Bob Schutsky is the owner and operator of BIRD TREKS and leads many of the scheduled tours. Bob has been an active birder for 41 years. He has birded throughout the United States, parts of Canada, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Panama, Venezuela, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Peru, Kenya, Spain, and much of Costa Rica. His birding career began in 1972 with an ornithology course at the University of Miami in Florida from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Much of his work for the next 20 years as an environmental consultant involved the identification, study, and censusing of birds. He is currently conducting a long-term shorebird migration survey on the lower Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. He taught bird identification classes at several local schools and universities. He initiated and still organizes the Southern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Christmas Bird Count, wrote a bird column for the Lancaster, PA Sunday News, and helped to coordinate, compile, and author the “Atlas of Breeding Birds in Pennsylvania”. He wrote portions of “A Guide to the Birds of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania” and held former Pennsylvania Big Year and Big Day records. Birds and the love of nature are his life pursuits, and Bob thrives on sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm with others. Bob lives in Pennsylvania with his wife Nancy.
Kevin W. Easley was introduced to birding by his father at a very young age, but only began birding seriously when he was eight years old, Golden Guide and Bushnell binoculars in hand. He has traveled and birded extensively in many areas of the world including Africa, Central and South America, and Europe. Kevin resides in Costa Rica where he organizes and leads birding tours through his company, Costa Rica Gateway. He also helps in the organization and guiding of several BIRD TREKS tours including Classic Kenya, Southern & Coastal Kenya, and our summer Costa Rica Tours.
Steven L. Easley lived on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya from 1996 to 2000. During that time he had the opportunity to become very familiar with the amazing birds and mammals that Kenya offers. He is very knowledgeable of the calls and habits of all Kenyan birds and enjoys identifying the difficult groups such as cisticolas and greenbuls. Congratulations to Steven for reaching the 1000 mark for birds seen in Kenya during the BIRD TREKS November 2005 tour, and also for his October 2005 wedding to Magdalena in Costa Rica where they reside. Steven leads many Costa Rica tours when he is not guiding in Kenya.
Andrew Griswold has been the Director of EcoTravel for Connecticut
Audubon Society (CAS) since 1996. He graduated as an honor student in
biology from Hartwick College, where he worked at their biological
research station in the Bahamas studying avian ecology. Andy is the
original concept creator and scientific consultant for a cable
television series on bird watching called All Bird TV that aired on
Discovery’s Animal Planet. He is the original concept creator of the
award winning Connecticut River Eagle Festival (during its time the
largest birding festival in the world). Andy has conducted bird surveys
for the US Fish and Wildlife Service and has participated as a Christmas Bird Count captain for nearly 30 years. He has consulted to the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism concerning development of birding tourism in its more remote islands. Andy leads trips for CAS to Canada, Texas, South Florida, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, and many other unique destinations. Andy is a licensed US Coast Guard 100-Ton Master boat captain. He lives in Essex, Connecticut with his wife and their young son. He is known for his attentiveness to traveler’s needs, fine birding skills, and infectious sense of humor.
Dan Heathcote began birding as a child in Florida, going on his first
Christmas Bird Count at the age of ten. Living near the coast, Dan was
able to participate in many offshore birding trips, something that he
still enjoys today. Travel for birding has taken Dan all across the
United States. Outside the US, Dan has birded in Mexico, the Bahamas,
the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and England. Since leading his first
birding tour in Florida at age 16, he has lead Bird Treks tours to
Arizona, Texas, and Alaska. With his keen eye, he discovered the first
United States record for Crescent-chested Warbler while birding in Fort
Huachuca, Arizona in 1983. Dan added the first record for
Chestnut-sided Warbler to the bird list for Yellowstone National Park in
1989. He lives in York, Pennsylvania with his wife Lori and children
Cory and Amanda. Hummingbird gardening is one of Dan’s favorite
pastimes, along with coaching baseball.
Jason Horn's fascination with the natural world began at an early age. From his home in Emmaus, Pennsylvania his interest in nature grew, with birds becoming his main focus. Jason is a self proclaimed 'birding bum' who enjoys spending his time studying and learning about birds and their behaviors. He has spent countless hours in the field where he has found many rare and unusual species. He is an enthusiastic birder who is always eager to share his love of birding. His passion for birding has motivated him to travel extensively throughout North, Central, and South America, and other parts of the world including Europe and Africa. Jason worked as a guide at Rancho Naturalista Lodge in Costa Rica and currently guides tours throughout Costa Rica and many other countries. He is always looking to expand his knowledge of the natural world and always happy to share the experience.
Kamol Komolphalin is Nature Trails' main bird leader and a co-founder of
the company. He is one of the keen bird observers in Thailand and is
very knowledgeable of the songs and calls. He is a world-class bird
artist and co-illustrated the Thai field guide. He was the President of
the Bangkok Bird Club (now Bird Conservation Society of Thailand) during
1986-1994. He teaches his own nature art classes and has been an
invited lecturer at Chulalongkorn University on the subjects of Nature
Appreciation and Field Scientific/Artistic Sketching. He is a birding
consultant and gives regular talks to the organized youth groups in the
northeast for bird education and nature art. Kamol and his wife
Patcharee lead our annual Thailand Tour.
