Sunrise Birding logo by Julian HoughSUNRISE BIRDING TALKS
Fully illustrated, one-hour lectures
For fee information and to schedule,
contact Gina Nichol at [email protected]

Gina, the presentation on flock birds you gave for the New Haven Bird Club, was one of the best, most interesting and informative I have ever heard in my 47 years of birding. THANK YOU!!

Carol L, Branford, CT

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Scarlet-rumped Trogon, Borneo. Photo by Gina Nichol.NEW! SABAH: Borneo's Wildlife Paradise
Sabah, the Malaysian state that occupies the northern part of Borneo island, harbors large tracts of lowland and montane rainforest and is home to vast array of stunning birds including more than 40 endemics. With the country's highest peak, Mount Kinabalu, lush tropical forests and wildlife filled riverine habitats, Sabah is a a must visit destination for birders and wildlife enthusiasts. Brightly colored Pittas and Broadbills, the extraordinary Great Argus, Bornean Bristlehead, Whitehead’s Trogon, Whitehead's Broadbill, Storm’s Stork, all add to the exotic allure of Sabah, as does the chance to see a variety of primates including Proboscis Monkeys and Orangutans. This presentation describes the unique wildlife of Sabah with vivid photographs and anecdotes and chronicles what it is like to experience Borneo's wildlife paradise.

Scarlet-rumped Trogon, Borneo. Photo by Gina Nichol.

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Owls are much loved in the bird world and seeing any owl is indeed a thrill. The secretive lives of owls are part of their mystique and can make them very difficult to find in the wild. "There's Something About Owls" goes beyond the incredible adaptations of owls and reveals strategies to increase your chances of seeing owls in your backyard, your local patch, and beyond. Preparation for your search, ethical field practices, skills, and tactics for success are discussed and illustrated with anecdotes and experiences from the field. Suggestions for what you can do to help owls are also included.

Great Gray Owl. Photo by Gina Nichol.

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The winter wildlife of Japan offers a number of spectacles unmatched in the wild! Tens of thousands of Cranes of at least 5 species can be seen feeding on snowy fields or flying into roost against the backdrop of glorious sunsets in Kagoshima. The famous dancing Red-crowned Cranes are in full performance in Kushiro. Snow Monkeys (Japanese Macaques) frolic in hot thermal pools in the Jigokudani valley. Japanese Murrelets come to near shore islands to breed. Steller’s Sea-Eagles, White-tailed Eagles, hordes of seabirds and ducks winter on and around Hokkaido. And, if you know where to go, you can watch the massive Blakiston’s Fish-Owl catch fish right out your bedroom window! This program reveals the winter wildlife of Japan with vivid photos and anecdotes from travels around this island nation of eastern Asia.

Steller's Sea Eagle, Japan. Photo by Gina Nichol.

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Chestnut-eared Aracaris, Brazil. Photo by Gina Nichol. NEW! FLOCKOLOGY!
Unraveling the Mysteries of Bird Flocks

As birders and wildlife enthusiasts, we can't help but marvel at large gatherings of birds. Many bird species spend time in flocks that can range in size from just a few birds to tens of thousands, even millions. Flocks of birds, whether they be in the air or on the ground, can offer a magnificent spectacle. This presentation asks the question, why do birds form flocks? It explores the phenomenon of bird gatherings with vivid photographs, anecdotes and video clips and delves into the intriguing dynamics of assemblies of birds. The choreography of mass movements such as starling murmurations is examined and the benefits of flocking behavior are examined as they relate to breeding, protection, and even avian baby sitting services. The advantages and disadvantages of flocking are discussed and collective names used to identify groups of birds are presented.

Chestnut-eared Aracaris, Brazil. Photo by Gina Nichol.

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LESVOS: Europe's Biggest Week
Sardinian Warbler, Lesvos, April 2016. Photo by Steve Bird.The Greek Island of Lesvos is renowned for its ancient history, incomparable natural beauty and tradition of hospitality. Celebrated as the Princess of the Northwest Aegean Sea, this stunning island has become known by birders as one of the best locations in Europe to witness spring migration. In late April and early May, a continual stream of migrating birds pass over the island as they move from their wintering grounds in Africa to their breeding grounds in Europe. Keen birders return year after year to experience the migration magic of Lesvos and search out the island’s special birds, including Krüper’s Nuthatch, Cinereous Bunting, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Rüppell’s Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Scopoli’s Shearwater, Isabelline Wheatear, Masked and Red-backed Shrike and more. This program will reveal the avian delights of Lesvos with vivid photographs of its birds against the backdrop of charming fishing villages, sea coasts, salt pans, sparkling rivers and lakes, and the slopes of Mount Olympus.

Photos: Sardinian Warbler, Lesvos, April 2016 by Steve Bird.

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Eurasian Lynx. Photo by Steve Bird.CHASING WILD CATS
Wild cats are some of the world’s most endangered species and their elusive habits and secretive lives capture our imagination. This program takes a look at the wild felines of the world and what it takes to see them in their native habitats. Adventures in search of the American Puma, the Eurasian Lynx, Jaguar, the mythical Snow Leopard, and others are vividly illustrated with striking photographs as the lives of some of the most endangered and mysterious creatures in the world are revealed.


Eurasian Lynx. Photo by Steve Bird.



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Munchique Wood Wren. Photo by Steve Bird.The avian riches of Colombia are legendary. With at least 1870 species, Colombia boasts more species than any country in the world! The country holds at least 73 endemics and 21 species new to science discovered since the first major field guide was published in 1986. From a birding perspective, the opportunities here are unsurpassed. Until now however, Colombia has been off limits to birders. Security concerns have kept Colombia closed for decades. In recent years, efforts by the Colombian government and military to address safety problems have significantly improved the situation and Colombia is now open for birding! Gina Nichol spent the better part of two months birding Colombia in 2009 and has been working with the Colombian government and ornithological community to develop tours to this bird-rich country. This program will reveal the avian riches of this once taboo birding destination and depict what it is like to bird Colombia with vivid photographs of many of the colorful species in this wonderful country.

Photo: Munchique Wood Wren by Steve Bird.
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Birders in Colombia. Photo by Gina Nichol.GOOD LOOKING: How to get better views of birds!
One of the most satisfying aspects of bird watching is getting a good close view of a wild bird, one that allows you to study plumage features, observe behavior or simply enjoy the aesthetic experience. Try as we may, getting close to birds is not so easy. Binoculars and spotting scopes help and most birders know not to wear white in the field but what are some other ways to improve your chances of getting a prolonged, satisfying view of a bird? This program will focus on "Fieldcraft", the field practices and specialist skills for observing birds at close range. Techniques intended to advance birding proficiency and get those killer views will be revealed with the goal of raising gratification and lowering frustration that can accompany our favorite pursuit.

Photo: Birders in Colombia by Gina Nichol.

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Great Sapphirewing. Ecuador. Photo by Steve Bird.HUMMINGBIRDS: Feathered Gems
With more than 330 species known in the world, hummingbirds are the second largest family of birds after flycatchers. These tiny aeronautic marvels have the ability to hover, fly backward, and migrate long distances. The physiological capacity of hummingbirds to raise and lower their heart rate and body temperature to survive cold nights is unmatched in the animal world. This program illustrates the amazing adaptations of these glittering gems and describes their fascinating life histories. Vivid photographs of hummingbirds in the United States, Costa Rica, and Ecuador tell the story of how these birds survive in habitats that range from tropical forests to the forests of the Andes Mountains.

