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August 11–15, 2021 | Tucson, AZ

Festival Field Trip Leaders


Kathe Anderson
Kathe is an avid birder, leading bird walks, teaching classes, and counting birds for several bird surveys to help real scientists with data collection. For over 10 years, she’s led hundreds of walks for individuals, conservation organizations, private groups, and life-long learning programs, and taught dozens of hands-on birding-related classes for organizations such as the Verde Valley Nature and Birding Festival, Southwest Wings Nature Festival, Mesa Community College, ASU’s Osher Life-long Learning Program, Arizona State Parks, The Nature Conservancy, the Desert Botanical Garden and others. She loves sharing her passion with others. She’s an active member of the Phoenix area Audubon Societies. If it’s not fun, it’s not worth it.

Jeff Babson
Jeff Babson got his start in birding when his grandfather gave him a copy of The Golden Guide to the Birds of North America when he was 6. That was the beginning of a wonderful obsession, not only for birds, but the entire natural world.  Jeff currently works for the Pima County Department of Natural Resources, Parks, and Recreation, as the county’s Wildlife Viewing Program Specialist.  He also owns Sky Island Tours, an environmental education and eco-tour company, offering programs and tours for birds, butterflies, and dragonflies, among other things.

Ethan Beasley
Originally from Michigan, Ethan Beasley first developed a love for birding in that state. Experiencing a warbler fallout in Southwestern Michigan in May and participating in a Spring Migration banding program along Lake Superior, near Whitefish Point, contributed to his passion for wild birds. He moved to Tucson 19 years ago to take advantage of the excellent birding in Southeastern Arizona, and he has avidly birded the area ever since. He has participated in numerous bird surveys in Arizona, and Sonora Mexico, and led Field Trips for Tucson Audubon, and served as a private guide. Ethan loves introducing people to birding in the wild, scenic canyons of Southeastern Arizona.

Gavin Bieber
Gavin developed an early interest in birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles and has steadily pursued these interests. Gavin graduated from the University of Victoria with a degree in Biology and a minor in Environmental Studies. While still in university, he taught bird identification classes and lead birding field trips. Since graduating, Gavin has worked as a field assistant on a variety of ornithological research projects. Gavin now serves as a board member for Tucson Audubon.

Kathi Borgmann
Kathi is passionate about sharing her love of birds with the world. For more than 20 years Kathi has worked in the field of ornithology, from recording bird songs in Colombia to managing a restoration project in the San Francisco Bay area. Kathi chronicled her birding adventures from Mexico to Ecuador in eBird and has written several popular articles for the American Birding Association and Neotropical Birds, among others. Kathi earned her Ph.D. in ornithology at the University of Arizona and is excited to be back in Tucson for the festival. Kathi is now the communications coordinator for the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, NY. Join Kathi on one of her field trips to learn hot tips for birding with eBird and Merlin.

Jim Brock
A California native, Jim moved to Arizona in 1977. Jim has been studying butterflies since he was seven and is the author or co-author of four books on butterflies, Butterflies of North America with Kenn Kaufman, Caterpillars of the Field and Garden with Tom Allen, Butterflies of Southeastern Arizona with Rich Bailowitz and Butterflies of the Southwest. His photographs of regional butterflies and caterpillars are featured in the ever popular Quick Reference fold out guides for southern, central and northern Arizona. He is primarily a field lepidopterist where his main interest is finding and determining larval hostplants for skippers anywhere in the Neotropics. His most recent project involves a survey of butterflies in the Cosnipata Valley of Peru in association with the Smithsonian Institution and the Museo de Historia Natural in Lima, Peru. No less than three butterfly taxa bear his name. Jim is married to Joan Brock and they reside in Tucson.

