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Our Family

Dorian Anderson - Guide

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An avid birder during his childhood in Philadelphia, Dorian departed birds at age 15 and didn’t reconnect with them for another 20 years, his attention focused on his scientific career in the interim. He earned a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Stanford University, did predoctoral research in Molecular Embryology at Harvard University, and earned his Ph.D. in Developmental Genetics and Molecular Cell Biology from New York University. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Molecular Neuroscience at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston but finally resigned the academic rat race in 2014 to undertake his Biking for Birds project, the first North American Big Year completed entirely by bicycle. During that incredible journey, he biked 17,830 miles (28,500 km), observed 618 species, and raised $49,000 for bird conservation. Since his adventure, he’s transitioned to guiding, writing, and public speaking. He has also helped the Audubon Society develop a number of birding routes in Colombia. He and his wife currently live in San Mateo, California with their adorable pocket beagle. He leads pelagic trips for several West Coast operators and does most of his Bay Area birding by bike.

Dorian's Favorite Tour:

Dorian's Website:

Nick Athanas - Director, Guide

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Nick gave up a lucrative career in geophysics to go watch birds in South America a decade ago and has never looked back. He lived for 16 years in Ecuador before returning to the States, and guides all over the Neotropics and occasionally elsewhere. He has a strong passion for both bird photography and sound recording; when no leading tours, can often be found in odd corners of the world adding to his collection. His blog and almost all of his photos can be found on his personal website, www.antpitta.com. He is using Swarovski binoculars and scope. 

Nick's Favorite Tour:

Nick's Website:

Nick's Publications:

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Birds of Western Ecuador

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Zachary Babbit - Guide

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Zac’s love for wildlife has been a part of him since he can remember. Some of fondest childhood memories involve his parents frantically calling at him as he chased after every snake he saw. However, as he got older he realized he preferred feathers over scales! Since graduating with a degree in Conservation Biology Zac has spent his time traveling in search of different species of birds around the United States, Ecuador, and Madagascar! The only obsession equal to Zac’s infatuation for birds and overall biodiversity is his love for photography. Zac loves capturing moments in the lives of different species, with a focus on showcasing the habitats and behaviors that make animals so special. In his photography he always attempts to capture the perspective of what it may be like if the viewer were another bird. A companion to the subject, a true encapsulation of the term “birds-eye view”!

Zac's Favorite Tour:

Keith Barnes - Director, Guide

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Keith realized that he was no longer a scientist when a significant difference in the tail lengths of larks didn’t make a significant difference in his life! Turning his back on the ivory towers, he helped to found TB and has never looked back. He lives in quirky Taiwan, but guides birding and photography tours just about everywhere. Asia and Africa are favorite haunts though. Before Keith was able to actually see the birds he wanted to, he sat in an office and wrote about them in various books for BirdLife International. He coauthored Birding Ethiopia and Wild Rwanda published by Lynx Edicions, and Animals of Kruger, Birds of Kruger, and Wildlife of Madagascar with Princeton University Press. He is using Swarovski binoculars and scope.

Keith's Favorite Tour:

Keith's Publications:

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Birding Ethiopia

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Animals of Kruger NP

Wild Rwanda

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Habitats of Africa

COMING SOON!

Birds of Greater Southern Africa

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Wildlife of Madagascar

Birds of Krugar NP

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IBAs of Africa

IBAs of South Africa

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COMING SOON!

Ken Behrens - Guide

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As a boy, Ken discovered Flickers in the Pennsylvania woods, and has been chasing birds ever since. In his teens, he was the ABA/Leica Young Birder of the Year and the Wildbird Birder of the Year. For parts of 6 years, he worked for Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory in far-flung and usually remote locations between Montana and New Mexico. He spent one fall counting the monumental raptor migration in Veracruz, Mexico. Ken also spent parts of three years counting birds in Cape May. There he developed a particular interest in seawatching, and he is the co-author of the Peterson Reference Guide to Seawatching: Eastern Waterbirds in Flight, a ground-breaking field guide published by Houghton-Mifflin. He was a member of the team that set a North American big day record in 2008. Ken lives in Madagascar and guides tours all over the world. His non-birding interests include history, literature, climbing mountains, gardening, cooking, and eating. He is a keen photographer, and enjoys guiding photo journeys and BwC tours. Ken co-authored Wildlife of MadagascarBirding Ethiopia, Wild Rwanda, and Birds of Kruger National Park, and has other book projects in the works.

