Andrew Whittaker

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Andrew Whittaker, a senior member of the VENT staff, has led VENT tours since 1993 throughout Brazil, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Argentina, Costa Rica, Panama, Europe, and Antarctica. An avid birder from an early age (thanks to his father), he later became a licensed bander/ringer. Andy immensely enjoys sharing his fascination and deep knowledge of birds, animals, and all aspects of nature in a really fun way. Since 1982 Andy has worked on birds around the world, studying migration at bird observatories in Eilat, Israel; Borneo; Long Point, Canada; and at two in Britain including the top UK observatory on Fair Isle, Scotland. Andy was born in England; however, he considers himself Brazilian, having lived more than 30 years in this mega biodiverse country, first working for the Smithsonian Institution, studying Amazonian rainforest birds in Manaus. He is best known for his passionate and intimate knowledge of bird vocalizations and taxonomy, which has enabled him to discover several new species (such as the Cryptic Forest-Falcon in 2003) and rediscover others thought to be extinct. He loves nothing better than finding and showing rare skulkers to groups. In 2010 Andy, along with colleagues, produced a DVD-ROM of Brazilian bird songs, calls, and photos of 1,250 species. Andy was a consultant for the prestigious Life of Birds series by Sir David Attenborough and is considered an authority on Amazonian birds, having authored numerous technical publications on the region’s avifauna. At present Andy is working with Kevin Zimmer on a comprehensive field guide to the birds of Brazil to be published by Princeton University Press. Andy is a member of the Brazilian Records Committee, an associate researcher at the Museum Goeldi, and is also an active conservationist and orchid lover living with his partner in life, Jaqueline, in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil.