We just wanted to confirm our telephone call from last week, while we were in Puerto Rico. As you will recall, Javier led us on a birding trip to El Yunque
on Sunday morning on October 30, 2005. Although not the best time of the year to look for birds, we were very successful! We saw at least 24 birds,
10 of them being endemics! Javier worked really hard for us to see all of these birds, especially the Elfin-woods Warbler and the Antillean Euphonia.
We did hear the Antillean Euphonia, but the Elfin-woods Warbler remains one we will try for on our next trip to Puerto Rico.
Javier was extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the birds in Puerto Rico and about El Yunque and Puerto Rico, in general. He knew exactly
where to go to see specific birds and told us what birds we would see when we went to other areas in Puerto Rico. He was truly a professional. Our trip
was thoroughly enjoyable and we highly recommend his services for anyone who appreciates dedication and commitment to looking for birds.
Thank you for making all of the arrangements. We will definitely refer anyone who goes to Puerto Rico for birding to contact you. We plan to return to
Puerto Rico in about two years. When we do, we will call you and arrange for Javier to lead us on another birding adventure.
I very much enjoyed my time birding with Javier on Friday (8/18/06) at El Yunque. He is a very knowledgeable and interesting guide. I was able to find my way there with no
problems. I loved Puerto Rico and am planning on returning for a vacation.
I just wanted to tell you that we had a wonderful birding experience in El Yunque. Javier was both a superb guide and a very friendly and interesting person. We saw everything we
could have hoped for and more.
Many thanks and best regards,
Ingo (November 26, 2006).
Christmas Bird Count at the Maricao State Forest
See report on December 23, 2006, by two of the volunteers at the 2006 CBC Maricao State Forest activity, here,and here.
Jennifer Rycenga and Peggy Macres (December 23, 2007)
thank you so much for all you did to make this trip a success. Your humor and energy kept things
moving. I accessed your website and am enjoying your photos there, looking forward to others.
Hope you feel better soon and have a chance to regain your strength for the next challenges.
Thanks again. Carolyn Bishop
Elderhostel, January & Februaruy, 2008
Thank you very much for a wonderful birding adventure. It was good to learn the bird calls as I was seeing the birds. The owl adventure was especially great--seeing AND hearing
the owl. Wow! I will definitely recommend you to my birding friends.
Once again thank you for a wonderful day of birding on March 13th. Your knowledge, enthusiasm and integrity made the tour well worth it. It was a pleasure.
In addition, thank you for the scscb link. You and your organization are right on target.
Our very best wishes and again thank you.
Caribbean Princess, El Yunque Birding Trip
March 13, 2010
Thank you for showing me the blackbird and others on our afternoon together (8/15/06) and also the way to the dry forest. I did find the Adelaides Warbler immediately upon
entering the forest and many times after that. Later in the day I went around to the coast and waited until evening to try for the Puerto Rican Nightjar. The bird I saw was flying
before total darkness, had pointed wings with clear white wrist patches and it was flying quite high. Was this the Antillean Nighthawk??The book says they are not there until
Sept???Or was this the P. R. Nightjar? Can you help? Thank you again--I had wonderful time. At 2 am in the morning at the Hacienda--outside my window the PR Screech Owl was
calling and went outside and got perfect views. So the Hacienda proved to be a wonderful place and quite full of birds, thank you for the direction to go there.
Sincerely, Duncan Himes
Dave and I want to thank you for a wonderful time birding in Puerto Rico. We really enjoyed each day with you and loved getting to see more of the island as well as the endemic
species. Thanks for being a great guide.
Elise Moore (November 22-24, 2006)
Happy New Year.
I enjoyed very much birding with you in Puerto Rico. My first morning at El Portal was a perfect introduction to the Island's birds, and the Christmas count in Maricao was fun. I so
enjoyed getting to know such a good and fun group of PR birders. The yellow shouldered blackbird was the perfect ending to my trip. Thank you so much.
I wish you the very best getting a full-blow birding guide service established in Puerto Rico. It would provide many great moments for us all!
Tim Earle (December 21and 23, 2006)
Just wanted to thank you for a great day of biding on 2/21 at El Yunque. I got a lot of great photos and was very happy to see 8 of the endemics that day, though that PR bullfinch
gave my camera the slip!
Here are a couple of (bad) photos of the parrot I told you was coming nightly around 6pm to the El Convento area of old San Juan the three days we were there. It made quite a
racket each night announcing its presence. Do you have any idea what species this is as it doesn't match anything I can find in my guide books.
Thanks again and I look forward to returning to Puerto Rico again to photograph the bullfinch and the other endemics!
All the best,
Steve Ballentine (February 21, 2007)
Posted on: 5:27 pm, May 25, 2007 by Luna1999
I'm planning a trip this fall. I don't have the dates set, but am thinking late Oct/early Nov to lessen the hurricane risk. Is this a good time to see the birds and wildlife in PR? What is
the ultimate best time of the year to go for wildlife?
