Aviantours birdwatching tours are lead by Andrew Fortuna. He is an officially licensed guide, regulated by by the Gibraltar Tourist Board. He attained the status of Gibraltar's young Ornithologist of the year in 1988 and won several photographic competitions locally, including Gibraltar's 2012 Photographer of the year.
Andrew has been a keen birdwatcher for 35 yrs. He has been a photographer for over 25yrs and an experienced birding guide to Spain, Morocco & Gibraltar. He also runs bespoke one2one photography, photoshop & software courses in Gibraltar and Southern Spain MORE HERE.
Andrew is also nearing completion of an Hons degree in Nutrition science, Nutritonal Therapy clinical practice diploma, Neuro-linguistics Programming certification and a health coach.
VISION & MISSION
RESPONSIBLE & SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
We believe that by sustainable, responsible and considerate eco-tourism, we will help protect these areas of special natural geographic beauty & interest. Together with education & constant promotion and awareness of the incredible biodiversity this area offers, we hope to safeguard & protect the area and its wildlife for years to come.
CODE OF CONDUCT
At Aviantours, we also firmly subscribe to a sensible and responsible code of conduct in the field, embracing the fact that the welfare of the natural environment as a whole is paramount, and therefore, utmost care will be taken to avoid disturbing a bird / animal or trampling on flowers, when trying to observe them or obtain a photograph.
AVIANTOURS is a legally registered company in Gibraltar, abiding with all local company laws & tax regulations
Business registration number 706441 Companies House, Gibraltar.
Andrew is an officially licensed guide, regulated by the Gibraltar Tourist Board.
DO NOT engage on tours with any person or 'company' who are not recognised by a local board or legally registered as a business. For that reason, we can guarantee quality of service and comply with health & safety regulations.
WHY OUR BIRDWATCHING TOURS?
Birdwatching is a lovely activity for kids, which allows the little ones to enjoy the surrounding countryside while taking time off from screens and schoolwork to discover new natural experiences. Birdwatching can be done from any place, even from your own balcony window, but there are other more productive ways to build upon these experiences, which may help make birdwatching a lifelong hobby. Keeping kids active and mindful of developing creative hobbies and meaningful social activities could help reduce the risks of a child exploring other 'undesired experiences' in life. Our birdwatching for kids tours is one of the more challenging things to do in Gibraltar and a great activity for your children.
Get ready to spread your 'wings'
If you cannot tell the difference between a goose and a duck other than by taste during Xmas (excuse the pun!), this may be a great to help them develop a sense of acuity without causing harm. Irrespective of the skill level, out birdwatching tours can help you and your kids take your first joint steps in to a hobby together which will continue for many years locally and beyond. This classic hobby can be appreciated nothing more than your eyes and ears, but a pair of binoculars, a guidebook which we can temporarily provide is a great way to start! A sketch pad and pencils can enhance bird watching for kids by developing creative art. Additionally, many birdwatchers (including myself) used birdwatching as platform to develop an interest in other creative hobbies such as photography. This led me to become Gibraltar photographer of the year in 2012. As a result of birdwatching and the love for nature, others may decide to follow a future path in biology or some other natural field.
Learn to listen attentively
Every bird has their own unique sounds which they utter for specific reasons, even if they all sound like "chirp chirp" to novice birders. By teaching children to mindfully listen, they will soon learn why a particular species calls or sings in a certain way and how this this same species can deliver different sounds to deliver different messages to the same species or as a warning to others. They will learn to sharpen and hone their listening skills, by filtering out white noise and being able to identify and locate species just by their sounds. In time, the kids will be able to identify more of the local species which will empower them with the ability to develop sounds even further, helping to distinguish between resident and migrant birds, a critical skill for finding other more interesting species.
Inspire a love for the natural environment
Birdwatching is one of the many possible natural activities for kids to appreciate not only birds, but all sorts of wildlife. In the spring, a plethora of local flowers begin to flourish and learning to identify and appreciate these will help develop a more rounded sense of awareness of how the rich and unique biodiversity in the Rock flourishes synergistically. The beautiful Gibraltar candytuft and the Gibraltar sea lavender are two species which the kids which learn to recognise and observe, understanding their role in the local habitat. Butterflies such as the Swallowtail, Monarch and the amazing Two-tailed pasha are just some of the very many species that can be observed on the Rock, whilst other critters such as Iberian wall lizard, Montepellier snake and many other rodents and insects can also be observed.