Ken's Favorite Tour:

Ken's Website:

Ken's Publications:

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Seawatching Guide

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Birding Ethiopia

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Wild Rwanda

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Wildlife of Madagascar

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Birds of Krugar NP

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Habitats of Africa

COMING SOON!

Caio Brito - Guide

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Caio Brito was born in Fortaleza, state of Ceará, Northeast Brazil, in 1989. At the age of 5, he followed his family to California, where he lived from 1995 to 2000. Because of this early experience, he is fluent in English. In 2012, after getting his degree in Biology, Caio went on a road trip around Brazil on his motorcycle. He was eager to know more about the country and its biogeographical aspects (and all the birds, of course!). This trip gave him the thirst to seek out even more. From then on, Caio has been setting out on journeys throughout the country in every single Brazilian biome, and has seen over 1500 birds in Brazil. Caio is an enthusiastic, fun, patient, and thoughtful person to be with. Besides the birds that he is always very passionate about, there is always a hot thermos of coffee to keep you going during the day. Caio has a vast experience in Northeast and Southeast Brazil, and also guides in the Amazon, Pantanal and Southern Brazil.

Anais Campbell - Customer Service Manager

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Anaïs has worked on various Tropical Birding Projects, concentrating on consulting and customer service. Anaïs has co-guided in the continents of Australia, South America and North America. When not outside or attending a birding festival, she manages our customer service team and client relations.

Katty Cerda - Office Staff

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Katty grew up on the banks of the Rio Napo in the Amazon of Ecuador. Although she has since moved to the capital, Quito, she retains close links with her Amazonian community in Limoncocha. She obtained a degree in tourism in Quito, and then worked with another Amazonian community, Sani, helping to run their namesake lodge. Katty has a passion for birds, and in particular some of the more gaudy ones, like hummingbirds, toucans and tanagers, for which her home country is rightly famous. Katty now assists with the logistics of tours in Tropical Birding's Quito office.

Iain Campbell - Director, Guide

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Iain grew up in the Australian bush and went to University in Sydney and Canberra. After a short stint as a research regolith geochemist at the CSIRO in Australia, he headed to Africa and South America to map tropical landscapes and explore for gold. His lifelong birding passion soon caught up with him, so he switched careers to build Tandayapa Bird Lodge in Ecuador and form Tropical Birding Tours with his mates Keith and Nick. Iain is near fanatical about getting more people into birding and wildlife photography, and works with many organizations trying to achieve this main goal. Besides searching for, and photographing rare birds and animals, he became fascinated by forest regeneration and the holistic relationships between landscape, vegetation and wildlife. He moved back to Australia in 2021 to expand the Australia tours. When not running and organising nature tours around the world, he writes wildlife field guides, ecology and biogeography books, as well as consulting on ecotourism projects. Iain uses Swarovski binoculars and scope, and shoots with Olympus camera gear.

Iain's Favorite Tour:

Iain's Publications:

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Wildlife of Australia

Birds of Australia

Birds & Animals
Australia's Top End

Habitats of the World

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Cristina Cevantes - General Manager

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Cristina is TB’s General Manager, and it is through her good work that our tours run so smoothly. An Ecuadorian, she has a thorough understanding of business in South America and beyond. She has two children, Gabriel and Amy, and currently lives in Maryland where the Tropical Birding head office is located. She is an occasional birder too, but prefers colorful toucans to skulking tapaculos. Cristina uses Swarovski binoculars.

