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Victor Emanuel

Victor Emanuel started birding in Texas 70 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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Chris Altwegg

Chris Altwegg has been with BirdNote from the start. He’s a strategic thinker with 25+ years of experience helping businesses and organizations grow and thrive. He is a former Seattle Audubon board member. As BirdNote flourished and grew to be a national program, Chris was the first president of the board for the new nonprofit. His favorite bird is the Blue Jay, because it’s so evocative of his growing up in Texas. He currently teaches iPhone and iPad skills to seniors. Chris enjo...

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Margaret Anderson

Margaret Anderson (Tour Operations Manager) was motivated to embark on a career in travel & tourism following a transformative trip to China in 1993. She began in the specialty leisure market where she designed custom itineraries for independent travel and group tours throughout Mexico and Central America. Margaret joined the VENT office staff in 2011, after 14 years with a firm that provided management for worldwide conventions, meetings, and incentive trips for large corporations and as...

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Mike Ard

Mike Ard (Corporate Controller) joined the VENT team in December 2013. Mike brings 18 years of corporate finance and accounting experience in the mid-sized business segment in both CFO and Controller roles, as well as management consultancy. His concentration has focused on organizational financial management, process improvement, accounting operations, and business infrastructure enhancement in order to afford organizations the economic and structural capacity to drive growth. Mike holds an ...

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David Ascanio

David Ascanio, a Venezuelan birder and naturalist, has spent over 35 years guiding birding tours throughout his native country, Colombia, 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 voices of more than 70% of all the birds of Venezuela. David combines superb birding skills...

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Alison Beringer

Alison Beringer is Associate Professor of Classics and Humanities at Montclair State University, where she teaches courses in literary history, women’s studies, and medieval literature and culture. She holds the M.A. in Classics from the University of Victoria and the Ph.D. in German Studies from Princeton University. Her scholarly research focuses on the transmission and illustration of Latin and German literature in the medieval and early modern periods. Her book The Sight of Semirami...

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Ellen Blackstone

Ellen Blackstone has been working with BirdNote since it was a figment of the founder’s imagination—before the show hit the airwaves in 2005. She writes and edits shows, blogs, and social media posts and sits in on recording as the bird and grammar consultant. As part of her work as web manager, she finds—and secures permission to use—all the photos that appear on the website and in social media. Well, somebody has to do it. A native Iowan, she started birding at the a...

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Zac Bragg

Zac Bragg has been an avid BirdNote fan since his teenage years in Alabama. After moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2009, he found an escape from Seattle traffic by listening to the stories in BirdNote and observing the birds along his route. He then introduced his then-girlfriend, now-wife, Laura, to BirdNote when she joined him in his morning commute. Zac loves observing corvids most of all, in particular the clever crows all around Seattle and the majestic ravens that can be heard (and if...

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Max Breckenridge

Max Breckenridge was born in the UK, but has lived virtually his entire life in Sydney, Australia. At age 12, his passion for birds was fostered when his parents took him and his brother out of school for 10 weeks to travel across Australia. After completing high school in Sydney, Max drove solo from Darwin to Broome, birding all the way, and spent the next month volunteering at the world-renowned Broome Bird Observatory. He is currently working on his Bachelor of Biodiversity & Conservat...

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Erik Bruhnke

Erik Bruhnke has loved birds since he was a child looking at chickadees. In 2008 he graduated from Northland College in Wisconsin with a Natural Resources degree. Erik taught field ornithology at Northland College for three semesters. Between 2009 and 2014, he spent his summers conducting field research focused on breeding bird transects in Upper Michigan, point counts for a breeding bird atlas in Minnesota and Wisconsin’s Northwoods, vegetation and breeding bird surveys throughout wind...

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Connie Buck

Connie Buck (Receptionist/Staff Assistant) joined the VENT office staff in 2016.  She is new to the travel industry, bringing 8 years of office staff experience.  Upon graduation from Brigham Young University she taught high school. Later she was part-time “Mom” to six and full-time mother of two. Connie has lived and worked in California, Utah, New York, and Virginia.  When away from the office she enjoys reading, walking, yoga, service projects, and grandchildren....

