Day 10 - At sea, on our way to the Amazon River Oct 25—Nov 08, 2004
Posted by Peter English
As we traveled today at sea we thought about the great success that we have had on this trip. Victor felt it exceeded his expectations, a feeling that many shared. Not only have over 300 species of birds been seen, including some of the rarest in South America, but we have had good looks at some classic tropical birds including toucans, parrots, macaws, tanagers and cotingas.
Without a doubt, there are two reasons that this trip has been such a great success. First, David Ascanio did an outstanding job of scouting the entire route and planning our stops. Second, we had a world-class team of leaders, each of whom has spent a great amount of time studying Neotropical birds. These leaders included:
Dr. Steve Hilty, one of the foremost experts on the birds of South America and the author of Birds of Colombia and Birds of Venezuela, two of the most important guides ever written on the birds of South America.
VENT leaders David Ascanio and Steve Hilty — Photo: Peter English
David Ascanio is an extremely talented young Venezuelan ornithologist. He has made a significant contribution to knowledge of Venezuelan avifauna and conservation. He played a key role in the and execution of this trip.
David Wolf is a senior VENT leader who has led dozens of trips in Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, and Peru. He is one of our most popular leaders and is renowned for his ability to share information.
David Wolf in action — Photo: Peter English
Andy Whittaker lives in Manaus, Brazil, and along with Kevin Zimmer is writing a guide to the birds of Brazil. Andy co-led all of our Amazon cruises and has spent years doing research on Neotropical birds. He has a great ability to sort out the vocalizations of a great many species.
Victor Emanuel (left) and Andy Whittaker (right)
Victor Emanuel is the President of VENT, a company that he started nearly 30 years ago. VENT has been at the forefront of birding tours worldwide for decades, and this is largely due to Victor's infectious love of birding and sharing the wonders of the world with his clients.
Paul Greenfield is the co-author of Birds of Ecuador. He has spent years studying and painting Neotropical birds. As an artist, he brings a special perspective.
Dr. Peter English is the Executive Director of Tropical Nature, a non-profit organization that has built some of the finest lodges in the Neotropics including the Napo Wildlife Center in Ecuador. He has co-led many VENT tours and brings to tours his knowledge not only of bird identification, but of biology and conservation.
Carol Walton has worked on the staff of many cruise ships that specialize in natural history. She has broad knowledge of the fauna and flora of the Neotropics and enjoys sharing this with others.
Cullen Hanks and Brian O'Shea are two young graduate students, both of whom attended VENT birding camps as teenagers. One of those camps was in Mexico, where they had their first exposure to the Neotropics. They both have traveled extensively in Guyana and Suriname and their local knowledge was a benefit to everyone.
Tomorrow we enter the Amazon River and look forward to an afternoon of birding.