Phil Chaon - Guide

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A life long naturalist, Phil found an interest in birds while coping with the crushing reality there were not, and never would be, alligators in Cleveland. At 18 he left behind the power plants and gull flocks of his childhood and spent a year living in the Andes of Northwest Ecuador. Life among Lyre-tailed Nightjars and Ocellated Tapaculos taught him that, for him, the US was really only a place to visit between forays to the tropics. After some time studying botany and wildlife biology in the redwoods of Northern California, Phil spent the next few years taking field work jobs all over the globe. Banding birds in Peru, monitoring Fairy-wrens in Papua New Guinea, and surveying bird communities on coffee farms in Kenya were all great introductions to these areas. However, upon realizing how much data collection interfered with quality birding he turned to other channels. Now, when not guiding he can be found searching out areas with new birds and ample quantities of chilé. When the birding is slow he occupies himself with long nighthikes, diving, horticulture, fishing, and divining the secrets of perfect barbecue.

Phil's Favorite Tour:

Phil's Publications:

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Habitats of the World

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Pablo Cervantes Daza - Guide

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Pablo came to Tropical Birding by accident; this die-hard city-loving engineer had to go and help out in Tandayapa Bird Lodge for a week, and suddenly realized there was far more to life than Quito nightlife. He became hooked on bird photography and quickly started taking out professional photographers and helping with their photography workshops. He now guides photo tours all over the world including Costa Rica, Mexico, Belize, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, South Africa, Madagascar, India, Sri Lanka, and Australia. He is the principal photographer of Wildlife of Ecuador: A Photographic Field Guide to Birds, Mammals, Reptiles, and Amphibians, published in 2017.

Pablo's Favorite Tour:

Pablo's Publications:

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Wildlife of Ecuador

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Desire D'Sylva - Office Staff

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Desirée was raised in Quito, but her life has taken her on many exciting adventures to the most beautiful places in the world. She lived on merchant ships during her teens, and saw spectacular scenery and culture throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia, and is the only person in TB to have sailed through the Suez and Panama canals. After finishing a degree in history, she developed a farm in NW Ecuador to produce ecofriendly palm oil. Desirée manages our Africa and Asia logistics.

Charley Hesse - Guide

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Charley’s devotion to birds began when he could first lift binoculars to his face. Before graduation at university, he eloped with his life list to India and Mexico. He studied mixed flocks in Cameroon and compiled inventories of rainforest birds in Malaysia before heading to Japan for work in international public relations. Today, Charley works as a bird guide in five continents, having birded much of South America and over 60 countries worldwide. British by birth he is now also fluent in Spanish, Japanese and also tries his hand at Portuguese, French, Afrikaans & Mandarin. Charley uses a Swarovski scope.

Charley's Favorite Tour:

Charley's Publications:

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Habitats of the World

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Kuan-Chieh (Chuck) Hung - Guide

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Kuan-Chieh (Chuck) Hung is a professional birdwatching guide from Taiwan, with a Master's degree in Biology, specializing in avian vocalizations. Since 2009, he has shared his passion and knowledge with fellow enthusiasts. Chuck is an eBird reviewer and iNaturalist curator for Taiwan, and so knows the local birds, flora, and other fauna very well. He also actively promotes the documentation and education about local ecosystems and is well connected with a number of bird-related NGOs in Taiwan.

Chuck's Favorite Tour:

Jose Illanes - Guide

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José grew up in Sani Isla, an Amazonian community in eastern Ecuador. His uncle, José Hualinga, was one of the pioneer guides of the Amazon, spawning a whole ream of quality guides that have now emerged from there. Therefore, it was only natural that José Illanes became a bird guide too, although, unusually, he began his training in the Amazon at the tender age of 12! After working at the famous Amazon lodges of La Selva and Sani (where he also helped to compile the official bird lists for the area), his reputation as a bird guide quickly grew, and so in 2002 he moved out of the Amazon and into Ecuador’s capital, Quito, after taking a job with Tropical Birding Tours and Tandayapa Bird Lodge. He is now one of the senior guides for Tropical Birding, having worked there for 14 years; and he continues to live in Quito, with his wife and young, soccer-mad son, Casey. His long-term experience as one of the most well known guides in Ecuador has led him to make a series of overseas presentations promoting birding in both the Quito region and Ecuador as a whole, including in the US (at an ABA convention in Maine); and the UK (at the largest birding festival in the world, the British Birdfair). José has led birding and bird photography tours to many different countries including Ecuador, Costa Rica, Peru, Venezuela, Australia, and Bhutan, and traveled to a number of other countries as well. He is known for his relaxed guiding style, keen sense of humor, and, especially, his sharp eyesight, which leads to his uncanny ability to find roosting owls in the daytime, a skill that makes him a very popular tour leader!

