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Victor Emanuel

Victor Emanuel started birding in Texas 66 years ago at the age of eight. His travels have taken him to all the continents, with his areas of concentration being Texas, Arizona, Mexico, Panama, and Peru. He is the founder and compiler for 50 years of the record-breaking Freeport Christmas Bird Count, and served a term as president of the Texas Ornithological Society. Birds and natural history have been a major focus throughout his life. He derives great pleasure from seeing and hearing birds,...

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Margaret Anderson

Margaret Anderson (Tour Operations Manager) joined the VENT office staff in 2011, bringing over 17 years experience in the travel and tourism profession. Her career in the industry began in 1994 in the specialty leisure market, where she designed custom itineraries for independent and group travel throughout Mexico and Central America. When away from the office, Margaret (a native Texan and UT Austin graduate) enjoys spending time in Austin with her husband Michael, and traveling as often as ...

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David Ascanio

David Ascanio, a Venezuelan birder and naturalist, has spent the last 30 years guiding birding tours throughout his native country, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, the Amazon River, Guyana, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the Lesser Antilles, Cuba, the Orinoco River, Costa Rica, Chile, and Panama. He is especially interested in bird vocalizations, and has a private library containing sounds of more than 70% of all the birds of Venezuela. David combines superb birding skills...

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Erik Bruhnke

Erik Bruhnke has had a love for birds since he was a child. After graduating from Northland College with a Natural Resources degree in 2008, he traveled the country performing a wide variety of bird surveys. His avian experiences have taken him throughout many of the northern states, including North Dakota; South Dakota; the Cascade Mountains and coastal regions of Oregon, Idaho, and Montana; and throughout the deep woods of northern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin. Over the past six fall se...

Bruce Di Labio

Bruce Di Labio's obsession with birds and birding began at the young age of 8 when he hand-tamed Black-capped Chickadees at the family cottage at Constance Bay. From these simple beginnings emerged both a lifelong passion and career in the field of birding. In the fall of 1971, after reading the Ottawa Journal Bird Column about an upcoming Ottawa Field Naturalists bird walk, Bruce finally convinced his dad to take him to Ottawa Beach, the meeting location for Bruce's first official fi...

Pete Dunne

Pete Dunne is a birder/writer, founder of the World Series of Birding, Director of Natural History Information for the New Jersey Audubon Society, and Director of the Cape May Bird Observatory. An experienced tour leader, he is well-known for his columns and contributions to publications such as American Birds, Birding, Living Bird, Wildlife Conservation, and WildBird. He is also the author of numerous books, including Hawk-watch, A Guide for Beginners; Hawks in Flight: A Guide to Identificat...

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Dr. John Fitzpatrick

Dr. John W. Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., is Director of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University. From 1988-1995 he was Executive Director of the Archbold Biological Station in central Florida, and before that served for twelve years as Curator of Birds and Chairman of the Department of Zoology at the Field Museum in Chicago. He is Fellow and past President of the American Ornithologists' Union, and in 1985 received its highest resea...

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Rafael Galvez

Rafael Galvez has been birding and illustrating birds since childhood, a dual passion that developed when his family moved from Peru to South Florida. Always with a sketchpad in hand, he has traveled throughout the U.S., Latin America, and Eurasia in pursuit of birds. He served several years as a board member of the BirdLife International affiliate in the Republic of Georgia, developing educational and conservation programs.  He gained knowledge of the Caucasus region while directing a s...

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TäV Garvin

TäV Garvin (Marketing and Publications Manager) has spent the last 22 years functioning as Victor's assistant and coordinating the publication of VENT's marketing materials. She also has 17 years of experience working in the semiconductor sales industry and in emergency operations for the state of Texas. In addition to some wonderful human beings, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo helped spark her interest in birds in 1983. She enjoys birding, reading, music, gardening, and observing all forms of w...

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Brian Gibbons

Brian Gibbons grew up in suburban Dallas where he began exploring the wild world in local creeks and parks. Chasing butterflies and any animal that was unfortunate enough to cross paths with the Gibbons boys occupied his childhood. A wooden bird feeder kit sparked a flame that was stoked by a gift of the Golden Guide and family camping trips to Texas state parks. Nearly 20 years ago Brian attended two VENT camps for young birders. Birds are now his primary interest, but all things wild c...

