ARE MY ONLINE PAYMENTS SECURE?
As a small business, our goal is to offer you a secure and convenient payment method. All of our online payments are processed through Stripe, an acknowledged industry leader in online credit card processing.
We like Stripe because they handle all of the security issues and all transactions are processed completely within Stripe’s network. Even though you don’t need to leave our site to make a payment, NONE of your credit card information is processed or stored on our website and we have no access to it.
Stripe has been audited by a PCI-certified auditor and is certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1. This is the most stringent level of certification available in the payments industry. You can read more about Stripe’s security here.
YOUR SCHEDULE SAYS YOU ARE NOT AVAILABLE ON THE DATE WE WANT–DO YOU HAVE A WAITING LIST?
Our currently available dates are shown in green on our calendar. Additional dates are either confirmed by another group or we are otherwise committed. You are welcome to contact us to double-check on availability for a specific date.
WHAT IF WE NEED TO CANCEL OR CHANGE OUR RESERVATION?
We realize that your plans can change. If you would like to change the date of your reserved Colorado Birding Adventure, please contact us as soon as possible. If your alternate date is available, we will be happy to make the change.
If you need to completely cancel your reservation, please contact us as soon as possible. Cancellations within 48 hours of the trip departure time are subject to a $100 cancellation fee unless we can rebook your date with another client.
IS THERE A MINIMUM AGE FOR THE TRIPS?
There is no formal minimum (or maximum!) age for our adventures. In fact, we specialize in friendly, inclusive tours and we believe that it’s never too early (or too late!) to encourage a love of the outdoors and birding. This was also our philosophy when we founded Iowa Young Birders in 2012.
At the same time, we require that trip participants under age 18 be accompanied by at least one adult (over 18) who is a parent, guardian, OR is specifically authorized by a parent/legal guardian.
Children of any age are welcome and we will adapt our pace and activities to fit your family’s needs. Some of our trips do involve a fair amount of driving so children should be able to ride comfortably. We do NOT supply a car seat so if you bring your own, there needs to be enough room to mount it in the backseat of our 2016 Subaru Forester and still have enough room for the rest of your group. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about the suitability of our trips for your family.
WHAT IS YOUR POLICY FOR BAD WEATHER?
Our primary goal is to ensure personal safety. Our trips will proceed in unpleasant weather but we MAY cancel a trip (in our sole discretion) if conditions are predicted to be dangerous (e.g., dangerous wind chills, lightning or snow/ice that creates hazardous driving or dangerous conditions.)
Birding is often quite good in light rain or after a storm front passes, so we will not cancel a trip due to rain as long as dangerous conditions don’t exist.
In the event that WE cancel one of our trips due to dangerous weather conditions, we will notify you immediately by phone at the number you provide on your registration and and you will receive a full refund of all of your within 7 days. If YOU decide to cancel due to unpleasant weather, please note that our cancellation policies will apply (see our Terms & Conditions.)
WHAT TIME IN THE MORNING DOES OUR TRIP START?
Generally, birds are more active in the morning and as the day goes on, they become less active. Our recommended start time is 8 a.m. BUT we can start as early as you wish! Most trips involve at least some driving to our first stop, so an early start is good.
At the same time, if your group prefers to start later in the morning (or even in the afternoon), we are flexible and happy to accommodate. Just let us know on your registration form what works best.
The trip start is when we pick you up at our designated meeting point, and the trip end is when we drop you off.
CAN YOU PICK US UP AT OUR HOTEL/HOME?
We can pick you up at your home, hotel or other agreed-upon single meeting point as follows:
Boulder Half Day trips: within the Boulder city limits.
Ft. Collins Half Day trips: within Ft. Collins city limits
Rocky Mountain National Park Full Day trips: one location within 10 miles of downtown Estes Park
For other meeting points or transportation needs, please make a note on your registration form so we can make arrangements.
HOW ROOMY IS YOUR VEHICLE?
Our vehicle is a fuel-efficient all-wheel drive 2016 Subaru Forester. Seating for 1-3 is very comfortable; four persons (one in front passenger seat and three across the backseat each with seat belt) is full.
For groups that need more room (including more than four persons), please complete our Custom Adventures form and we will be happy to create a trip for you.
WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR AND BRING ALONG?
