I have used a guide several times and have been very pleased. When I was in Costa Rica last January having a local guide who knew the area and the birds made a HUGE difference in the birding experience, we hit over 180 species in 5 days in an area of about 40 square miles! He knew where all of the different micro-habitats were so we could explore many different types of eco-zones in a smaller area. More time looking and less time driving to the next location. Most important, he was very aware of the environment, to respect the birds and to respect the bird’s space so that we could get a good look without disturbing the bird. Finally, it is also important in my mind to find a guide who is personable and who is just as excited about the birding experience as you are. You may be spending many hours with this person in some difficult or remote places, you need someone you can trust, who is prepared and who has knowledge to share.


It is my thought that the best way to get the most out of birding with a guide is to do research before settling on a guide: check out websites, google names, check in with local birders in local Audubon chapters, call the guide up and talk personally about their different trips and try and get a sense of who this person is.


If you have the money hiring the services of a committed and knowledgeable guide can be a lot of fun, can help you see more birds and well worth the money. As an added bonus – the guides also know where the best restaurants, cleanest bathrooms and best places to picnic are. That is also a big plus when birding in the desert where there are long distances between watering holes.


Mark Gutchen

Columbia, MO


From: Missouri Wild Bird Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Solodar
Sent: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 11:11 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: no sighting: should I use a guide?



I did just that in Tucson a few years ago.  I went to the Tucson Audubon Society website which listed about 8 people or organizations that offered guide service.  I chose a man, whose name I have forgotten, who charged about $100 for the day so long as I used my rental car.   I had sent him a list of possible life/ABA birds and he got me 8-10 of them during the day.  Definitely worth while as he knew just where to look, better than published books.

John Solodar
University City
St. Louis County, MO

[log in to unmask]

On 12/27/11 9:52 AM, "Amy J. Hoffman" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hi all,
I'm considering hiring a professional guide for one of my days in Tucson in February. I'm assuming it would be worth the money. I know serious birders use professional guides all the time. Still, I'd love to hear from any of you who have ever used a guide about what you thought. Pros? Cons?
Feel free to reply off-list at [log in to unmask] since this is a personal inquiry.
Thank you!
Amy J. Hoffman
Jefferson City
Cole County
Food helps those who help themselves.

The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Website: http://mobirds.org/


The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Website: http://mobirds.org/
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Website: http://mobirds.org/