Photo: Great Sapphirewing , Ecuador by Steve Bird

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The seasonal wetlands of the Pantanal region of west central Brazil offer some of South America’s finest wildlife viewing opportunities. In an open, safari-type setting along the famous Transpantaneira Highway, spectacular concentrations of egrets, herons, storks, and ibis can be seen in vast, open wetlands. Five foot tall Greater Rheas (South America’s equivalent to the Ostrich) roam the open pasturelands. The air is filled with the raucous calls of Hyacinth, Red-and-Green, Red-bellied, Golden-collared Macaws and tropical animals including Yellow Anaconda, Black-and-Gold Howler Monkey, Crab-eating Fox, Giant Anteater, Capybara, and Jaguar live in the surrounding habitats. This program describes the stunning habitats and remarkable wildlife of the Pantanal region. Striking photographs illustrate the area’s extensive marsh and river habitats, huge waterfalls, cerrado, and gallery rainforest and vividly document its intriguing, exotic, wild residents.

Photos: Toco Toucan (right) & Giant Otter (left) by Gina Nichol.

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The southern tip of Africa is one of the greatest biodiversity hotspots in the world and attracts birders, botanists and mammal enthusiasts from around the globe. Harboring a multitude of endemic birds, the classic African mammals, and a rich and unique botanical heritage, the multi-ethnic nation of South Africa stands out as a wonderful destination for nature enthusiasts. The Cape Peninsula, often called the "Jewel of South Africa", offers spectacular, wild, rugged scenery that is home to penguins, ostriches, several types of antelope, and the unique "fynbos" vegetation. Further into the interior of the country, the world renowned Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa and is home to lions, leopards, elephants, and giraffes and more than 500 species of birds. This program chronicles a journey from the Cape Peninsula up to Kruger National Park with vivid photos of birds, animals and stunning landscapes and describes what it is like to travel in this varied and sometimes distinctly un-African country.

Photo: Southern Double-collared Sunbird by Gina Nichol.
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Chestnut-eared Aracaris, Brazil. Photo by Gina Nichol. UPCOMING TALKS by Gina Nichol


Friday, April 7, 2023, Essex County Ornithological Club, Salem, MA
-- FLOCKOLOGY, Unraveling the Mysteries of Bird Flocks, 7PM, via Zoom

"Once again, your talk was super special and full of fun and fascinating facts! You are truly a consummate presenter (even when you can't see the audience!). People loved it and were clearly engaged! We had 106 households, which was a great turnout - especially on Good Friday! And they all stayed right up until the Q&A, which is the ultimate test."

Janey Winchell, Peabody Essex Museum, ECOC

Monday, February 1, 2021, Litchfield Hills Audubon Society, Litchfield, CT
-- LOOKING FOR OWLS, 7PM, via Zoom

"That was an absolutely stunning presentation, beautifully put together - carefully thought out and researched, and of course superb photos."

Angela D., LHAS

"I’m so glad that I was able to join your talk this evening. It was so full of realistic information about looking for owls. Well done! You are an excellent speaker, which I knew you would be. But you are also an intuitive and thoughtful creator of a presentation with a goal. Really meaty information!  I learned a lot and really had a wonderful time!"

Mary Lou M, Chicago

Sunday, August 19, 2018, British Bird Fair, Rutland, England
-- LESVOS: Spring Migration Magic, 10 AM, Osprey Lecture Theatre (LM1)

"Just got back from a second day at the Rutland Birdfair. We just found most of the talks and image shows to be on a higher plane than previous years, and one of the real highlights was an excellent presentation today on Lesvos by American wildlife tour leader Gina Beebe Nichol.

Particularly pleasing was that Gina drummed home to the large audience that the magnificent efforts by islanders and others to deal with the large passage of refugees had little effect on Lesvos as a tourist/birding destination.

We went to several great talks at Birdfair, but our love for Lesvos made Gina's really stand out. The audience certainly loved it."

Frank W., England

© Sunrise Birding.  All rights reserved.
All photos by Gina Nichol unless otherwise noted.
Contact Gina Nichol at [email protected]