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Héctor Gómez de Silva

Héctor Gómez de Silva began birding at age eight in New York City. He published his first article about birds at age 15 while in Kenya, where he lived for six years. Since his return to his native Mexico in 1985, Héctor has acquired one of the highest Mexico bird lists at over 950 species, and since 1993 he has led numerous tours in Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Kenya, Uganda, Papua New Guinea, and New Caledonia. Héctor has a Ph.D. in ecology f...

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Paul Greenfield

Paul Greenfield grew up near New York City and became interested in birds as a child. He received his B.F.A. from Temple University where he was an art major at the Tyler School of Art. Since 1972, he has lived in Ecuador where his fascination for birds and art has culminated with the completion of 20 years of work illustrating the book he co-authored with Robert Ridgely, The Birds of Ecuador. Paul is very involved in saving Ecuador's avian diversity and important habitats through his inv...

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John Harrison

John Harrison is a travel writer and lecturer, and a native of Liverpool, England. He took First Class Honors in geography at Cambridge University and a Masters Degree in planning at Liverpool University.  For 20 years he worked for the UK government in various local and national capacities on planning and environment matters. John's short stories have been broadcast on the BBC and collected in book form. His first travel book, Where the Earth Ends, about South America and Antarctica...

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Kate Harvey

Kate Harvey (Operations Assistant) has recently rejoined the VENT family after a ten-year break to get her "little ones" off to a solid start. Now that her sons are not-so-little and a bit more self-sufficient, she's delighted to be welcomed back into the flock, assisting where most needed. When not at VENT, Kate rides the blustery Mom wind-currents; loves to travel, read, cook, listen to music (especially her husband Don's compositions); and truly enjoys entertaining, and b...

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Brandon Hay

D. Brandon Hay has served as research assistant to Ann Sutton since 1996. Together they are conducting research on migrant land birds in Jamaican mangrove forests. Brandon is also the Scientific Officer for the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation, an organization dedicated to the protection and sustainable development of Jamaican natural resources, particularly in the Portland Bight area of Jamaica's south coast. He also serves as manager for several fish sanctuaries in the ...

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Steve Hilty

Steve Hilty is the senior author of A Guide to the Birds of Colombia, and author of Birds of Venezuela, both by Princeton University Press, as well as the popular Birds of Tropical America, A watcher's introduction to behavior, breeding and diversity. He has also written a number of scientific papers on birds and plants, has described two species of birds new to science in Venezuela, and another, with a team of scientists, in Colombia. He also wrote the text and species accounts for...

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Matt Hobart

Matt Hobart is the Assistant Director of Development and Philanthropy at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Prior to joining the Lab, Matt worked as an Associate Director of Philanthropy for the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and the Adirondack Land Trust. He received an M.P.S. in Agricultural Education and Teaching, Learning, & Social Policy from Cornell University in 2010 and a B.S. in Agricultural Studies with an emphasis in Education and a minor in Horticulture from ...

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Dion Hobcroft

Dion Hobcroft has been working for VENT since 2001. He has led many tours (more than 120) to Australia, New Guinea, New Zealand, Bhutan, Indonesia, India, China, Southwest Pacific, Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Japan, Russia, Alaska, Tanzania, Madagascar, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and the Antarctic. In 2007 and 2013 alone Dion showed more than 2,000 species of birds to VENT clients. His informative, relaxed, and educational nature, combined with sharp eyes and ears, has establi...

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Denver Holt

Denver Holt is a wildlife researcher and graduate of the University of Montana. He is founder and president of the Owl Research Institute and the Ninepipes Wildlife Research Center, a nonprofit organization located in Charlo, Montana. A dedicated field researcher in North and Central America, Denver believes that long-term field studies are the primary means to understanding trends in natural history. In 2000, he was named Montana's "Wildlife Biologist of the Year" by the Wildlife Society of ...

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João Jara

João Jara was born in Lisbon and studied biology at the Faculdade de Ciências de Lisboa, where he developed his professional career in the pharmaceutical industry as senior manager and director of various multinational companies. With about 30 years of field experience, João has extensive knowledge about birding in Portugal. He was a member of the board of SPEA (Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves—Birdlife in Portugal), a voting member of the PRC (Portuguese ...

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