Thomas Brown
Tom grew up in south-eastern Oregon, where his love of birds started early, and has continued thru his extensive photography. Starting out with a hand-me-down Leica camera at age 14, his photos can now be found in magazines, websites and calendars in several countries. At some point it became quite obvious that a deeper knowledge of all things bird was not only great fun, but helped with some much improved photos. This in turn has lead to many years of getting to know as much about the behavior of our avian friends as possible, and he is still learning to this day. Living in Baja Sur Mexico for nearly 8 years, Tom is the owner and operator of Focus On Feathers, Photography and Guided Bird Tours, based in La Paz, Mexico. He has presented bird seminars, photo exhibitions, as well as bird tours for groups and individuals for many years. For the last three years, Tom has written a weekly article for the bird website, and used that format to share his photos from around the world, visiting 10 different countries in 2018.

Margarethe Brummermann
Margarethe Brummermann Ph.D. received her masters and doctoral degree in zoology at the University of Bochum, Germany and the Max Planck Institute of Bad Nauheim, Germany. She has been researching and teaching at universities in Europe, New Zealand and the US. She came to the U of A to teach and research physiology at the medical school, but later was invited to work for the U of A entomology department. She is currently working with co-author Prof. Arthur Evans on the Arizona Beetle Book which will cover more than 1800 species in image and text. The book should be available by 2020.
She is a contributing editor of the citizen scientists network With her friend Robyn Waayers, she hosts the popular Facebook group SW U.S. Arthropods. She offers presentations about the biology of various insects to conservation and naturalist group, and participates regularly in biodiversity studies of the sky islands of Sonora Mexico. Every summer, she guides a few private tours for naturalists who are interested in experiencing the miracle of the monsoon in the AZ mountains. She shares her experience in her blog Arizona Beetles, Birds, Bugs and more: Margarethe lives in the Sonoran desert close to Tucson. Since 1995, she also works as a watercolor painter and shows her work at art fairs all over Arizona during the winter season.

Troy Corman
Always outdoors and exploring the natural world from an early age, Troy has been an avid birder since high school. Raised in rural south-central Pennsylvania, he moved to Arizona in 1980 to pursue higher education and new adventures. For several years, he conducted bird, reptile and amphibian inventories on the upper San Pedro River for the Bureau of Land Management. He has worked for the Arizona Game and Fish Department since 1990. As the Department’s Avian Monitoring Coordinator, he conducts surveys, assists with annual survey training for T&E species, and coordinates statewide bird projects. Troy was the coordinator of the Arizona Breeding Bird Atlas Project (1993-2000) and was the co-author of the Arizona Breeding Bird Atlas (2005). He also co-authored the recently published 3rd edition of Birds of Phoenix and Maricopa County. Established in 2005, he was one of the original founders of Arizona Field Ornithologists and served as its first president until 2013. Troy enjoys traveling and sharing his knowledge and passion for birds and other creatures. He also loves exploring new and seldom visited areas, and observing and documenting the changing seasonal status and distribution of birds.

Charles Corson
Charles learned to love birding as a kid in West Texas. One of the first birds to catch his interest was the Sandhill Crane when waves of them would come to the area’s playa lakes to roost. Over the years, Charles has enjoyed birding in the Southwest due to the variety of habitats and birds. He is particularly interested in understanding how birds interact with the environment around them. Charles spends significant time volunteering for various projects. He especially enjoys his time at the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge where,this past summer, Charles helped lead a presence survey for the Yellow-billed Cuckoo at the refuge.

Jim Eager
After a 35 yr career with BellSouth Jim realized his dream of doing field work after being selected as a raptor observer for the 2008 Florida Keys HawkWatch Project. As an Avian Field Technician, Jim has surveyed Bachman’s Sparrows along the SE coastal plain of North Carolina, shorebirds/seabirds on the east-central coast of Florida and breeding songbirds in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. In 2011 Jim was a co-founder and co-coordinator of the re-branded Florida Keys Hawkwatch at Curry Hammock SP in the Florida Keys. Jim is the Social Media Coordinator and longtime field trip leader for the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival. Also, Jim is a field trip leader for the Everglades Birding Festival and Florida Birding & Nature Festival. In addition, Jim is a board member of the Florida Ornithological Society (FOS), Merritt Island Wildlife Association (MIWA) and Associate Editor (for bird distribution) for the FOS “Florida Field Naturalist” publication. Jim lives in Cape Canaveral, FL and owns Obsessive Compulsive Birding ( specializing in guided trips in and around Central Florida.

