suffered due to predation from introduced species, one tiny island has been carefully cultivated to avoid that fate. Located roughly 19 miles north of Auckland, Tiritiri Matangi was subject to intense afforestation efforts followed by the eradication of Polynesian rats, and in the modern era, this lush island is a haven for many of New Zealand’s native birds. During a visit, newcomers can expect to find endemic specimens ranging from the tūī to the North Island kōkako to the little spotted kiwi.

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