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.

GoFundMe

For every $10 raised, one personal safety alarm (retail $30) will be purchased from She's Birdie and gifted to a woman I meet during my guiding or on my birding adventures. If you are inspired to donate, you may do so here: http://gf.me/u/zk4n6t

Guiding Rates & Information

Hi! I'm Tiffany Kersten, a Wisconsin native, turned Texan by way of New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Hawaii. I hold a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology from Northland College, have been a Certified Interpretive Guide through the National Association for Interpretation, and spent over a decade as an environmental educator. I've taught about raptor identification and migration with the Cape May Bird Observatory, monitored shorebirds on Cape Cod, banded Honeycreepers in Hawaii, and finally landed in South Texas where I first worked at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, then Quinta Mazatlan World Birding Center, and managed the McAllen Nature Center, before completing a Lower 48 States Big Year in 2021, and founding Nature Ninja Birding Tours in January of 2022. I guide primarily in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, offering half day, full day and multi-day customized itineraries for individuals and small groups. 

Below is my information for customized, private day tours in the Rio Grande Valley. For information on set departure tours in the Rio Grande Valley and to Panama, visit here

I am currently booking for all 2022 and 2023 dates. A non-refundable deposit of $100 per day is due to reserve the dates, payable by Venmo (+5% to cover fees), PayPal (+5% to cover fees), or a mailed check. The remaining balance is due upon completion of the tour, payable by the above methods, or by cash. 

For a comprehensive list of rarities being seen lately in the four-county area, visit https://rgvrarebirdalert.blogspot.com. Weekly updates are made every Monday. 

Please note that during peak season, November to April, weekend dates are generally not available. 

Half Day Guided Rio Grande Valley Birding Tour (4 hours)                                                           For 1-2 people: $200. For larger groups, add $25 per person, per day.                                                      Available May through October  

Full Day Guided Rio Grande Valley Birding Tour (8 hours)                                                            For 1-2 people: $350. For larger groups, add $50 per person, per day.                                                       Available October through May. 

At times, shared half day and full day dates with another small party may be available. Shared half days are less $50 per party and shared full days are less $100 per party. Max 6 clients combined total for any shared dates. 

COVID Policy & Driving options:

Due to the Covid-19 Omicron Variant: Until further notice, I will be meeting all clients onsite and we will caravan from site to site. 

Please note: I do not carry commercial vehicle insurance and therefore cannot take clients in my personal car. 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: Guiding fee only; it does not cover your party's site entrance fees, snacks, or meals. 

Food: We can either 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 me know in advance so we can work it into the itinerary in a way that makes sense. 

Rio Grande Valley Lodging Suggestions (listed alphabetically by city):

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

McAllen: Peculiar Nest B&B. Upscale lodging in a beautiful, serene setting on a small lake. Cabin, suite, and standard rooms available. You can also rent the entire facility which sleeps up to 14. 

South Padre Island: South 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! 

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 within one month 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.