Laura Erickson
Laura has been a scientist, teacher, writer, wildlife rehabilitator, professional blogger, public speaker, photographer, and Science Editor at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. She’s written eleven books about birds, and she’s currently a columnist and contributing editor for BirdWatching magazine. Laura has been producing “For the Birds,” the longest-running radio program about birds in the United States, since 1986.

Richard Fray
Richard grew up in Leicester, England, and encouraged by a father who ran the local youth birding club and an older brother who was twice named Britain’s Young Ornithologist of the Year, he was birding as soon as he was big enough to lift a pair of binoculars. As well as birds, he is interested in all aspects of the natural world, especially butterflies, dragonflies and reptiles. He was the youngest ever member of the Leicestershire & Rutland Ornithological Society’s committee and founded the Leicestershire & Rutland Dragonfly Group before moving to SE Arizona in 2002. He now can’t imagine living anywhere else! Richard’s birding has taken him around Europe and Asia as well as North, Central and South America, and he started a new company, Fun Birding Tours in 2010. He is a current member of the board of directors of Tucson Audubon Society, serving on the development and membership committees.

Jim Gessaman
Jim Gessaman, an ornithologist, ecologist, and physiologist at Utah State University from 1968-2003, has authored more than 50 publications on bird migration; energetics of flight; physiological adaptations of mammals and birds (with emphasis on hawks, eagles and owls) to inclement environments; and validations of new methodologies for studying animal energetics and metabolism. Since moving to Tucson in 2006, Jim has volunteered at Tucson Audubon for several years with leading bird walks at the Mason Center and now at Arthur Pack Regional Park during the winter months, and helping survey birds in several Important Bird Areas.

Brian Gibbons
Brian Gibbons grew up in suburban Dallas where he began exploring the wild world in his local creeks and parks. Birds are now his primary interest, but all things wild continue to captivate him. For many years, Brian’s field research has involved banding. His most amazing recoveries were a female Wilson’s Warbler that had been banded in Alaska and was captured by Brian in Colorado, and a Sooty Tern that perished after a hurricane on the Texas coast; it had plied the Gulf of Mexico and the oceans of the world for 24 years. Brian’s recreational birdseeking has taken him to Machu Picchu in Peru, the Great Wall in China, and the Himalayas in Nepal. Brian leads tours for VENT in Mexico and the United States.

Matt Griffiths
Starting at Tucson Audubon in 2004 as a habitat restoration field tech, Matt is currently webmaster, coordinator of the Vermilion Flycatcher magazine, and social media manager. He also participates in many Arizona Important Bird Areas surveys all over southeastern Arizona, has two Tucson Bird Count routes, and tries out a new Christmas Bird Count every year. His interest in birds reached new levels during a season of surveying for Southwestern Willow Flycatchers in the Grand Canyon. Now he can imagine nothing better than listening to Whip-poor-will and Canyon Wren song in one of his favorite Sky Islands! He considers the Loggerhead Shrike to be the coolest local bird.

Felipe Guerrero
Felipe loves exploring the under-birded corners of Arizona. He is particularly interested in adding to our knowledge of the status and distribution of birds in Arizona. He also enjoys spending time in Sonora, Mexico, exploring the Tropical Deciduous Forest near Alamos. His Prescott-based company, Mogollon Birding Tours, celebrates the Mogollon Highlands of central Arizona as a premier birding destination with many of the specialty birds we know and love from southeastern Arizona. He has served on the board of directors for Arizona Field Ornithologists and the Prescott Audubon Society. When not out birding you can find him at the Highlands Center for Natural History, in Prescott, where he is Education Director.

