Canyon Country Birding Safari

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Is it time to renew your connection to the natural world and remember what it feels like to be kissed by the breeze at dawn?


Are you looking to ignite your innate curiosity and rekindle your intimate relationship with the wild again?


Does the language of the birds and their subtle ways inspire you?

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Then come explore with us during this truly one-of-a-kind course led by 3 exceptional facilitators.


A field ornithologist

A turn-of-the-century woodcrafter

A renegade woodsman

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In addition to immersing yourself in the ambiance and romance of this iconic setting, gaining hands-on experience using the skills and equipment of the early birding camps, you will come away having gained effective time-honored tools to enhance your proficiency in birding and nature observation.


Whether you are brand new to the world of birding or already have a strong base knowledge, you will quickly improve your skills of identification, expand your awareness and build your repertoire of bird calls using hand-picked lessons from the Bird Mentor Masters Course curriculum.

You will learn the 7 Questions to Mastering Bird Identification and The Art of Questioning and Observation, the keys to identifying a bird by the flick of its tail, the signature swoop it makes in flight or its distinctive silhouette atop a far off tree. You will also become adept at the skills of deep bird language, bird behavior, habitat coding, field-mark identification, bird tracking, and bird song.  


You will gain unique techniques to help learn & remember bird song that you can start implementing right away.  Plus, we’ll practice activities each day that will allow what you learn to really sink in, so you’ll leave with a new level of confidence in understanding and interpreting the birds you hear, no matter where you are.



A Rustic Glamping Experience

August 26-September 1, 2018


  • Leisurely explore the canyon country landscape learning how to identify a bird by its song, then dine with fellow bird lovers as you scour the field guides with a dedicated mentor by your side.


  • Experience birds from diverse wildlife habitats such as, pinyon/ juniper forest, sagebrush flats, lush riparian canyons & montane forests. **Black-throated, Vesper, Lark Sparrows, Indigo & Lazuli Buntings, Dusky & Hammond’s Flycatchers, Golden Eagle, Chukar, & MacGillivary’s, Grace’s, Virginia’s, Black-throated Gray Warblers, to name only a few. 


  • Discover the art of Nature Journaling with daily art and sketching sessions. 


  • Learn how to create gourmet backcountry cuisine cooked old-school-style in cast iron over the fire.


  • Sleep under the stars (or inside the comfort of a wall tent) on a cozy bed you made from natural materials.


**Don’t worry… even though two of our guides are masters of backcountry survival,

this isn’t a survival course.

You’ll be super comfy, warm and enjoying gourmet backcountry cuisine.



What would it be like to immerse yourself in the life of a birder 100 years ago, when people gave themselves PERMISSION TO TAKE TIME to observe the world around them?


How did our forefathers and mothers do it? 

How can we evoke that rich understanding of the wild they once had?

What techniques were they implementing that made them such talented naturalists?  

Join us as we examine these questions and devote time each day to put it all into practice.  

Sample Daily Schedule

6:20 – 7:00 – Bird Sit

7:00-7:30 – Lessons from morning sit

7:30 – 9:00 – Breakfast & Tending to camp

9:00 – 9:30 – Naturalist Activity

9:30 – 12:00 – Lecture 

12:00 – 1:00 – Lunch

1:00 – 2:30 –  Siesta / Hands-on Project

2:30 – 4:30 – Lecture 

4:30 – 6:00 – Bird Session/Adventure

6:00 – 7:00 – Dinner

7:00 –7:30 – Evening Bird Sit

7:30 – 8:00 – Lessons from evening sit

8:00 – 9:00 – Wilderness Stories / Hangout

Early to BED



Boulder, UT

The course will be held in the high-desert wilderness near Boulder, UT.


Cost ~ $1,590

$200 OFF till July 1st


 Includes:  all meals, turn-of-the-century base camp & bedding, art supplies, & expert daily instruction

Kristi Dranginis


Kristi has been a birder for 25 years. She is the founder of where she teaches advanced birding skills, bird language and deep nature connection to people all around the world.  She is known for igniting curiosity, child-like passion and building confidence in her students.

She leads birding courses at traditional skills events like Rabbit Stick, Winter Count, Saskatoon Circle, Buckeye Gathering, Sharpening Stone and for organizations like the Boulder Outdoor Survival School, The Women’s Wilderness Institute & The Powerhouse Science Center.  Kristi is also a Field Ornithologist, Naturalist, Herbalist, and Photographer.

Kristi is a conspirator on the Dipper Project, a research project established in 2015 to study the effects of the Gold King Mine spill on the avian world.  She also leads birding tours for the Mesa Verde Bird Festival, The Bosque del Apache Crane Festival, the Durango Bird Club and private groups around the 4 corners region.

She has volunteered at bird banding projects on Great Gull Island, focusing on the Roseate & Common Terns, as well as migratory birds at Oxbow Preserve and hummingbirds at Mesa Verde National Park.

Matt Furches

Matt found his love of nature as a child growing up in rural Southeastern Pennsylvania, this region is Amish country, where self-sufficiency and an inter-dependent lifestyle are the tenants of life.  In addition to where he lived, a tattered birding field guide illustrated by John J. Audubon – found while perusing an antique store at age 12 – and a pair of binoculars became the beginnings of Matt’s naturalist studies.

After college Matt spent 8 years working as a zookeeper, which provided a rare opportunity to learn more about animals and their ways, he became a teaching assistant with Tom Laskowski of Midwest Native Skills Institute and Tony Nester of Ancient Pathways and now works as a senior guide at Boulder Outdoor Survival School (BOSS).

Currently Matt lives with his wife Pam in a wall tent in Boulder, UT where he gets to use his camp craft skills every day.

Jeff Sanders

Jeff started working in the outdoor industry in 1993 and began his guiding career in 1998 as a hiking and biking guide in Alaska.   He then became an instructor and eventually Program Director at Boulder Outdoor Survival School (BOSS), one of the premier survival schools in the country.

In 2012 Jeff chose to follow his passion and founded The Desert DAWN to focus on camping with nature instead of struggling against nature in “survival situations.”

Jeff lives a rural lifestyle with his wife and daughter in south central Utah.  It is here that they enjoy learning through nature in the mountains of their backyard – Boulder Mountain – and the desert and canyons of their front yard – the Escalante River drainage.