Bluetail Birding is a specialist travel company offering an enticing selection of small group and private/custom bird tours and combined bird/wildlife holidays.
Our forte is South Asia, where we offer a comprehensive programme of tours throughout India, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. We have been operating here since 2009 as the India-based company India Nature Tourism (www.indianaturetours.com), which now acts as our ground agent in this region. We have our roots in Goa at Backwoods Camp, India’s first birding lodge founded in 1998, and as such have over 20 years of field, tour, and hospitality experience within India and beyond.
Our annual calendar of scheduled departure tours is not the most comprehensive you will find. Instead, we concentrate on those destinations we know well, working with a network of our closest friends and colleagues around the world to deliver outstanding bird and wildlife experiences in some of the world’s finest locations.
Our tours are thoroughly researched, meticulously planned, and continually refined, with high standards, quality of service and above all our personal passion for birding and travel at the heart of our operations. We take great satisfaction from making sure you have a great time enjoying memorable wildlife adventures and take pride in the positive feedback of past participants and our high level of repeat custom and personal recommendations.
Bluetail Birding is a company created by birders, for birders. We attend personally to the planning and operating of all our tours with a degree of personal involvement that is second to none. We personally handle all enquiries and are available 24/7 to offer our advice so feel free to get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.
Please visit our tour calendar to view forthcoming scheduled departures and visit our tour pages where you can read day-by-day descriptions and other information in brief. You may request more detailed information on any tour by clicking on the 'request tour info' links on these pages. You may also contact us via email or by phone (call, sms or WhatsApp) for more information or to discuss a private/custom tour. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for our latest news, and please sign up to receive our email newsletter.
We look forward to birding together...
Leio & Jen De Souza
With Bluetail Birding you will enjoy:
Enjoyable and productive bird tours worldwide
Finely tuned itineraries, consistent sightings and carefully chosen lodging
Experienced, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and friendly tour leaders
Low group size limits - max. 8 participants on most group tours
An informal and relaxed tour atmosphere
Private/custom travel to most group tour destinations and more
Detailed tour information and comprehensive pre-travel notes
Personal involvement in all tours from start to finish
Financial security in accordance with the Package Travel Regulations
Leio (Qupeleio) De Souza
Born and raised along India’s west coast in the former Portuguese enclave of Goa, Qupeleio, better known as Leio, is among India’s leading bird guides with over 25 years of professional experience. Leio left his planned career in engineering to follow his passion, establishing India’s first birding lodge, Backwoods Camp, in Goa in 1998. Since 2005, Leio has been organizing and leading bird tours more widely throughout South Asia and worldwide as co-owner of two bird tour companies, Bluetail Birding and India-based India Nature Tourism (www.indianaturetours.com). Apart from our own organisations, Leio is Director of Operations for a US-based bird tour company and leads tours for a number of international bird tour operators. His exceptional field skills, professionalism, infectious enthusiasm and fun-loving nature contribute greatly to the success of every tour. Leio is a founder member of the Goa Bird Conservation Network and has been instrumental in training new guides in Goa and across India. Leio has an extensive knowledge of the birds of the Indian region and leads several of our tours, particularly those throughout South Asia during the northern winter.
Jennifer De Souza
Originally from Essex, Jen grew up in a family where birding was a way of life, thinking nothing of setting off in the middle of the night for a far corner of the country to see one of many rarities she now can’t remember! After graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Natural Sciences from Durham University, Jen moved to Goa in 2004. While living in India for 15 years she travelled widely throughout the region, developing an extensive knowledge of its birds, mammals and butterflies. Jen is also co-owner of both Bluetail Birding and India-based India Nature Tourism (www.indianaturetours.com), and has considerable experience organizing bird tours throughout South Asia and worldwide. Jen handles all day to day operations at Bluetail Birding and is likely to be the person you correspond with when you first get in touch with us. Besides our own organisations, Jen also assists with operations and marketing for a US-based bird tour company. Jen and Leio now spend most of the year along the Suffolk coast, migrating to Goa in the northern winter, taking their young son Jesse along on their birding adventures!
Lokesh is from the village of Malah in north India’s Rajasthan state, on the outskirts of the world-famous wetlands of Bharatpur. Immersed in birding from a young age, Lokesh followed in the footsteps of his father, renowned guide Ratan Singh, developing his bird knowledge and self-taught English skills to become one of the most experienced and dedicated bird guides in northern India today. Lokesh is an excellent field birder with an innate ability to find skulkers and scarcities, while his enthusiasm, cheerful disposition and friendly personality make him an excellent on-tour companion. Lokesh continues to live in Malah with his wife and 3 young children, and together with his father and brothers runs a well-regarded homestay, Ibis House (www.ibishousefarmstay.com). During your time in Bharatpur you may have the opportunity to be welcomed into Lokesh’s home, either to stay as part of a smaller group, or just for a welcome cup of chai! Lokesh leads several of our tours to India, especially those which take in his home district and those to the Himalayas, Lokesh’s favoured birding destination.
Lakpa Tenzing Sherpa
Lakpa is from the remote village of Yuksom in India’s Himalayan state of Sikkim, a wildlife rich region wedged between Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet and the north Indian plains. He began his career as a trekking guide, taking international groups into Kanchendzonga National Park along the spectacular Goecha La trek, and it is here that he first developed his passion for birding. Through his extensive travel throughout the Eastern Himalayas, Lakpa has broadened his birding knowledge, and almost two decades of experience make him one of the foremost bird guides in northeast India. His considerable experience in leading groups of all sizes is evident in his professionalism as a tour guide, while his mountaineering experience is invaluable when ascending to high mountain passes. Friendly, enthusiastic and dedicated, you will enjoy Lakpa’s company, and he is ever ready to share insights into the rich culture of his region. Lakpa leads several of our tours to India’s northeast region.
Sherab is from the town of Paro in west Bhutan. After completing his high school education, Sherab was chosen by Bhutan’s Olympic committee to represent his country as an archer and competed in both regional and international competitions. Once firmly back in Bhutan, explorations into the more remote parts of his country ignited a passion for nature which led him to undertake extensive training in birding and guiding under the tutelage of the acclaimed American ornithologist, Tom Stephenson, and is among the best tour guides in Bhutan. Sherab still lives in Paro with his wife, also an ex-Olympic archer, and 3 young children. During your time in Bhutan you may have the opportunity to be welcomed into Sherab’s home, experiencing the warm local hospitality in his typical Bhutanese farmhouse. Sherab leads our tours of Bhutan: Comprehensive Eastern Himalayas, and Bhutan: Himalayan Highlights and Black-necked Crane.
Dulan Ranga Vidanapathirana
Dulan made the natural progression into guiding having been a research assistant since 2002. Concentrating primarily on birds, but also reptiles and amphibians as the vice president and founder member of the Herpetological Foundation of Sri Lanka, he has been involved with numerous research projects and has co-authored a number of scientific papers. Among these, Dulan played a pivotal role in the study of the famed feeding flocks in the wet zone rainforests of Sinharaja and has been instrumental in the discovery of several frogs and snakes new to science. Dulan is a friendly and enthusiastic travel companion. His knowledge and field skills make him an exceptional tour leader and contribute to a high success rate of finding Sri Lanka’s island endemics, both birds and mammals. Dulan leads our tour of Sri Lanka: Endemic Birds and Mammals.