Laurens Halsey
Laurens Halsey has been passionate about (or maybe even obsessed with!) birds and birding for practically his entire life. His interest in birding was inspired by his parents, whom he delighted with his identification of an Indigo Bunting at the age of four (pronounced “Indian Bunny”). But birding has always meant more than just identifying the bird and moving on. Even as a young teenager, he sought a deeper connection with the birds. He wanted to get to know the birds, observe & study their plumages, behaviors, habits, and habitats. Once familiar with birds in his home state, he wanted to see more of the birds, and has birded throughout the United States from Washington to Florida, Maine to California, Texas, Alaska, and off three coasts. Laurens began visiting the premier birding destination of Southeast Arizona in the early eighties and became a resident of the area in 1999. Though he is most captivated by birds, Laurens is also enthusiastic about all creatures in the wild, whether they are covered with feathers, fur, scales, or some sort of exoskeleton. Today Laurens is a birding guide and wildlife photographer. He formed Desert Harrier Guiding Services in 2007 and conducts day guiding & private tours for individuals & small groups throughout southeast Arizona and beyond. Guiding and sharing his photographs is Laurens’ way of helping others connect with nature. Laurens is a voting member of the Arizona Bird Committee, volunteers for Tucson Audubon and the Friends of Madera Canyon, and is an avid eBirder and regional eBird reviewer. He lives just outside of Madera Canyon near Green Valley with his very tolerant wife and the most precious cat in the world.

Homer Hansen
Homer is a native of Willcox, AZ and while growing up, had the pleasure of seeing and hearing the Sandhill Cranes in winter and the Cassin’s Sparrow in summer. Homer earned his B.S. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona and now works as an environmental scientist with Aplomado Environmental assessing contaminants in soil and groundwater. Homer has presented many workshops on sparrows, raptors, flycatchers, and bird ecology over the past 13 years and has led many birding tours in southeastern Arizona. He especially enjoys the challenges of complex identifications and loves to learn about the nature of birds.

Tim Helentjaris
As a Midwestern transplant to the West ~40 years ago for graduate study, I was stunned by the scenery out here, never having been west of Ohio before then.  Since that awakening, I have spent much of my free time out-of-doors intrigued by questions of natural history.  It also spurred my interest in birding, where I focus primarily on bird behavior and biology.  Now retired, I get my science kick by volunteering with the IBA program and by contributing to eBird as often as I am out in the field.  Having spent a career creating and contributing to databases, I get the purpose of these programs and enjoy being a part of them, thinking about questions as to bird distribution.  It’s been amazing to see the changes here in Arizona since the 80’s!  I also regularly volunteer in the shop, enjoying my interaction with visitors and helping them to find the birds here they came out to look for.  I try to lead a few field trips per year, usually to under-birded areas, as well as help with special projects, lately installing the streaming webcam at the Paton’s Center for Hummingbirds.

Jean and Mark Hengesbaugh
Jean and Mark live near Sabino Canyon and consider the creek their back yard. In addition to leading birding field trips in the recreation area for Tucson Audubon, they also survey three Important Bird Areas along lower Sabino Creek. They are Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists for the U.S. Forest Service and volunteer at Saguaro National Park in the Weed Free Trails Program.

John Higgins
John Higgins thinks wandering outside all morning looking at birds with some other sociable people is a great way to spend his time. He has been lucky enough to have birded from the Amazon to Alaska to Austria. He has been taking out field trips for Tucson Audubon for twenty years. John especially likes easy-going trips with beginner birders looking for easy-to-see birds, such as driving around looking at thousands of big Sandhill Cranes or sitting on a shady bench looking at close-up hummingbird feeders. John’s trips almost always end with eating apple pie or ice cream.

Henry Johnson
Henry Johnson is a birder and photographer from Tucson Arizona. He and his wife, DJ, spend time both in the greater Tucson area and on Mt Lemmon. For more, see his website and blog at He is a Tucson Audubon member and volunteer.

