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Easy pace, birdwatching and photography tour or birds photography tour?

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

Why not have the best of both worlds, so your birdwatching experience is more complete?

There is a thin line between the two birding worlds of “listers” and “photographers”, so we decided that it would be best to give our clients the option to slow down their tour, with the idea of giving them a more complete experience in the field.

Let's start with an introduction of each one, so you can appreciate their differences.

A birdwatching tour is primarily focused on the observation of birds in their natural environment. Birders typically use binoculars and focus on identifying different species, noting their behavior, and documenting their findings. They may keep detailed records of the birds they've seen, noting their location, date, and any interesting behaviors or characteristics.

A bird-photography tour is a specialized trip designed for photographers who have a specific interest in capturing images of birds in their natural habitats. These tours provide opportunities to photograph a wide variety of bird species, often in locations known for their rich bird diversity or the presence of an important species. Bird photography tours are led by professional birders who are also keen wildlife photographers, and are familiar with the destinations and the behavior of the birds. They ensure that clients go to the optimal birding “hotspot” locations, and then help them with finding the specific birds and positioning themselves for optimal photography, while offering guidance on photography techniques if needed. Photographers need more time at each location than birders, as they generally prefer to observe the birds behavior and habitat so as to increase their chances of getting the perfect shot. And, yes, at the end of it all we also ensure that we all have some fun!

Digging deeper...

Easy Pace birding trips take you on a journey to various locations, with the primary goal of observing and identifying different bird species. Birdwatching tours are varied in duration but are generally very intense and tiring, with the focus being only birds, while the scenery and local culture are overlooked.

But when you travel with us the focus is on making it an easily paced trip; it's not just about ticking off species from a list, but also about taking the time to really appreciate the beauty of birds - which is key to getting the best photographs. And then we don't just rush off without relaxing a little and taking in some forest and scenery at each location. With us it's also about learning more about their natural habitat, plus other interesting information about the country we are traveling in.

An Easy Pace birding trip obviously has its primary focus of giving our clients an immersive, complete experience about birds, but we also focus on combining a bit of scientific observation so that your birding experience is more complete. To that we can add some outdoor recreation and culture to add to the sense of adventure.

While there can be overlap between the two activities, the main distinction lies in the primary objective. Bird photographers aim to capture stunning visual representations of birds, whereas birdwatchers focus on observing and learning about birds in their natural habitats. That being said, many birdwatchers also enjoy photography as a means of documenting their observations, and some bird photographers also have a deep interest in the behavior and ecology of the birds they photograph.

We aim to provide the perfect balance between these two activities!

Our birdwatching trips are led by experienced guides – all professional birders - who are familiar with the destinations, the habitats, the birds and their calls, plus they will also share some interesting behavioral anecdotes. They help participants to spot and identify the birds, and help you position yourselves for the optimal sighting. And yes again... they also ensure that you have some fun while you are about it!

Easy Pace tour group is based in Colombia – THE birding mecca with the most species of birds in the world! We are thrilled to have witnessed how Colombia has made huge leaps and bounds as a world-class birding destination over the last decade. Firstly, thanks to the peace accords, that image of Colombia as a dangerous country to travel in has changed, to where it is now an extremely safe country for international tourists. Then came other important improvements for us birdwatchers and photographers: there has been a surge in more birding locations – every month a new location opens - many of whom have a special focus on bird photography, new and better field guides are now available, capable tour companies offering a first-class service, and really professional and dedicated guides.

With all those improvements Colombia honestly can be proud to call itself one of the worlds greatest venues for nature lovers.

From the point of view of birders and bird photographers, that line between their basic differences is less noticeable, why?

Both birders and bird photographers are often together in the same locations during a tour, because that's where the bird diversity and the ease of seeing them is best for that habitat, but also because many of the locations include bird feeders – which greatly improve their chances to observe and photograph them in a the easiest possible way.

In both cases your guide must be someone with the ability to put you in the right place at the right time – he has to be someone who knows really understands the subjects you want to photograph - because with their help you can easily change from the bird feeders to the forest opportunities, as the guide will constantly be looking for where the best opportunities are, using sight and his knowledge of calls to increase your chances of more sightings or getting those all natural photographs of the bird away from the feeders.

What has been amazing to witness is how birdwatchers and bird photographers are contributing to citizen science in such a huge way with the use of the new digital tools like eBird and iNaturalist, among others. Initiatives such as bird population monitoring, migration studies and, more importantly, high quality data from checklists and photos are changing our knowledge of bird distribution and behavior.

Now that DSLR cameras are more accessible and easier to use for the general public, this is helping to lessen those differences between birders and bird photographers – nowadays it's pretty common to see a birdwatching trip where everyone is using a personal camera.

No matter how you see yourself within the birding world – be it pure birder or bird-photographer - joining a bird tour is a great way to connect with like-minded individuals, share knowledge and experiences, and foster a deeper understanding and conservation ethic for birds and their ecosystems. From our point of view these two worlds are complementary, and we are here to help you get the best of both.

Please take a look at the Easy Pace web page to get an idea of the incredible tours we offer. And bear in mind that all of them can be easily tailor made to fit your needs: whether you prefer more time for certain habitats, pure fast species listing, or combining birding and wildlife photography - we are here expressly for you - just let us know your preferences.


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