About the Guiding
Desert Harrier offers personal and customized bird watching tours throughout southeast Arizona for all levels of birders and all types of birding. For photographers, tours can be tailored to offer the best possible opportunities for bird photography. Excursions can be a full-day, a half-day, multiple days, or various combinations. In general we do not bird from a vehicle. We typically search for birds while walking and on occasion hanging out at feeding areas, particularly for hummingbirds. We go where the birds are.
Each client is given the personal service they deserve. For that reason, I prefer to limit the number of clients to a maximum of four (exceptions may be made, contact me). This personal service means that I describe the target bird, tell you where it is in a bush or tree, which bush or tree, when it moves and which direction it moves. If needed, I will get behind you and give directions as to where to point your binoculars. I also usually carry a laser pointer which I will use if advantageous to our endeavor. I typically carry a camera while birding. If I am guiding, service to the clients comes first. Only after you have the bird in your binocular view will I raise my camera, provided it does not take away from the your experience. I want you to see the birds and will do whatever I can (reasonably) to make sure you get that opportunity.
Part of the personal service is getting to know each of the clients a little bit with respect to bird watching; your experience, where youíve birded, where you live, your expectations, and your desires. When we are looking at or for a particular bird, I can usually make comparisons (behavior or plumage or vocalizations) to a bird you are probably familiar with. This comparison with something familiar can be a great benefit in you seeing and studying a new bird. And possibly the most important aspect of personal service is we bird at your pace.
Going hand-in-hand with personal service is customized and flexible itineraries. Hopefully before we actually start birding together, I have some idea of your experience, your abilities (or limitations), and your desires (what are the target birds). With that I can put together a plan that maximizes your experience. Though I have favored routes (because they are productive) I generally do not have a canned tour. Your itinerary will be based on what you want to see and where you want to go. And, the itinerary can be flexible. Based on our success early or if we learn of a rare (or otherwise desired) bird while out in the field and it is something YOU want to look for, we can adapt our plans accordingly - we can do it.
As a final note, itís not just birds. While the focus of Desert Harrier is the birds and birding, we often encounter other creatures and interesting flora which we can take the time to enjoy.