We encourage you to travel light but still fully prepared. Here are the key items:
- Layered clothing so you can adjust to Colorado’s rapidly changing weather. During the summer, there is a chance of thunderstorms nearly everyday. If your trip includes a visit to Rocky Mountain National Park, be sure to bring clothing warm enough for the high altitudes.
- Neutral color clothing works best, but avoid a lot of white or black (the birds will notice you more easily!)
- Comfortable shoes for walking
- Hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses
- Refillable water bottle (we will have plenty of cold water for refilling.)
- Camera and binoculars (we have nice binoculars you can use if you don’t have your own)
HOW FAR WILL WE WALK OR HIKE?
It depends entirely on your preferences! Of course, getting away from the parking lots will help us to find more birds but our tours will adapt to your physical condition and preferences. We can walk as little or as much as you want!
Most visitors to Colorado will feel some affects from the high altitude and this will also impact your ability to walk.
When we do walk, we are mostly on established trails which can range from very smooth and wide to narrow and rocky. In the latter case, there can be rocks to climb over or around, uneven surfaces, and potential trip hazards. Good sense and caution are necessary.
WHAT ABOUT THE AFFECTS OF HIGH ALTITUDE?
Colorado has the highest average altitude of any state in the Lower 48. If you are visiting from lower altitudes, you will likely feel at least some effects. There are many sources of advice about altitude —here is just one. There are some important things you can do to help acclimate including:
- Stay properly hydrated. Adjusting to a higher altitude is often accompanied by fluid loss, so you need to drink lots of fluids to remain properly hydrated (at least 3-4 quarts per day). We suggest you start drinking more water than you normally do even before you arrive in Colorado
- Take it easy; don’t over-exert yourself when you first get up to altitude. Light activity during the day is better than sleeping because respiration decreases during sleep, exacerbating the symptoms
- Eat a high carbohydrate diet (more than 70% of your calories from carbohydrates) while at altitude
- Dehydration, over-exertion, and alcohol slow down your ability to adjust to higher altitude
With our Participant Agreement that you will sign before the trip begins, you will be certifying that there are no health-related reasons or problems (including moderate exercise at high altitude) which preclude or restrict your participation in this activity However, we will be checking with you frequently about how you are feeling during the trip and we can adjust accordingly.
WHAT IS YOUR “FIELD LUNCH” LIKE?
Tours booked for five hours or more include a picnic lunch that will can enjoy “trail-side” during our adventure. After you reserve a trip, we will check with you for basic food allergies to help in our planning.
For all trips, we will have plenty of cold water available to refill your water bottle and a supply of energy-type bars. We will also ask you in advance if you would like us to bring a thermos of coffee.
WHAT BIRDS WILL WE SEE ON THIS TRIP?
The answer, of course, is that it depends on:
- The time of year, time of day, and weather
- How far we walk and how fast we move (e.g. how many spots can we visit)
- Luck and good fortune
One of the interesting aspects of birding is its unpredictability! Birds move around (during the year and during the day) and are often very good at hiding from view. Frequently, the first clue to a bird’s presence will be a song or call which can be followed by some patient detective work as we try to get a good look.
If you are interested in a specific list of what birds we might see at at specific locations during your visit, please to contact us.
WE ARE JUST BEGINNING BIRDERS; CAN WE STILL TAKE A TRIP?
YES! Our primary goal for every Colorado Birding Adventure is to provide you with an enjoyable experience. Whether you are hoping to add a few hard-to-find species to your life list OR taking your first birding field trip, we have the experience and flexibility to make this YOUR adventure.
If you are just starting, be sure to see our Birding for Beginners trip option which can be applied to any of our tour destinations. In any event, birders of ALL experience levels are welcome.
We’ve already seen most of these birds–our goal now is to help YOU see and enjoy them!
WHAT IF WE DON’T ALL HAVE GOOD BINOCULARS?
We have good quality binoculars that you can use during your adventure. They are the Eagle Optics Denali 8X42 binoculars, highly regarded in their price range. The 8X refers to the magnification (these make birds appear 8 times closer) and the 42 refers to the amount of light that is captured. More important, these binoculars have excellent quality glass with special coatings to increase light transmission and render accurate color and they are waterproof, fogproof, and comfortable to use.
We also always carry our personal Swarovski ATS 65 HD spotting scope which helps us see details on perched birds (providing they don’t fly away!)