Jose's Favorite Tour:

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok - Guide

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Ayuwat began birding at the age of 10 and has never stopped since. His first passion was arts which he later incorporated with birding. In the early days, he would always have a sketchbook with him whenever he went out into the field. He has also held art exhibitions and art classes. He later became interested in bird photography, with a passion to photograph species that are mostly overlooked. He has a soft spot for Little Brown Jobs, especially bush and reed warblers. After spending much of his 20s abroad in Japan and Germany, as well as working in Bangkok, Ayuwat has now moved back to his home town in Chiang Mai where he continues to explore birds and wildlife around northern Thailand.

Ayuwat's Favorite Tour:

Emma Juxon - Guide

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For as long as Emma can remember, she has spent her life knee-deep, (quite literally on many occasions), in the natural world. Her innate passion for wildlife led to a degree in Zoology along the stunning Cambrian coastline of Aberystwyth, Wales (UK). Here, Emma found the abundance of Red Kite as much as a distraction as the Student Union, and graduated fueled with a desire to inspire others about the world around us. She found herself focusing her interests on birds and blubber which has taken her from the glacial high arctic to the jeweled volcanic islands of the South Pacific. After working offshore as a marine wildlife and seabird surveyor for a few years, Emma decided to hang up her coveralls and steel toe-capped boots, because let’s face it, sharing incredible sightings with like-minded enthusiasts is far more exciting than completing spreadsheets and writing reports for the offshore industry! She now resides in the Surrey Hills, UK, educating the community for the local wildlife trust when not guiding for Tropical Birding Tours. Having travelled the world to many a remote place, Emma is as at home traipsing through thick jungle to ‘sailing’ across flooded calderas in rapidly sinking rust buckets, to being sprayed in the face by blowing blue whales. Her experience took her across six continents, regions including the Arctic, South Africa, the Indian Ocean, New Zealand, South Pacific islands, and the Americas. Emma uses a Swarovski scope.

Emma's Favorite Tour:

Ben Knoot - Guide

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Ben is a nature photographer originally from the state of California. He has been photographing the natural world since the age of 9, focusing mainly on wildlife. It was through the lens of his father’s camera that he first observed the beautiful green and purple sheen of a Common Raven. Observing the fine hairs at the base of the birds massive bill, Ben became passionate about sharing the beauty of the natural world around him. From then on, Ben’s desire to educate others blossomed. He self-published a children’s book The Color of Birds to help young children learn their colors through bird identifications. He has traveled the United States extensively, especially in the Pacific Northwest where he completed college. While in school, Ben further honed his desire to teach with a degree in Environmental Policy and Education. Ben’s work has been published since 2007 by multiple organizations including: Natures Best Photography, Audubon, Ranger Rick, NANPA, Wildlife Photo Magazine and the BBC. Ben shoots with Olympus gear.

Ben's Favorite Tour:

Ben's Website:

Ben's Publications:

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Color of Birds

(Children's Book)

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Audubon's (2013) Editors Choice

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Natures Best Photography Grand Prize (2011)

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Birds of the PNW

Olger Licuy - Guide

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Olger was born and raised in the Ecuadorian Amazon, and has worked as professional birding guide for over 20 years, leading tours throughout Ecuador and occasionally elsewhere too. He learned English during an exchange program to Harvard University in 2002 (but somehow failed to pick up the Boston accent!). Olger is a freelance guide who leads some of our Ecuador tours.

Olger's Favorite Tour:

Alex Luna - Guide

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Alex became interested in birds at a very young age when he moved to Mindo, Ecuador. As a boy, he was lucky to have the opportunity to meet great birders who inspired him to have the same passion for birds, and he got well and truly hooked when a friend gifted him a field guide to the birds of Ecuador. Alex started to keep track of the species he had seen, and he started to travel throughout Ecuador searching for more lifers. After graduating from university, Alex decided to follow his dream of becoming a guide, and he has led many trips for both birders and bird photographers. Alex uses a Swarovski spotting scope.