Mark Pretti is a perpetual student of nature and a humble teacher
focusing on birds, general natural history, and conservation. In
addition to birds of southeast Arizona and the Neotropics, Mark's other
interests and areas of expertise include the identification and ecology
of plants, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects, with a particular
interest in ecological relationships and conservation. Mark worked as
the naturalist at The Nature Conservancy's Ramsey Canyon Preserve from
1997 to 2004 and, in his free time, has moonlighted as field trip
coordinator and trip leader for the Southwest Wings Birding and Nature
Festival, board member and trip leader for the Huachuca Audubon Society,
and office manager, tour leader, and head dishwasher for Mark Pretti
Nature Tours. Both with the Conservancy and as a freelance
environmental educator, Mark provides environmental education programs
for hundreds of students each year in southern Arizona and has been
leading summer nature camps for children since 1998. Along with his
wife Karen, he worked as a birding and natural history guide at the
Cristalino Jungle Lodge in Amazonian Brazil for three months in 2004 and
again for four months in 2006. Mark has a B.S. in Zoology and has been
leading birding and natural history trips in Arizona and south of the
border since 1997. Mark's focus on unique experiences, small group
size, and love of learning and teaching has created memorable natural
adventures in some of Earth's most beautiful and wildlife-rich landscapes.
John Puschock has been an active birder and avian researcher for more
than 20 years. His birding trips have taken him across much of the US
(35 states at last count) and two Canadian provinces. Thanks to his
recent trips to Adak, his ABA list is well over 700. John did his
undergraduate work at Penn State University and earned his Master's in
wildlife science at New Mexico State. For the past 15 years he has
worked on research projects in many different parts of the country. His
most recent position was on the Ivory-billed Woodpecker search team in
Arkansas and Florida. John's specialty is Alaska, and he is helping to
open Adak Island as the new Aleutian birding destination. He operated
four banding stations in northwest Alaska and authored two sections of
ABA's newly published "A Birder's Guide to Alaska". John is also
writing a section of the new update to the ABA Florida Guide. John
loves to take people birding and is especially fond of finding and
photographing rare birds, such as the Zenaida Dove and Mangrove Swallow
published in recent issues of North American Birds. Check our tour
listing to see what John has to offer.
Luis Segura's homeland is Patagonia, Argentina, where he spent most of
his life. He began work as a naturalist guide in 1982. Based in Buenos
Aires at that time, he joined the Argentine Ornithological Society (AOP)
and the Argentine Wildlife Foundation (FVSA), taking several courses on
birds, bird watching, marine mammals, flora, and geology, and he soon
started guiding groups of birders and naturalists in Argentine National
Parks and Nature Reserves. At age 20 Luis led his first group of
foreign birders throughout Argentina and ever since he has been working
as a tour leader in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, and the Galapagos
Islands. In 1987, Luis moved back to his hometown, Puerto Madryn.
Based here he continued working as an independent tour leader and
locally as a tour guide specialized in birding and nature tours. In
1997 he founded Seebirds, a birding tour company focused on Patagonia.
In 2000, together with Miguel Castelino, he founded Birding
Argentina/Trogon Tours, combining his own field and office experience
with that of Miguel, and so giving birth to this highly specialized
Destinations Management Company, which currently runs birding, nature,
and cultural tours in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and Antarctica. Luis
has also been involved in many wildlife conservation projects, mainly
with shorebirds and seabirds. He has been working as a volunteer with
the Magellanic Penguin Project in Punta Tombo for four seasons and was
in charge of a rescue station for penguins affected by off-shore oil
spilling in Puerto Madryn in 1991. That same year, Luis helped found
the Austral Ornithological Society, of which he became the first
president. Ever since, he has been organizing bird watching courses in
Patagonia, encouraging other tour guides and the general public to start
birding, and so helping to create a bird sensitive conscience in the
local community. Luis lives in Puerto Madryn with his wife Nancy.
Barry Walker was born near Manchester, England and started bird watching at the age of 13. After birding extensively in Europe and the Middle East, Barry switched his attention to the Neotropics and has extensive birding experience in Chile, Guyana, Ecuador, and particularly Peru, Colombia, Brazil, and Bolivia. He has participated in numerous ornithological expeditions and contributed to many scientific and general publications concerning birds in Peru. Living in Cusco, Peru for 30 years, Barry has visited every corner of the country as a trekking guide, natural history guide, and specifically as a bird tour leader. He is the author of the well received book "A Field Guide to the Birds of Machu Picchu, Peru". He has been leading bird tours for private groups and well known bird tour companies for the last 25 years. Having seen 1700+ species in Peru alone, he is well known for his field craft when leading tours. He is married with a 16-year old daughter. He and his wife Rosario own Manu Expeditions, a pioneer eco-tour operator in Manu specializing in bird watching, natural
history, archeological, and cultural tours. Barry also occupies the post of British Consul in Cusco, and received an M.B.E. in the Queens New Years Honors list 2004.
Dan Watkins developed our tour to Dauphin Island, Alabama and the
eastern Mississippi Gulf Coast. He first conducted this tour in April
2006, in the midst of the northbound migration. Dan lives in
Binghamton, New York with his wife, Jane. They have four daughters and
nine grandkids that are the joy of their lives. Dan is a retired high
school biology teacher and basketball coach. He is an active board
member of the Broome County, New York Naturalist Club and veteran of the
World Series of Birding. Dan has been an avid birder for more than 25
years, leads many field trips for his local bird club, and birds
extensively in the lower 48 states. His biggest joy in birding is
helping a birder to find a new species, and he always enjoys the search
for that next special bird.
Steve West, already keen on birding at the age of 8, grew up in England and studied Ecology at the University of East Anglia. A few years later he moved to Catalonia, Spain, where he has been living since 1988. Steve has been leading, designing, and organizing bird tours in Spain and other parts of Europe since 1996. At a professional level he has been involved in regional bird atlas surveys, regular censuses, and also holds bird identification training courses and seminars. Steve is fluent in both Spanish and Catalan. Steve is an expert on the birds of Europe, especially Spain. He is a pleasure to bird and travel with.