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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

Maryland and West Virginia

Birding the American Civil War: Gettysburg, Antietam, and the Appalachians

Tour Information

Note: The information presented below has been extracted from our formal General Information for this tour.  It covers topics we feel potential registrants may wish to consider before booking space.    The complete General Information for this tour will be sent to all tour registrants and of course supplemental information, if needed, is available from the WINGS office.

ENTERING THE UNITED STATES: Non-United States citizens will need a valid passport and may need a tourist visa. Consult your nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate for details. 

PACE OF THE TOUR: There are no strenuous walks or hikes on this tour. All walking will be at a relatively slow pace, allowing for time to discuss how to identify the species we see and lingering to remember the bird vocalizations we hear. There will be a few long days, notably at the beginning. The longest walk, at Gettysburg, is about two miles and the longest we’ll be away from our vehicles at any one time in about two hours. On a few nights there will be optional evening activities, lasting until after 10:30 pm.

Most walking is done on roads and trails, although there will be some over uneven ground and possibly in early morning dewy grass or wet grass. Sturdy footgear, waterproof if possible, is important, and a walking stick is recommended for anyone with balance problems or weak knees. 

HEALTH: Birdwatching in Maryland, West Virginia and Gettysburg pose no major health hazards. 

Insects and Arachnids: At this time of year, mosquitoes may be locally numerous but other biting insects are generally scarce. Deer ticks carrying Lyme disease are present, as are Dog and One Star ticks, so certain precautions are wise. Tucking your pant cuffs inside your socks and spraying with insect repellent or wearing rubber “Wellie” boots are effective preventive measures. 

Smoking:  Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a nonsmoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail.

CLIMATE: The weather may vary from cool (high 50’s F in the higher mountains) in the morning to hot and humid in the eastern lowlands (90’s F) in the afternoon. Rain and wind is always possible. 

ACCOMMODATIONS: We will be staying in modest but comfortable motels throughout.  Wireless internet is available throughout. 

FOOD: We’ll take most of our meals in standard restaurants and lunches at some of the better fast food establishments.  WINGS tours are all-inclusive and no refunds can be issued for any missed tour meals.  

Food Allergies / Requirements: We cannot guarantee that all food allergies can be accommodated at every destination. Participants with significant food allergies or special dietary requirements should bring appropriate foods with them for those times when their needs cannot be met. Announced meal times are always approximate depending on how the day unfolds. Participants who need to eat according to a fixed schedule should bring supplemental food. Please contact the WINGS office if you have any questions. 

TRANSPORTATION: We will be traveling by 12 or 15 passenger window van or minivan, depending on the group size. Participants should be able to ride in any seat in tour vehicles

Updated: 13 July 2017