Kevin Karlson
Kevin Karlson is an accomplished birder, author, professional tour leader and wildlife photographer/instructor. He is a regular at Bird and Nature festivals in North America, where he gives keynote presentations, workshops on bird identification, and photo instruction. Kevin’s books include The Shorebird Guide (2007); Birding by Impression: A Different Approach to Bird Identification (2015); Birds of Prey (2017) (all three Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers); and Gulls Simplified: A Comparative Identification Approach (Princeton University Press, 2018). Photography books include The Birds of Cape May and Visions: Earth’s Elements in Bird and Nature Photography (Schiffer Publishing). Kevin also produced six photographic laminated foldout ID guides for Quick Reference Publishing (Raptors of Eastern and Western North America (2012); Waterfowl of North America (2013); Warblers of North America (2016); Shorebirds of North America (2014); and Owls and Nightjars of North America (2017). While officially retired, Kevin continues to lead select tours and photo workshops for his company Jaeger Tours, and for Wildside Nature Tours.

Gordon Karre
Gordon Karre is an avid birder from Mesa, AZ, and is very familiar with the many specialty birds to be found in and around the Phoenix area and Maricopa County. Growing up in rural southwestern Nebraska, he has always had a keen interest in our fine avian friends. This area of Nebraska is a key cross-over where many species cohabitate. Since relocating to Arizona 12 years ago the birding interest has grown. He has led field trips for Maricopa Audubon and Tucson Audubon and has participated in many Christmas Bird Counts, Global Big Days, the annual Greater Phoenix Waterbird Count, and also assisted with the latest Rosy-faced Lovebird Census in the Phoenix metro area. Several trips to Sonora, Mexico, has enhanced his knowledge of many of the Mexican species that frequently appear in Arizona. He is now retired and still enjoying the birds and thoroughly enjoys sharing his knowledge of the many species that can be found in Maricopa County and the Phoenix area and beyond.

Karen Krebbs
Karen worked at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum for more than 26 years and has extensive knowledge of birds and mammals.  Her passion for hummingbirds has resulted in a book, book chapters, scientific papers, and also a husbandry manual for captive hummingbirds for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.  Her research on hummingbirds includes migration, nesting biology, behavior, song development, and longevity.  Karen regularly advises zoological institutions and aviaries on the proper care and husbandry of captive hummingbirds.  She has conducted educational workshops and seminars on birds for various organizations, schools, yearly bird festivals, and local bird groups.  Karen has also studied bats for more than 30 years and carries out lectures and workshops for bats.  Her long-term monitoring and inventory research project for bats in the Chiricahua Mountains is in its 16th year.  She also trains government employees on the proper protocol and handling techniques for studying bats.  She has led and co-led natural history trips in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico, Baja, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Galapagos, and Africa.  Karen has a B.Sc. in Wildlife & Fisheries Science from the University of Arizona.

Jennie MacFarland
Jennie has lived in Tucson for most of her life and loves SE Arizona and its birds! In 2010 she graduated from the University of Arizona with a BS in Wildlife Conservation and Management from the School of Natural Resources. That same month she was hired by Tucson Audubon Society to work in the Arizona Important Bird Areas Program and has a fantastic time at work! When not watching birds, Jennie enjoys many other “geek chic” activities!

Robert Mesta
Robert recently retired as an ornithologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He spent his professional career working to protect, conserve, and recover threatened and endangered North American bird populations. His area of expertise is the recovery of endangered birds of prey. He directed national and international-level programs to recover the California Condor, Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, and the Masked Bobwhite quail. Robert coordinated the California Condor Recovery Program from 1990 to 2000. In 1992, he directed the first reintroduction of captive-bred condors back to the wild in southern California and in 1996 he led the successful reintroduction of condors into the Grant Canyon. In the 1980s Robert established the highly successful Arizona Bald Eagle Nest-watch Program and was a member o fthe National Bald Eagle Recovery Team that down-listed the Bald Eagle from endangered to threatened in 1995. As leader of the National Peregrine Falcon Recovery Team, he wrote the rule that removed the Peregrine Falcon from the Endangered Species List after its successful recovery. From 1999 to 2015 he coordinated the Sonoran Join Venture, a bi-national bird conservation program between the United States and Mexico. As leader of the Masked Bobwhite quail recovery team, Robert worked to establish a captive breeding and release program in Mexico to re-establish this endangered sub-species to its historical range in Sonora, Mexico.

