A very special year to explore with us.
From the beginning of time, birds have captured the human imagination with their elegant beauty, the music of their songs, and their power to soar into the heavens while we watch longingly from below. Birdlife proliferates in every corner of the globe, in every kind of habitat, including every one of the remote destinations where our ships explore.
And now, we pay special tribute: 2018 has been designated the Year of the Bird (YOB) by National Geographic, in partnership with a broad range of conservation organizations, to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act—the most powerful and important bird-protection law ever passed. One of the first related to environmental protection, this visionary act of legislation has saved the lives of millions, if not billions, of birds.
We invite you to join us in celebrating (and bringing awareness to) our feathered friends with these exclusive opportunities available on select 2018 departures across our fleet.
Gentoo tails are almost 6-inches long — the most prominent of all penguin species.
Male Gentoos woo females with carefully chosen pebbles. See it for yourself >>
Steller’s prey on the eggs and nestlings of smaller birds—hummingbirds are a favorite target.
Steller’s can imitate hawks, cats, dogs, squirrels & even some mechanical objects!
Kings incubate their egg on their feet under a flap of skin or “brood patch.” No nest required!
While choosing mates, both sexes strut, shake, bow, call, and engage in high-pointing—standing face-to-face they slowly rise to their full height before relaxing again.
Nestlings are cared for by up to 6 adult aracari—2 parents and up to 4 non-breeding siblings from a previous brood.
Aracari forage together in bands of 6-10 individuals and sleep in groups of up to 5 birds.
Foraging brown pelicans plunge-dive into the water from as high as 65 feet. Special air sacks beneath their skin inflate before impact to cushion the blow.
Their massive pouch can hold three times more than their belly—three gallons versus one. Once the water drains out, pelicans swallow their catch whole.
Both parents build an enormous stick nest together (one of the biggest in the bird world!) and rotate who sits on the eggs. But when the female is home, she usually takes over the duties.
Although oddly monogamous (for the bird world), eagles are anything but boring. When ready to mate, couples meet midair, lock talons, then twist, tumble, and cartwheel together—a stunning and sometimes dangerous display to show their mate how fit they are.
White terns will lay their eggs practically anywhere, without building a nest—typically on the fork of a tree branch but eggs have been spotted on window sills, air conditioning units, and even on a bicycle seat!
Polynesian seafarers learned to rely on the white tern to assist with navigation. Since the birds typically sleep ashore every night, sailors would follow them towards land after spotting them at sea in the late afternoon or early evening.
Arctic terns make the longest migration in the animal kingdom, traveling the equivalent of four trips to the moon and back over the course of their lifetime!
To fly those long distances nonstop, Arctic terns engage in unihemispheric slow-wave sleep—half the brain remains awake while the other half rests.
Only discovered in 1974 by Lindblad’s very own naturalist Edward Shaw, the now critically endangered grebe’s dwindling population spurred the creation of Parque Patagonia, a wildlife reserve that protects many rare species.
Hooded grebes are known for the flashy, synchronized moves that accompany their courtship ritual which bears quite a resemblance to a certain seductive dance made famous by their homeland.
Like other members of the Procellariidae family, Cape petrels produce oil in their stomach which they can spit with astounding accuracy to deter predators.
Cape petrels often signal a vessel’s entrance into Antarctic waters. The birds escort ships through the region, ready to snap up food or fish waste thrown overboard.
When ready to leave the nest, fledglings head out to sea and spend six years feeding and scavenging before returning to land to find a mate.
Waved albatross mate for life after a fascinating courtship display that involves precisely coordinated movements like beak fencing, low bowing, beak clapping, and head bobbing.
The gartered trogon may be the only bird that lays eggs inside an active wasp nest—they eat some of the wasps, dig a large cavity, then make themselves at home.
Also unique among birds is the trogons’ heterodactyl toe arrangement—digits 3 and 4 point forward and digits 1 and 2 point backward.
YEAR OF THE BIRD AMBASSADORS
Veteran Lindblad naturalists, designated YOB Ambassadors on the basis of their expertise, will be aboard to answer all your bird-centric questions and provide insight and guidance. Whether you’re a beginner learning to spot and identify species as you hang out on the Bridge, kayak along idyllic coastlines, or hike along trails; or an experienced birder looking to add to your life list and deepen your ornithological knowledge, our ambassadors are sure to enrich your expedition experience. Use the search tool below to discover more about each ambassador and find the select departures when you can travel with them.
To note: Renowned international bird expert and illustrator, David Allen Sibley is a Global Perspectives Guest Speaker on our Oct 22, 2018 South Georgia and the Falklands expedition.
Find your ideal birding expedition below.
Dates & Staff are subject to change.
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