Answer - Posted on: 8:27 pm, May 25, 2007 by Villa Sevilla
Some bird species are hard to spot. Usually the best way is by listening to their calls and then trying to find them in the trees. Aventours gives a magnificent birding tour in El
Yunque that starts out very early in the AM. Very informative guide who will not only tell you about the different species but also help you to find them. Here is a link to their web
site for more information http://www.adventourspr.com/
Mike & I just wanted to thank you again for making our trip to Puerto Rico so welcoming and so full of birds!
We did some snorkeling, boating & kayaking in the bio bays near Fajardo. All were a lot of fun.
We also took 3 more birding trips. We went one day to Guánica and Maricao and another day back to El Yunque. We didn’t see a lot of “new” birds but did see more bananaquits,
todys, bullfinches, etc. Some of our better pictures came from Guánica because there was less foliage. I’ve attached a photo of a warbler we saw there. I’m pretty sure I know
which species it is but wanted your expert opinion as well. ??
The last day we went looking for Central Park before our plane left but found Parque Central de los Niños instead. Is that the same park you suggested? We saw quite a few birds
there including an osprey and quite a few PR Woodpeckers.
The one picture I regret not taking is of the 3 of us. I didn’t even think of it until we were half way back to San Juan. Oh well. I hope you are doing well and thank you again for
making our trip so special. Let me know what you think about the warbler?
We are back home in Oregon now, savoring the excellent memories of our time in Puerto Rico. We had a wonderful time, and I want to thank you for recommending the Hotel
Yunque Mar and for arranging for Sergio to guide us. We loved the hotel and the staff there were very friendly and helpful. Sergio is a FANTASTIC birder and a sweet guy. His
positive outlook and sense of humour made the day even more fun and memorable. We look forward to visiting Puerto Rico again very soon!
A brief note to thank you for the great tour Alice, Anna and I did with you in Puerto Rico
recently. as you know, I've been leading and arranging tours for 35+ years now and the
tour with you certainly goes down as one of the more successful and smoothest. Your
ability to find the birds in such a wonderfully nonchalant and confident manner was
impressive - I often take people to my well-known / staked-out sites - but you were taking
us to specific bushes and trees and finding the birds! The arrangements worked very
well, hotels were pleasant, transport very comfortable and food good. Above all, your
easy-gonig and down-to-earth manner and company were much appreciated and
enjoyed by us all.
Our travels in Dominican Republic were also very successful. As in Puerto Rico, we saw
virtually all the endemics and had a brilliant local guide - Ivan Mota - supplied by Kate
Wallace who seems to be doing less leading herself these days.
I would greatly appreciate receiving any selection of photos that you took for us during
our tour - a lovely idea to have such a personal memento provided by the tour leader. I
am compiling my annual calendar to send to friends and family and hope that the
November page will be full of photos from Puerto Rico.
Very Best wishes - Peter
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Hilda! your puppies are so cute!!!
Thanks again for a wonderful day.
Georgia and Will
I’m back in Texas and back at the office. Thanks for all the fond birding memories from last Tuesday. What a wonderful trip – thank you so much! Below is a short testimonial –
feel free to use it for marketing as you see fit.
You are a great guide, and I really appreciated the time you took with me to share your knowledge and expertise. I had a great time! I ended up with about 58 species, 40 lifers
and 10 of the endemics – thank you so much!
I toured the castles Sat morning before I left. I got two more lifers (royal tern and Caribbean martin and very close looks at calm common ground doves). I was surprised that I
never did see a java sparrow – maybe the drizzle kept them away. I didn’t have a chance Friday to get to the forest on the west coast to look for the Elfin-woods warbler. The
good news is that my work meetings went very well so I expect I’ll be back – maybe next spring. I will certainly call you so we can get together and chase the rest of those
Have a wonderful day, and thanks for all you do to educate and conserve that beautiful island you have there.
Testimonial (use as you see fit):
Hilda is simply a wonderful guide. Hilda has a deep passion and love for Puerto Rico and it shows when you are in the field with her. She cherishes Puerto Rico’s flora and
fauna, and is at home in the woods teaching all who will listen about this wonderful island. I highly encourage anyone who needs a guide in Puerto Rico to call Hilda. She is
simply first rate. She knows right where the birds are, and is also excellent at birding by ear. If there is such a thing as a “bird whisperer” – Hilda is it! She knows how to find
those birds and talk to them! Guides don’t get any better than Hilda! Thanks again for the wonderful memories, Hilda. I’ll see you again when I return to Puerto Rico! - Bill E.
Thank you so much for the picture! They're all so very cute!! Also, thank you so much for the great tour! I've learnt a lot about birds and will definitely continue my birding journey! :)
Thanks for the great day of birding you gave us, Hilda! We saw some wonderful Puerto Rican pajaros!
We went to Caguas Botanical Gardens on Sunday. We found the Antillean Mango and had a too-quick look at what
might have been the Green Mango, but we also saw a lot of other good birds and the Garden is beautiful.
Thanks also for the photos of your rescue dogs. They are lucky to have found you!
Again, muchas gracias and I hope you can go visit your handsome great-nephew!
Lori and Kris Hagglund
That was an absolutely delightful day yesterday! You are the best guide ever, & I still want to adopt you & your dogs, especially after seeing their picture. Thank you for sending
the bird list so promptly because I never would have remembered even half of them. We saw quite a few, thanks to you!
Have a great day,