About Me

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Mission, Texas, United States
I'm Tiffany Kersten, a professional bird guide based in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. I spent 2021 traveling, birding, and gifting personal safety alarms to women birders I met on the trails along the way during my Lower 48 States Big Year. In 2022, I founded Nature Ninja Birding Tours, offering customized private tours in the Rio Grande Valley and beyond.

Private Tours

Private Rio Grande Valley of Texas Day Tours 

We are currently booking for all dates through December 2024. A non-refundable deposit of $100 per day is due to reserve the dates, payable by a mailed check or by Venmo/PayPal (+5% to cover fees). The remaining balance is due upon completion of the tour, payable by the above methods, or by cash. Payment details will be sent via email. 

Please note that I primarily guide in Starr and Hidalgo Counties, with the exception of venturing to Cameron County only with specific target birds or rarities in mind. 

If I am not available for your preferred dates, one of my Associate Guides may be. Two Associate Guides live in Cameron County and are available for guided tours there.

Full Day Birding Tour (8 hours)                                                                                                         For 1-3 people: $400. For larger groups, add $75 per person, per day.*                                                     Available October through May. 

Three-Quarters Day Birding Tour (6 hours)                                                                                     For 1-3 people: $325. For larger groups, add $50 per person, per day.*                                                     Available October through May.

Half Day Birding Tour (4 hours)                                                                                                        For 1-3 people: $250. For larger groups, add $25 per person, per day.*                                                     Guide availability for half day tours may be limited during peak season, Nov - April.  

*Max fee for large groups: $800 per full day, $600 for three-quarters day, or $400 for half day, regardless of size. 

At times, shared half day and full day dates with another small party may be available. Shared half days are less $50 per party, shared 3/4 days are less $75 per party, and shared full days are less $100 per party. Max 6 clients combined total for any shared dates. Please let me know at the time of booking if you are interested in a shared date. 

Please review all policies prior to booking, and again prior to your trip! 

Travel Logistics: All private day tours are caravan-style. Your guide will meet you at the first birding site at your decided start time. Please note: We do not carry commercial vehicle insurance and therefore cannot take clients in our personal vehicles. Be sure to plan your trip accordingly. You will NOT need four wheel drive or high clearance for any of the sites in the Rio Grande Valley. 

Guiding Fee: Includes guiding services only; it does not cover your party's site entrance fees, snacks, or meals. 

Food & Drink: We can stop somewhere for a quick lunch, or you can bring snacks or a sack lunch to be eaten onsite at one of the birding sites. Fully up to you! If you would like to stop for lunch, please let your guide know in advance so we can work it into the itinerary in a way that makes sense. 

Attire: Sturdy, closed-toe shoes such as tennis shoes or hiking boots are required. Long pants are recommended for thorny plants and insects, and long-sleeves are also recommended due to insects and sun. A baseball cap or wide brimmed hat is recommended for sun. Dressing in layers is suggested, as we often have cooler mornings and warm afternoons. Rain gear is always a good idea; we sometimes have cool, misty mornings even if rain is not in the forecast. 

Sun / Insects: Sunscreen and bug spray will be available for use, for those who prefer not to travel with it. There are chiggers in the area during warmer weather, but we will do our absolute best to stay out of areas with tall grass. 

Date Changes: In the event you are needing to change your booked date(s) a minimum of one month prior to your scheduled tour, your deposit will be transferred and applied to those dates. Date change requests or cancellations within one month of scheduled date will result in a lost deposit. Deposits are non-refundable and must be used within 12 months of the originally scheduled dates. 

Weather Cancellations: In the event of inclement weather, a discussion will be had and a decision reached by both parties. Deposit will be applied to dates rescheduled due to weather. 

Rio Grande Valley Lodging Suggestions (listed west to east):

McAllenPeculiar Nest B&B. Upscale lodging in a beautiful, serene setting on a small lake. Cabin, suite, and standard rooms available. 

AlamoAlamo Inn B&B. Nice, budget-friendly rooms with various layout options. 

South Padre IslandSouth Padre Island Condo. Please note that this place is a fair distance from where I typically guide clients, so check with me on our guiding plans before booking, or book this stay for before or after your guided days with me! 

Bird & Nature Related Lodging Suggestions Located Elsewhere: 

These are places that I have stayed at personally, that I recommend to others. 

West Texas: La Centinela at Rio Bravo Ranch. Upscale lodging on a bluff overlook the Rio Grande / US & Mexico in Presidio, TX.

Guided Birding Sites: 

Here is a list of the main birding spots in the RGV, from west to east, to help with itinerary planning. The places I typically guide at are highlighted in bold.

Falcon State Park

Falcon County Park 

Salineno Birding Center 

Rancho Lomitas (by reservation only)

Yturria Brush Tract 

Bentsen State Park 

National Butterfly Center 

Mission Nature Park 

Anzalduas County Park 

Roselawn Cemetery 

McAllen Nature Center 

Quinta Mazatlan 

Edinburg Birding Center 

Sal Del Rey 

San Juan Wetlands 

Valley Nature Center 

Frontera Audubon 

Estero Llano Grande State Park 

La Féria Nature Park 

Hugh Ramsey Park 

San Benito Wetlands 

South Texas Ecotourism Center 

Laguna Vista Nature Trail 

Resaca de la Palma State Park 

Sabal Palm Sanctuary 

TPWD Fisheries Field Station 

UTRGV Brownsville 

South Padre Birding & Nature Center 

South Padre Valley Land Fund Lots