Jake Mohlmann
Raised in rural northeast Pennsylvania, Jake is a lifelong birdwatcher and conservationist. He has worked for New York City’s Museum of Natural History and for Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Science and made significant contributions to the field work for the most recent edition of the Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas. Since then he has worked on projects involving Burrowing Owls at the Salton Sea and counted secretive marsh birds in the lower Colorado River basin. He also spent a summer leading tours on St. Paul Island and has worked on the identification and monitoring of endangered species in South Texas and various areas in the Mojave Desert of southern California. It was on St. Paul that Jake lived a birder’s dream, with the first Western Hemisphere record of Brown Hawk Owl, subject of a subsequent cover photo and article in North American Birds in 2007. Jake is always excited to return to sunny southeastern Arizona to live and bird as a co-owner of The Adventure Birding Company. He is also an associate leader for WINGS bird tours leading trips to Utah, Arizona and Mexico.

Ken Murphy
Ken grew up on a farm in northern California near San Francisco, consequently he has had a passion for nature and wildlife all his life and started birding around 1990. An extensive birder of the lower 48, his birding interests later on expanded to include neotropical birds as well as photography. He was a prior Field Trip Coordinator with Tucson Audubon and volunteers on bird surveys with the Arizona IBA program. An Arizona resident since 2000, he has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and is a scientist at a clinical toxicology laboratory near the Tucson Medical Center.

David Pearson
David Pearson is a Research Professor at Arizona State University’s School of Life Sciences. His research is focused on using the interaction of ecology, conservation, ecotourism and education to develop methods that promote sustainable use of biodiversity. He has worked on a breadth of organisms from crabs and insects to Paramecium and birds and he has studied a range of habitat types from tropical rainforests and coral atolls to desert grasslands. He has taught 30 workshops in 13 countries on active teaching methods to local primary, secondary and university students, teachers and faculty. He is also an avid birder and has seen over 7000 species.

Vincent Pinto
Wildlife Biologist, Naturalist, Bird Guide, Ethnobotanist, Wilderness Survival Instructor, Environmental Consultant, Astronomer, Nature Writer, & Conservationist – Vincent wears many hats! He has a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana & M.A. in Ethnobotany from Prescott College. As an Ethnobotanist, Vincent helps people understand Nature through the lens of useful native plants. Vincent has participated in and led a wide range of wildlife studies throughout the U.S. He has studied marine resources in the Bering Sea, Mexican Wild Turkeys in the Peloncillo Mountains of NM, Reptiles and Amphibians in MO, Spotted Owls in AZ, NM, & OR, and Southwestern Willow Flycatchers and Yellow-billed Cuckoos in AZ. Vincent has been leading people on Nature tours across the country since 1987, including: Bird & Wildlife Tours, Naturalist Saunters, Nature Treks, Wilderness Survival workshops, Wildlife Tracking, & Astronomy. Vincent leads both experienced and novice birders with equal passion. His birding experience includes most of the U.S., Hawaii, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Bahamas, Bolivia, Japan, Singapore, Australia, France, Italy, Scotland, Iceland, & Botswana. His life list includes over 800 species. Vincent and his wife Claudia own RAVENS-WAY WILD JOURNEYS LLC, their Nature Adventure and Conservation organization. RWWJ owns two southeast Arizona Nature and Wildlife Sanctuaries: 50+ acre Raven’s Mountain in the Chiricahua’s and 42-acre Raven’s Nest by Patagonia Lake & Sonoita Creek State Natural Area. Raven’s Nest offers a luxury Safari Camp for birders and Nature Lovers. At both preserves Vincent practices ecological restoration and management, offering habitat consultations in AZ and beyond. As a passionate Environmentalist and Scientist, Vincent is currently adapting his Sky Islands ecosystem management models for international conservation in order to address our urgent habitat & biodiversity loss worldwide. Visit:

