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2013 South Texas Birding in Private Blinds

All-Inclusive Bird Photography Workshop



Let's face it-- birds are small, fast, and rarely in good light. On this photo safari, we'll solve all of those problems by shooting from private photo blinds not open to the public. Each blind is set up with natural perches and feeders to attract birds and other animals, and are situated for great light and clean backgrounds. If you want to photograph birds up-close, then this is the trip of a lifetime.

Many of the blinds also feature ponds, so you'll be able to get shots of the birds as they bathe or hunt insects. Lots of other animals frequent the properties, too, including squirrels, javelina, snakes, frogs, and lizards. The animals are accustomed to the blinds and often show up within minutes of settling in.

I've been shooting at this location since 2006 and I know that it is about as close you'll ever come to a guaranteed wildlife photography experience.



You'll have the opportunity to see unique bird species up-close, including:

  • Crested Caracara
  • Harris Hawk
  • Green Jay
  • Painted Bunting
  • Bullock's Oriole
  • Green-tailed Towhee
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Great Kiskidee
  • American Roadrunner
  • Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
  • Long-billed Thrasher





Our Location: The Texas Rio Grande Valley

We'll be shooting on private ranch property in the Texas Rio Grande Valley, near Roma and Rio Grande City. The Rio Grande Valley is home to numerous neotropical birds that can't be seen anywhere else in the USA. The ranch sites offer photo blinds for both morning and afternoon shooting and are not open to the public. Moreover, the blinds have been carefully constructed to include perches, feeding stations, and water features, which not only attracts the birds but creates unique opportunities for reflections and other action shots. You will not find a more premium birding location anywhere with clear lines of sight and such a diversity of animals. Other animals also use the water holes, including snakes, frogs, lizards, insects, javelina (peccary) and deer. You can see a gallery of some of Jason's images taken at these sites here. We will have three full days of shooting; you'll have ample opportunities to get those "keeper" shots.

Recommended Gear

I recommend either a 400mm lens or equivalent (300mm + 1.4x extender) on a crop-sensor DSLR or a 500mm lens or longer with a full-frame DSLR. The Nikon[masked]mm VR lens on a DX body is an excellent option; Canon shooters might consider the[masked]mm zoom on a crop body. If you don't have a long lens in your bag, you might consider renting a lens for the week from a reputable dealer such as You'll also need a sturdy tripod and a flash (optional). You can bring a macro lens for insect/reptile photography during other parts of the day when we're not in the blinds.

Workshop Fee

The safari registration fee of $2699 USD includes:

  • Three full shooting days in the private photo blinds, providing close-up access and clean backgrounds for perfect photographs of rare and unusual species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects. These blinds are meticulously maintained by photographers, for photography.
  • Four nights lodging at an air-conditioned private game lodge with Wi-Fi Internet access, where we'll be able to review photos and process our images each day. Base price is double-occupancy. Contact me if you require a single room.
  • Home-cooked meals, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and happy hour (this is absolutely one of the best parts of the trip). Beer, wine, and bottled water are also included.
  • Pick-up and drop-off at the McAllen airport (MFE)
  • Transportation to the field shooting sites each day
  • Each photographer receives individual attention, photo review and critique and software training as necessary. I'll make sure you've got your camera set up for optimal results. We'll go through your images after each shooting session to ensure you're getting the keepers you deserve.

Airfare to and from McAllen, Texas is not included with tuition

Reserve Your Space Today!

A deposit of $500* will reserve your space on this trip. The remaining balance is due by March 1, 2013. Cancellations after March 1, 2013 are non-refundable unless I can back-fill your spot. I will coordinate arrivals and departures with everyone once this trip is confirmed.

*Deposit is non-refundable unless the leader cancels this trip.

Trip Insurance

If you are concerned about a cancellation, I recommend purchasing trip insurance to cover the costs of the workshop in the event you are unable to attend. We recommend getting a quote from, a travel insurance broker that lets you choose a custom coverage amount and can also provide medical evacuation coverage.


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Your organizer's refund policy for 2013 South Texas Birding in Private Blinds

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled

Additional notes: Deposit is refundable if the leader cancels this trip. Please do not book any travel arrangements until I confirm this workshop with you! Cancellations after March 1, 2013 are not refundable unless I can back-fill your slot with another participant.

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

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