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  • Where to watch BIRDS and

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  • Photograph of Puffin

    There are plenty of Puffins nesting on Newfoundland. This superb photo was taken by Tom Tams.

  • Where to watch birds and wildlife in

    Best Birds and other wildlife in Newfoundland

    The birds listed are usually present during the northern summer. (Atlantic) Puffin, (Northern) Gannet, Brunnich’s Guillemot (Thick-billed Murre), Black Guillemot, Common Guillemot (Common Murre), Razorbill, (Black-legged) Kittiwake, Bald Eagle, Blue Jay and Cedar Waxwing, as well as Common Eider, Great Northern Diver (Common Loon), (Northern) Fulmar, Double-crested and Great Cormorants, Osprey, Killdeer, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Great Black-backed Gull, Arctic and Caspian Terns, Belted Kingfisher, Black-backed Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Philadelphia Vireo, Grey Jay, Shore (Horned) Lark, Black-capped and Boreal Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Hermit and Swainson’s Thrushes, American Robin, warblers including Black-and-white, Black-throated Green, Blackpoll, Magnolia, Mourning, Tennessee and Wilson’s, and American Redstart, American Tree, Fox, Song, Swamp, White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows, Dark-eyed Junco, Common Grackle, Pine Grosbeak, Two-barred (White-winged) Crossbill and American Goldfinch. Also a chance of (Rock) Ptarmigan, Red Grouse (Willow Ptarmigan), Ruffed and Spruce Grouse, Manx and Sooty Shearwaters, Pomarine Skua (Jaeger), Short-eared Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Tengmalm's (Boreal) Owl, Grey-cheeked Thrush and Evening Grosbeak.

    Humpback and Minke Whales (both Jun-Sep, mostly late June to early August) and Snowshoe Hare. Also a chance of Fin Whale, (Atlantic) White-sided Dolphin, Moose (introduced), Caribou, Black Bear, Beaver, Arctic Hare, Harbour Porpoise, and Common and Grey Seals, and an outside chance of Canadian Lynx.

    Best Sites for Birds and other wildlife in Newfoundland

    Best Times for Birds and other wildlife in Newfoundland

    Humpback Whales usually arrive along the south coast during the late spring (June), following Capelin which gradually move north, along with the whales, along the east coast of Newfoundland, usually arriving in Witless Bay during July and remaining farther north along the east coast until September. Peak numbers of whales are normally present from late June to early August, but seabird numbers usually begin to fall by late July so the first two weeks of July are probably the peak time to visit Newfoundland.

    Recommended Bird Books etc. for Newfoundland

    Mammals of North America by R W Kays and D E Wilson. PUP, 2009 (Second Edition).

    Mammals of North America by F A Reid. Peterson North American Field Guides, 2006 (Fourth Edition).

    Peterson Field Guide to Finding Mammals in North America by V Dinets. Houghton Mifflin, 2015.

    Field Guide to the Birds of North America edited by J Dunn and J Alderfer. NGS, 2011 (Sixth Edition).

    Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America by K Kaufman. Houghton Mifflin, 2005.

    The North American Bird Guide by D Sibley. Helm, 2014 (Second Edition).

    The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds by R Crossley. PUP, 2011.

    Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America by R T Peterson. Houghton Mifflin, 2010 (Sixth Edition).

    Kaufman Field Guide to Butterflies of North America by J Brock and K Kaufman. Houghton Mifflin, 2003.

    Apps etc.

    National Geographic Birds: Field Guide to North America.

    The Sibley eGuide to the Birds of North America.

    Peterson Birds of North America.

    Audubon Birds - A Field Guide to North American Birds.

    iBird Ultimate Guide to Birds.

    Birding and Wildlife Trip Reports for Newfoundland

    Many trip reports, some for Newfoundland, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Newfoundland. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Newfoundland' below.

    Local bird and wildlife guides in Newfoundland

    The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.

    Accommodation for birders and whale watchers in Newfoundland

    Some Organized Tours for birds and whale watching to Newfoundland

    There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.

    While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.

    Tour companies who are running organized tours to Newfoundland in the next couple of years include the following. Many of these also offer custom tours.