Develop a sense of environmental responsibility
In addition to appreciating nature, birdwatching also teaches children about responsibility for the their natural environment. When birdwatching with Aviantours, kids will learn about local flora and the importance of keeping to worn paths to avoid trampling over foliage which may contain some rarer species. This is also an opportunity to discuss more about the need for more green areas within the build-up city areas (which the government has been actively supporting), to increase habitat and animal biodiversity within urban areas.
Observe natural behaviours & migratory patterns
Many birds migrate from south to north in the spring and again form north to south in the autumn. This is a natural phenomenon and a wonderful educational opportunity for kids to learn about these behaviours. discuss the the advantages and disadvantages of short and long distance migrations, which will help get them engaged and thinking with questions for further research later. For example, why do some birds fly in a line, others in a disorganised flock and others in a V-shape? What foods do these birds eat while they migrating? Do they fly during storms and what influence does the weather have on this? Migratory behaviours can be observed twice each year after year, enabling kids to engage on their own long-term research project, encouraging them to think for themselves and empower them with valuable knowledge about the local biodiversity.
Develop mindfulness and appreciation
Our modern world has made some of our kids sedentary, obese, and unable to think for themselves which could result in creative stagnation. Birdwatching is encourages constant multi-tasking, it allows them to form complex interconnecting aspects of nature such as the the weather and food availability, as well as a great opportunity to develop mindfulness and problem-solving skills. The serenity and peace of birdwatching is less of an attribute and more of an opportunity to pause and take everything in. You and your family may be surprised at the things you discover during our tours besides the birds. Birdwatching is a hobby that can be enjoyed at any age. By fostering an awareness for nature in your children, you are empowering them with a gift that may last a lifetime.
Improve health and help beat childhood obesity by being active
One pattern that emerged during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, is that although kids are at low risk of developing severe symptoms, underlying metabolic disorders such as obesity, can increase the risk for worse outcomes in those contracting the virus. Additionally, childhood obesity has become a real problem worldwide due to inactivity and bad eating habits, and being more active is a great way to encourage kids to move more, as well as obtain more responsible sun exposure and increase their Vitamin D levels, crucial for proper functioning of the immune system and a healthy body weight. Our tours therefore are designed as a way to not only engage kids in an interesting pass-time and awareness of the local natural history, but can also help as a tool to reduce the risk of childhood obesity by keeping them active
Social distancing suggestions and good hygiene practices will be paramount during our tours to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is also a good idea to bring a small backpack with food, water, sunscreen and basic first-aid items when venturing out for a birdwatching session in the nature preserve, although should be taken to avoid consuming foods within the presence of the Barbary apes, as these may get aggressive and could result in injury. Remember to *politely* encourage and educate others not to interfere with birds or nests, or otherwise, get an adult to report the matter to the Royal Gibraltar Police wildlife liason officers.
* Fun and challenging for the kids
* Find & Identify Gibraltar's resident birds
* Find & identify several migrant bird species
* Observe the amazing bird of prey migration
* Recognise physical differences between species.
* Spot the colour variation between the genders.
* Understand behaviours in those common species.
* Learn the importance of bird calls & songs in bird ID
* Explore & learn about Gibaltar's other wildlife
* Learn how to adjust and use binoculars quickly
* Binoculars and telescope provided
* Bonus - Keep active and prevent childhood obesity *
* CERTIFICATE OF PARTICIPATION*
Awareness of environmental issues
Learn about the threats to our local birds and the need to preserve
the local natural habitat for future generations to come.
We are keen to help reduce the spread of the virus during this pandemic, and for that reason, we strive to comply as much as practicably possible with Public Health Gibraltar advice and keep our tours to only 3 children per tour, whilst complying as much as practicably possible with social distancing suggestions. Additionally, parents are advised that children bring along with them hand sanitisers / anti-bacterial gels to help maintain hygiene and reduce the spread of the virus.
CONTACT US TO BOOK A TOUR
* Use the contact form below or email us on info AT aviantours.net to book or more info
* If you prefer to discuss details over the phone, please mention this on the comments
* Please read our legal waiver below so that you are aware of the tour conditions.
FEES & CONDITIONS
Tour 1- morning - 8am - 12pm
Tour 1- afternoon - 2pm - 6pm
£35 per child
Only 3 children per tour
One adult to accompany the tour at all times (no charge)
Easy payments via Natwest app or Revolut