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Guiding Fees - For The Birders

Guiding Fees

Many thanks for visiting! I’d be delighted to be your birding guide in southeast Arizona. I offer half day (Tucson area only and possibly Rio Rico area – inquire), full day and multiple day birding guide services in SE Arizona.

Please see my calendar for availability, then contact me to make a booking.

A $50 deposit per day is required to secure your booking
Please send a check to: Jennie MacFarland, 72 Avenida Pastor, Rio Rico AZ 85648
If you hire me, you agree to my terms and conditions (below)

I’ve tried to keep my pricing as simple as possible, but there are so many variables that inevitably it can get a bit complicated. I want you to be confident that there are no hidden extras when you hire me as your birding guide.

There are potentially three fees payable to me (plus entrance fees where required) when you hire me as your birding guide, as follows:

1. Guiding Fee
I count a full day as just that, dawn till dusk, whereas most local guides charge extra beyond eight or ten hours.

Number in GroupHalf Day (Tucson area only) - up to 5 hoursFull Day - Dawn to DuskNight Birding - up to 5 hours

* Half day price ONLY available in the Tucson area and sometimes the Rio Rico area depending on my schedule. I’m willing to travel for a half day, but I have to charge for a full day outside of my immediate area.

** Price for night birding in Tucson ONLY, or elsewhere when added to a full day. For stand-alone night birding outside Tucson, I charge for a full day.

2. Meeting Point Fee
I live in Tucson but am also sometimes in Rio Rico, which is an hour south of Tucson along I-19. I’m happy to meet you anywhere in SE Arizona, but it’s a big place and I have to cover my travel costs. Most local guides charge for travel costs plus additional time for travel to/from the starting point, or include their travel time, eating into your birding hours. I only charge the following flat fees to cover my costs, and I don’t charge for additional hours, leaving you free to enjoy your full day of birding.

3. Vehicle Fee
From our meeting point, if we take your vehicle, there is no further charge. If we take my vehicle (smallish high clearance SUV) I charge a Vehicle Fee per mile of travel, which covers gas, vehicle maintenance, and comprehensive passenger insurance. I charge 45 cents a mile.  Note: the current government rate for vehicle usage is 54 cents/mile, so I’m offering a good discount.


Terms and Conditions

IMPORTANT! Please read carefully. I hate to be a rule maker and you’ll find that I’m a very laid back guy, but experience has taught me that some things need to be said and understood before we go, to make everyone’s lives simpler and safer. So, if you book my services as a birding guide, you agree to the following terms and conditions:

  • The Guiding Fee you pay is the price quoted at the time you make your booking.
    Vehicle Fees and Meeting Point Fees are subject to change at any time due to wild fluctuations in fuel costs (unlikely).
  • All prices are in US Dollars.
  • Payments are accepted in US Dollars only, by cash, check or money order. I can arrange a PayPal or credit card payment, for an additional fee of 10%. So, for example, a $50 deposit payment becomes $55, and a $300 balance payment becomes $330, and so forth. I do not accept wire transfers.
  • A $50 deposit per day is required at time of booking to secure your reservation, with the balance payable at the conclusion of your tour. In the case of a cancellation, deposits will be returned in full, but only if I can re-book the day/s. Reservations are not confirmed until a deposit has been received. Please note that, at certain times of the year, I am very busy and could book myself out multiple times per day, so it’s strictly a case of the first deposit received secures that date. Please don’t leave it until the last minute, for my sake and yours.
  • Prices quoted are for guiding and other fees only, as described above. All other expenses remain your responsibility, such as meals, lodging, etc. See our Arizona birding tours for all-inclusive trips.
    If we visit fee areas (eg: State and National Parks, National Forest, Nature Conservancy) you are responsible for paying fees for all members of the group, including your guide. I can advise you of the current fees for areas we may visit, although these are subject to change without notice. We may visit areas (such as feeder sites) that accept and indeed rely upon donations; at these important birding sites, your generous donations are strongly encouraged.
  • If we use my car (medium-small SUV, 3 passengers is comfortable, 4 passengers max), some dirt roads are realistically out of bounds, even for a relatively high clearance 4×4. However, I will go to most, if not all the well-known birding sites in my vehicle, given suitable conditions (please bear monsoon season in mind) and the limitations of my vehicle.
  • If you provide the vehicle, please note that while most of Arizona’s birding sites are perfectly accessible in any car, even ones along dirt roads, a few locations absolutely require high clearance. Four-wheel drive is preferable, especially in the monsoon or winter rains, but in practice is rarely necessary. I will advise you as best I can, but I take no responsibility for any damage done to your vehicle by attempting to drive on unsuitable roads or in unsuitable conditions for your vehicle. If you would like me to drive your vehicle and can name me on your insurance in advance, I will be glad to do so.
  • I employ and encourage the sensible use of pishing, owl imitations and playback at times, but only if I feel comfortable doing so under the circumstances. I want to show you as many birds as I can, but first and foremost I’m a conservationist. I never use playback for certain species or at certain times of the year and will prevent you from doing so if I feel it has the potential to cause disturbance to sensitive species. I feel that I have a sensible, balanced approach to this loaded issue, and I’m always willing to listen to your opinion and work with you to reach our mutual goals.
  • Arizona can have many hazards! Your safety is my number one priority. I will take the necessary precautions with my vehicle, if we use it, and do my best to advise you and keep you safe. However, you must appreciate that, while always safe in my experience, southern Arizona does have snakes, smugglers, flash floods, mountain lions, extreme heat, tarantulas, monsoon storms, biting insects, remote, rugged country and various other potential dangers far from the control of a humble birding guide. You are ultimately responsible for your own well-being and are expected to prepare, dress and behave accordingly. I advise that you get travel insurance for a longer visit.