Leaders & Staff: Tour Leaders

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Carlos Sanchez

Born in Miami, Florida, Carlos Sanchez has had a fascination with wildlife as far back as he can remember, combined with an unquenchable thirst to learn—the first books he checked out of the library were Beehler’s Birds of New Guinea and Stiles and Skutch’s Birds of Costa Rica. While studying at the University of Chicago and the University of Miami for his International Studies degree, he began to bird in earnest throughout Florida, South America, and even Australia. After g...


Brad Schram

Brad Schram became fascinated with birds as a child in the mountains of California, the start of an enthusiasm that has modified and enriched his life. He has birded on all the continents and scores of the world's oceanic islands. Since his early retirement from the business world in 1996, he has led birding tours in much of the American West, as well as Alaska, Antarctica and the subantarctic islands, Hawaii, Iceland-East Greenland, Kenya, and Trinidad and Tobago. While serving as b...


Adam Sedgley

Adam Sedgley, a founding staff member of BirdNote in 2004, worked on the BirdNote team for more than ten years, managing listener engagement, outreach, and digital media. Adam became a board member when he relocated to San Francisco in January of 2015. His interest in birding started when he was a child, when he saw his first Acorn Woodpecker at a National Audubon conference near Monterey, California. Thirty years and six continents later, he still carries binoculars with him wherever he goes...


Kaz Shinoda

Kaz Shinoda has been integrally involved in the logistics and planning of our Japan in Winter tour. He was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1957. From age 11 to 14 he lived in South Africa with his family and often went on safari where he learned about the fascinating world of wildlife. He later became a birdwatcher, and has now been a keen birder for nearly 20 years. Kaz graduated from Waseda University in Tokyo, and then taught English to high school students for more than two decades before ded...


Raj Singh

Raj Singh, born in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, is a distinguished ornithologist, fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, and inveterate world traveler. His first passion in life is wildlife conservation, and his knowledge of natural history is unsurpassed. He also has a fascination with India's history, culture, and cuisine. A descendant of India's royal Kshartriya family from Bharatpur, Raj is the author of Bird and Wildlife Sanctuaries of India, Nepal and Bhutan, and Mammals o...


Héctor Slongo

Héctor Slongo was born in northern Italy and as a child moved to Córdoba province, Argentina, where he currently lives. He was raised in the countryside, in direct contact with the natural world, and from an early age developed a great passion for nature. Héctor’s specific interest in birds began when he was eight, and now he is a keen birder who has birded all over Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Great Britain, and of course, Italy. He has led birding trips for many ye...


Attila Steiner

Attila Steiner is a keen birdwatcher and naturalist. He worked for WWF on species conservation and wildlife trade before joining Ecotours Wildlife Holidays, for whom he leads tours to most countries in Eastern Europe, plus Ghana and Ethiopia. Attila has traveled extensively throughout most of Europe, Africa, Asia, and the American continent. He speaks English, German, and Spanish. His thorough knowledge of not only birds, but butterflies and dragonflies as well, is complemented by a special s...


Bob Sundstrom

Bob Sundstrom has led VENT tours since 1989 to many destinations throughout North America, as well as Hawaii, Mexico, Belize, Trinidad & Tobago, Japan, Turkey, Iceland, Papua New Guinea, the Southwest Pacific, Antarctica, the Bering Sea, and the Galapagos. When not on tour, Bob keeps busy as lead writer for the public radio program BirdNote, heard on over 200 radio stations nationwide (visit www.birdnote.org). With a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Washington, Bob enjoys ...


Scott Sutcliffe

Scott Sutcliffe is Director of Annual Fund and Stewardship at the Cornell Lab. He's been a birder since the age of 6 when his grandfather introduced him to Cornell through a gift of Songbirds of North America, an early recording from the Cornell Library of Natural Sounds. Scott received a BS from Cornell in 1975 and an MS from the University of New Hampshire in 1980, both in wildlife ecology. Upon graduation, Scott taught 5th grade science for a year, then directed the N.H. Loon Preservation ...


Balázs Szigeti

Balázs Szigeti is a dedicated birdwatcher and the director of Ecotours Wildlife Holidays Ltd. Based in Budapest, he leads tours to most of Eastern Europe and Mongolia. Balázs speaks perfect English, has a great sense of humor, and has traveled widely in Eastern Europe, West Africa, and the Americas. He is a gifted birdwatcher able to imitate many European bird calls…even a nightjar…no mean feat! Balázs is also a keen wildlife photographer.