Chris Rohrer
Greetings! And thank you for joining Tucson Audubon’s Southeastern birding festival! My name is Chris Rohrer and I’ve loved birds since I’ve been a kid but didn’t turn into a birder until 2011. Now I am addicted to all things avian. I am a teacher by day and birder anytime I’m not working. In the birding world, I collect a lot of bird data and do quite a bit of study in Mexico and Guatemala. I’ve done extensive travel around the world, write for my blog Las Aventuras. I have also sold my photography and have contributed quite a bit of my work to various research papers. Some of my photography is also used in our bird ID guides/books both locally and nationally. I occasionally guide around Southern Arizona when I get the chance away from work. And finally, I’ve also published articles for various bird magazines around the country. In short, I love birds. I will do my best to help all of you learn about our amazing wildlife here in Southern Arizona. This will be my 3rd year guiding for the festival and I can’t wait to show you some of my favorite birding hotspots. See you soon or as we say in Spanish, hasta pronto! And welcome to the amazing birding world of Southern Arizona!”

Jim Rorabaugh
Jim earned BS and MS degrees in Zoology and Animal Ecology, respectively, from U.C. Davis and then went on to a 30-year career as a wildlife biologist for various federal agencies, mostly in Arizona and California. He spent his last 20 years working on threatened and endangered species in southern Arizona while employed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Phoenix and Tucson. Mostly known for his work in herpetology, Jim is the senior author of A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Sonora, Mexico, as well as many other published works in herpetology. He was worked extensively in Sonora as well as southern Arizona. Jim began birding in Arizona in 1979 and enjoys sharing with others what he has learned over the years about birds, other animals, and plants. Now retired, he lives off-the-grid in a remote area of Cochise County where the lizards are strong, all the snakes are good looking, and all the birds are way above average.

Luke Safford
Luke grew up in a family that loved the outdoors and quickly blossomed into a birder after his grandparents gave him his first bird book when he was seven. He was enamored with the idea of making bird species lists and keeping track of the day to day bird life in his suburban back yard near Tacoma, WA. After moving to Yakima, WA, Luke became involved in Yakima Valley Audubon and served on the board, as field trip coordinator, CBC compiler, and field trip leader. His favorite birding in Yakima was along the Yakima River on the Poppoff Trail, where he led a weekly bird walk for three years. He loves to bird specific patches and watch the comings and goings of bird life throughout the seasons. At the end of 2014 Luke and his family moved to Tucson and he quickly began attending, then leading, the Sweetwater Wetlands bird walk. The Sweetwater trip is one of Luke’s favorite moments of the week as it is a time of catching up with the “Tucson regulars,” meeting new people from all over the world, helping new birders learn basics and, of course, soaking in the bird life.

Eric Scheuering
Eric has been sharing his love for birds with other people for over 25 years. Early in his career as a biologist at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon he led people on tours of the refuge and surrounding area. Later, after earning a master’s degree in science education, he taught middle school science for five years and always looked for ways to incorporate natural history and ecology topics in his teaching. In 2014 he joined the staff of the Audubon Society of Portland and taught a variety of bird-related classes, in addition to leading birding trips, both locally and around the world. In early 2018 he moved to Tucson to work as an environmental educator for Pima County, and now as the Education Programs Manager at Tucson Audubon, he’s excited to continue to help people learn about and enjoy the rich bird life of southeastern Arizona.

Steve Siegel
Steve Siegel has been a birder since he was 10 years old and had to ride a street car to bird in a St. Louis park. He became interested in video in the 1990s when, watching a displaying Common Nighthawk, he thought “What a good way to capture the bottom of that dive.” His first video camera was attached by a cable to a recorder slung over the shoulder, and he has filmed with every generation of camcorder and digital video camera since. Steve has filmed birds in every corner of North America, and in the tropics. He feels that bird video is the forgotten sister in the wildlife imaging family and hopes to help popularize it. His footage has appeared in productions by The Nature Conservancy, National Geographic, James Currie’s Birding Adventures TV and has been featured on The Today Show. He was a cameraman and editorial consultant for Fox Pictures “The Big Year”. He currently shoots with a Panasonic Lumix GH-5 and 100-400 zoom. You can see some of his video on Vimeo at or on the website Steve and his wife, Wendy, live in Albuquerque, NM where they are thrilled to finally be in the West.

