Scarlet-chested Sunbird - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding LLC Malayan Banded-Pitta - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding LLC

Exotic Birding was a joint venture of Jim Wittenberger and Laura Fellows. Jim became an avid birder as a teenager, an interest that led to a PhD in zoology and an early career conducting research on bird behavior. He later morphed into a software engineer, giving him technical skills he could combine with his knowledge of birds and birding to form the basis of our company. Laura was a commercial photographer and studio manager of a major advertising studio in Atlanta GA for 15 years, during which time she organized and led numerous photo shoots in both North and South America. She then founded one of the first photography workshops in Italy, where she learned fluent Italian and gained experience organizing and leading group photography tours and workshops. She had long dreamed of doing bird photography, and meeting Jim gave her that opportunity. Their combined talents led to the creation of a Exotic Birding LLC, a tour company devoted to offering superior birding and bird photography tours to exotic places. Jim's main role was tour planning while Laura's was tour leader on our group tours. In 2012 Laura could no longer act as tour leader due to health concerns. Not long thereafter, the company changed its focus to specialize on custom and private tours rather than traditional group tours. Sadly, Laura passed away in March 2018, so the company is now solely operated by Jim.

The goal of our company is always to organize a quality experience for our clients at a reasonable price. We keep our prices low by operating with low overhead and, whenever possible, arranging logistics ourselves rather than using land agents who have their own profit margins added into the final price. In this regard, we are unlike large birding tour companies that must pay for office space and staff in addition to guides and drivers. We try to offer prices for small groups of 2-3 persons at prices similar to those charged for larger groups by other companies. It should be noted that every tour entails fixed costs for guide and daily transport which in our case must be covered by fewer participants than is the case for larger groups. We offset this by not having to pay for office space and staff salaries.