About Westwings
About Westwings 
“Thanks for a superb birding experience!”Albert ScruggsCincinnati, Ohio

A reputation for incredible birding experiences . . .

Veteran birding guides Mark Stackhouse and David Wheeler, who have over 40 years experience leading birding tours throughout the Americas, including more than 30 years in Utah, formed Westwings, Inc. in 1995. Westwings has gained a reputation for providing birding tours to unique and exciting destinations, which feature the very best

in professional leadership, personal attention, an uncrowded atmosphere, and incredible birding experiences. Perhaps that is why almost all of our tours have repeat customers, and most of our new customers are referred to us by their friends.

A real outdoor adventure . . .

To us, birding is all about experiencing real adventure in the outdoors. It is about discovering wild places - in remote corners of the world and in our own backyards. It is about the beauty that you can appreciate when you see, really see, everything. It’s about the challenge of finding that which is not only hard-to-find, but which also works hard to avoid being found. It is about sharing the adventure with a few, but not too many, new and old friends.

 We love to go birding. We have some places to bird which are our absolute favorites. Places where the birds keep coming in waves, or places where a hard-to-find species can be seen really well, or places where the birds are so familiar that they’re like your friends - you know exactly where they’ll be and what they’re doing. But unlike a favorite fishing hole, we like sharing our special birding places, in fact, sometimes we have more fun watching you see new birds than we do seeing new birds ourselves.

About Our Guides

Mark Stackhouse

For Mark Stackhouse, birding has been his passion since he was 5 years old. Mark says, “I can’t even remember a time when I wasn’t birding.” Mark led his first birding tour, a trip to Crane Creek, Ohio for the Dayton Museum of Natural History, when he was only 16. He has now been guided birding tours for over 30 years, including 22 years in Utah. Prior to founding Westwings, Inc., Mark was Director of Education at Tracy Aviary, a Salt Lake City-owned bird park, a position he held for 12 years. In addition to leading tours through much of North America, Mark has guided groups to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Peru.

David Wheeler

David Wheeler was born in Czechoslovakia, but moved to Utah at an early age. David began birding while in the Peace Corp, where one of his tasks was to survey the birds of the Gambian National Parks in West Africa. David began guiding birding trips with Mark at Tracy Aviary. He has guided many birding trips over the past several years, where his keen birding skills and even keener sense of humor have been well appreciated. Together, David and Mark hold the Utah “Big Day” record of 202 species.

Julio Caesar Gallardo

Julio hails from Panuco in state of Veracruz, Mexico, and has enjoyed birding all his life. When he moved to Xalapa, the state capital of Veracruz, where he still lives, he became involved with Pronatura Veracruz, a Mexican conservation organization. It was with them that Julio honed his birding skills counting raptors and guiding groups of birders. Julio met Mark at an ecotourism workshop in Oaxaca, and the have spent many years birding and guiding together in Mexico and the U.S. An accomplished bird-artist, Julio’s drawings adorn our Westwings t-shirts. Julio guides with Mark on many of our Mexican tours where our clients have appreciated his excellent field skills and outgoing, helpful personality.
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About Our Tours

Westwings specializes in “worry-free” birding tours. Our tours include transportation from the departure city, lodging, meals (including tips), admission fees and other non-personal costs in the tour price. We stay in comfortable accommodations, and have our meals in good-quality restaurants or in our lodge. Some breakfasts and most lunches are done picnic-style in the field to maximize our birding opportunities. Our groups are small, with ten people or less on domestic tours, and no more than eight people with two guides on our Mexican tours. With Westwings, everyone gets a front-row seat.

Because of our small groups, the pace of the tour is “how you like it.” We can do intensive, dawn-to-dusk (or beyond) birding, keep a relaxed pace, or even a little of both. Each tour is tailored to the wishes of the participants. And even though our focus is birding, we never ignore the cultural, scenic and other wildlife features of the places we visit. 

General Policies and Reservations

Prices are based on double occupancy; if no preferred roommate is indicated, every effort will be made to find a suitable roommate; if no roommate is available, single supplement will be charged. The tour price generally includes, during the time of the tour, all meals, accommodations, transportation from the departure city, admission and access fees, and other non-personal costs. Alcoholic beverages and items of a personal nature are not included. Participants are responsible for transportation to the departure city. A per person deposit of $100 for domestic tours, or $300 for international tours is required to ensure your reservation. Final balance is due 60 days before departure. Reservations made less than 60 days before departure must be paid in full. See page two of the reservation form for more tour policies.

Custom Tours

Every year, we put together dozens of tours for individuals and small groups who wish to have their own, personal, birding tour. We can design a trip to see exactly the birds you wish to find, or to visit places you want to see. Tell us what you want, and we’ll do our best to put together a tour to fit your needs.

Day Trips

We can take you birding for a whole day (dawn to dark or beyond) or a half-day (about 6-7 hours, morning or evening). Our day trips include guide and transportation, but not meals. The cost is $150 for a half-day trip, and $200 for a full-day, and can be shared by up to three people. Additional persons are $50 each. An access fee of $50 is also charged for trips to Deseret Ranch, and an additional mileage fee may be charged for trips outside the Salt Lake City area. Day trips in the San Blas, Mexico area, or in other parts of Mexico, are available on a limited basis, depending upon the season. Please inquire by phone or e-mail if you’re interested in private day trips in Mexico.

Overnight Trips

We can put together multi-day trips to any of our regular tour destinations and many others as well. Like our group tours, these tours generally include all lodging, meals, transportation and guide. The cost depends upon what you want to do, but is usually about $200-250/person/day for 2 people, $175-200/ person/day for 3-4 people, and $150-175/person/day for 5 or more people.

COPYRIGHT: All content on this Westwings, Inc. website, including photographs, text, and illustrations, is the property Westwings, Inc. No portion of the material on this Web site (including text, photographs, and artwork) may be copied, reproduced, or reused without the express written permission of Westwings, Inc.