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Patrick Cardwell

Patrick Cardwell has been passionate about birding since his boyhood days in rural surroundings. Armed with an introductory bird book and an inexpensive pair of binoculars, he embarked on what has proved to be an enduring and intense interest for over 50 years. During this time Patrick enthusiastically indulged in tape recording, bird photography, bird banding, and regional distribution assessments throughout Southern Africa as part of the S.A. Bird Atlas Project. This was the background for ...

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Kitty Coley

Kitty Coley is a geologist, naturalist, and avid birder who has led natural history tours for the National Geographic Society and Smithsonian Institute for over 20 years. Tour destinations have included Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, the Galapagos, Ecuador, the Peruvian Amazon and Andes, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Antarctica, Alaska, Newfoundland, Labrador, and Iceland, as well as the western United States and Canada. Other nature travels have taken her to East Africa, Australia, Belize, Ho...

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Laura Cruz

Laura Cruz has volunteered for BirdNote since 2015 and is now technology advisor to the BirdNote board. Laura organized and managed BirdNote’s first Reddit AMA/Ask Me Anything, with Gordon Orians talking about blackbirds. Her favorite bird is the Red-winged Blackbird, which was the first bird to draw her into the world of bird-watching. She hails from Puerto Rico, where she grew up surrounded by the rainforest and its tropical fauna. She now enjoys staying in touch with her Puerto Rican...

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Bradley Davis

Bradley Davis is originally from Canada, but now makes his home in the Brazilian Amazon with his wife Jessica and their young son, who is always keen to look for owls, perhaps due to his fascination with the flashlight more than anything else. In addition to a decade of experience organizing and leading birding tours with his own company, Bradley has been involved in bird research and conservation projects in Brazil and Bolivia. Bradley is a regular contributor to the online bird sound and ph...

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Marcelo de Cruz

Marcelo de Cruz (53) started his career as a naturalist and birdwatcher at the age of 22. After completing his studies of tourism in Buenos Aires, he moved to Tierra del Fuego in 1991. Since then he has explored every corner of this island in search of its unique wildlife, and has developed a special ability to find all of its birds, including the least common species. He is also familiar with virtually all the flora and fauna of the Magellanic forests, steppes, high mountains, and seashores ...

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Fernando Diaz

Fernando Díaz, or “Feña,” showed a special interest in birds that lived around his neighborhood during his childhood. He grew up birding in the fields and wetlands of Lampa, a few kilometers from Santiago de Chile, where he developed his bird observation abilities at an early age. Feña has strong skills for recognizing birds by song. His first serious approach to bird study was as a volunteer participant in waterfowl censuses and bird banding. This was the cat...

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Jacob Drucker

Jacob Drucker is an ornithologist, musician, and guide based out of New York City. He graduated from Hampshire College in 2015, where he studied evolutionary ecology and conservation science. For the better part of a decade he has worked contracted positions throughout the Americas and beyond for various research and conservation organizations, including Cape May, Rocky Mountain, and Point Reyes Bird Observatories, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and New York City Audubon. Whether wading thro...

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Pete Dunne

Pete Dunne is a birder/writer, founder of the World Series of Birding, former Director of Natural History Information for the New Jersey Audubon Society, former Director of the Cape May Bird Observatory, and currently Birding Ambassador-at-Large for New Jersey Audubon. 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, includin...

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Knut Eisermann

Knut Eisermann is a graduate of the University of Applied Sciences in Eberswalde, Germany, with a degree in conservation and landscape management engineering. He has lived in Guatemala since 1997, where he conducts ornithological research focused on distribution and natural history. He has organized a number of avian diversity inventories in northern Central America and coordinated the selection of Important Bird Areas in Guatemala. His publications include numerous articles and book chapters...

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