Alex's Favorite Tour:

Chien-Wei (Bao) Tseng - Guide

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In Bao's childhood, he encountered a Common Kingfisher in his hometown and was immediately captivated by its vibrant and distinctive appearance, which ignited his passion for birds. Now ‘Bao’ is a bird guide in Asia specializing in his home island of Taiwan, with its spectacular pheasants and characterful laughingthrushes. He is also a die hard fan of  raptors, and he conducted autumn migratory raptor survey for several years in Kenting National Park (southest Taiwan) since 2012. In other seasons, one of Bao's greatest interests remains searching for raptors in the sky and seeking out owls in the night, where he is also be a member of the  Raptor Research Group of Taiwan.

Bao's Favorite Tour:

Andres Vasquez - Guide

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Andrés has been chasing birds all over his native Ecuador since 2004. He leads tours all over Latin America but most regularly in Ecuador, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, and Belize; also sporadically in Japan and other destinations. As part of our team, Andres has also explored Southeast Asia and South Africa. In the past decade, he has put special emphasis on his bird photography he likes guiding Birding with a Camera tours as much as he does traditional Birding Tours. His photographs have been published in various international magazines and articles. Based in Quito, when not in the field, he can be found working on photo and video editing or on his next book. Andres has published several wildlife guidebooks for Ecuador, including a field guide to the birds of Northwest Ecuador, another on the birds of the Amazon, and he recently published “Wildlife of Ecuador: A Photographic Field Guide to Birds, Mammals, Reptiles, and Amphibians” with Princeton University Press. Andres uses a Swarovski scope and binoculars and shoots with Olympus gear.  

Andres's Favorite Tour:

Andres's Publications:

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Birds of NW Ecuador

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Wildlife of Ecuador

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Birds of Ecuadorian

Amazon

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Terrestrial Life of Galapagos

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Marine Life of

Galapagos

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Yi-fang Wang - Office Staff

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Yi-fang has been with Tropical Birding since it’s inception in 2001, concentrating primarily on logistics and communications in Asia, where she is based in Taiwan. Yi-fang spent 18 years in South Africa where she fell in love with the bush…who wouldn’t, and although she loves seeing leopards more than anything else, she always has a look at the colorful barbets and turacos.

Crammy Wanyama - Guide

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Although his full name is Wanyama Jimmy Crammy, he goes by the name Crammy. He started off in IT after getting a diploma in business administration from Kampala International University, but long hours sitting at a desk began to take a toll, and he started dreaming of a life outdoors. At that juncture in life, he met the great doyen of Ugandan birding, Herbert Byurhanga, who completely changed his life. He was quickly hooked on birding and there was no turning back, especially after locking eyes with a scarlet-and-sable Black-headed Gonolek. Soon enough he was interested in the toughest groups in Africa; the weavers, greenbuls, cisticolas, larks, pipits and honeyguides. Crammy loves showing people birds, and over the last seven years he has been able to do that while traveling intensively all over Africa, Madagascar, and North America.

Crammy's Favorite Tour:

Sam Woods - Guide

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Sam’s unhealthy obsession for birds began with a pair of tits in a London park at age 11. He famously proclaimed the evening before “I’m not looking at birds; they’re boring”. Rarely have words haunted someone for so long. Sam was instantly hooked, starting off by spanning the British Isles in search of birds, which quickly expanded to the wider world, and has now traveled to all seven continents over the last thirty years. He has been working as a full-time guide for Tropical Birding since 2005, since when he has guided on six different continents. Sam attended Plymouth University in Devon (UK), getting a degree in Environmental Science, which led him to the Andes of Ecuador to undertake research on hummingbirds. This stoked an interest in the Americas; originally from the United Kingdom, he now resides in Ecuador (South America), but arguably spends just as much time overseas, as he does there. He is most at home, when he is away. Sam has been a co-author on several books on Australian birds and wildlife, and has written many birding-related articles/papers for international journals and magazines. Sam uses a Swarovski scope and binoculars and Olympus camera gear. 

Sam's Favorite Tour:

Sam's Publications:

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Wildlife of Australia

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Birds of Australia

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