David Simpson
David Simpson has been a birder and naturalist for the last 40 years and is a life-long resident of central Florida. He worked as a Park Service Specialist at St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park for 12 years and has held several other similar jobs. He started leading tours almost 30 years ago and has his own company, Birding with David Simpson, which provides custom guided tours of Florida and educational classes. He has led tours at many festivals in Florida including the
Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, Birds of a Feather Festival, Everglades Birding Festival, and many others. You can find out more and read about his adventures at

Hanna Strauss
Hanna has been a reptile and amphibian enthusiast since she was old enough to pick up a frog. Her career in Herpetology evolved while living in Southern California. There, she participated in projects centered on population studies of various species with the US Geological Survey, Department of Defense, and California Dept. Of Fish and Wildlife. She currently works as a Mojave Desert Tortoise Environmental Monitor for construction projects based in the Mojave Desert. Hanna is currently a member of the Tucson Herpetologicl Society , has been a member of Southwest Partners in Reptile and Amphibian Conservation and the Southwestern Herpetologists Society, and participated in wild bird rescue for the Tucson Wildlife Center. She also has a keen interest in birds as an aviculturalist and has published articles on the husbandry and breeding of Mousebirds.

Rick Taylor
Hiking up to 500 miles each summer for eight years while conducting research on the Elegant Trogon, Rick Taylor developed an intimate knowledge of the birds and habitats of Southeastern Arizona. During the course of his research he reported the first Eared Quetzal ever seen in the United States! Rick is the founder Borderland Tours, and the author of location checklists for finding birds in Arizona’s Chiricahua and Huachuca Mountains, as well as Trogons of the Arizona Borderlands, and ABA’s A Birder’s Guide to Southeastern Arizona. His most recent book, Birds of Southeastern Arizona, a regional photo field guide covering all of the regularly-occurring birds in this area, as well as all of the Mexican specialties, was published in 2010.

Luke Tiller
Originally from London, England, Luke transplanted to the United States in 2003. As a professional hawkwatcher he has traveled the world to witness raptor migration and has experience counting raptors in North America, Europe and the Middle East. He has written about birds and birding for publications here in the US and in Europe including Audubon Magazine, Birdwatch Magazine and ABA’s Birding Magazine. Since 2012 Luke has sat on the Hawk Migration Association of North America Board and chaired their Tours Committee. Luke is currently based in Altadena California and employed as a professional tour guide by High Lonesome BirdTours and Wildside Nature Tours. You will find him at most birding festivals working on the ZEISS Sports Optics booth.

Stephen Vaughan
Stephen Vaughan is a professional photographer and ornithologist. He has been photographing and studying natural history for more than 40 years. His photographs have been published in numerous books, magazines and calendars from publications including National Geographic, Audubon, and Arizona Highways.

Michael Welch
Mike grew up in Idaho, spent 38 years in Maryland as a chemist for the Federal Government, and now is enjoying retirement in Oro Valley with his wife, Donna. He’s been in all 50 states and 30 foreign countries, always looking for birds. Western Tanagers are to blame for his obsession with birds. On a family camping trip to the Island Park area of Idaho, he found numerous Western Tanagers around the campground and he had to go to the local library to figure out what they were. He enjoys the incredibly varied habitats in southern Arizona and particularly loves the Sonoran Desert around Honey Bee Canyon and Catalina State Park, where he leads bird walks for the park. He has lead bird walks for Tucson Audubon at Sweetwater Wetlands and Paton’s. Leading bird walks is a great way to meet new people, learn new things, and enjoy the environment.


Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120 Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447


Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120
Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447


Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120
Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447