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Ecuador: Key Bird Guides


Lelis Navarrete   

More details about this Trip:

Lelis Navarrete

Lelis Navarrete has nearly twenty years of experience as a birding guide. Lelis has vast experience as tour leader in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Peru, and now Columbia and Panama.  

  • Lelis is regarded as one of the finest birding guides in South America and is often consulted for his knowledge of the birds and their vocalizations.  Lelis is familiar and able to recognize the calls and sounds of some 2,400 South American species, and nearly 8,000 bird vocalizations.  You will find Lelis can find bird species by ear from 200 yards away and help you see the bird species you most desire whether you are in Ecuador or whether you are in Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Columbia, or most any part of South America. By my estimates and experience, Lelis' skills will allow you the opportunity to see another 10 to 30 species more per day than other bird guides in South America.

  • His skills and time in the field often support a number of scientific contributions.  The most famous is working with Robert Ridgely in discovering of the Jocotoco Antpitta (a new bird to science), and also with Ridgely on first records of Crested Becard and Spot-throated Hummingbird.  He has contributed to the work of John Moore, including several CDs of Ecuadorian birds songs and calls and including the rediscovery of Striated Antbird.  In solo, he has reported new species for the Ecuador bird list: Andean Tyrant, White-backed Stilt, and Peruvian Antpitta.  When in the field in any country, Lelis can find new species where not found before, extending the known range of several other species in many parts of South America.  

  • When Ridgley returns to South America, he often hires Lelis as a guide in most parts of South America.  

  • Lelis has a degree in biology from the Universidad Catolica in Quito. 

  • Besides being a fantastic bird guide, Lelis supports a number of conservation efforts.  He has been, and continues to serve, on the Board of the Jocotoco Foundation (since its conception).   

  • Lelis has always received the highest rankings from client comments.  His tour participants use him as a benchmark for all birding guides worldwide. In addition to his strong background as a field naturalist birder, Lelis is unparalleled for his people skills, attentiveness, humor and organizational skills.

  • Lelis, along with Xavier Munoz and Mercedes Rivadeneira, is one of the owners of Neblina International.

Kate Hogan,  ASGD Community Outreach Coordinator

Kate is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where her love for the ocean took her to the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. She studied abroad at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia where she went searching for the elusive cassowary (which she unfortunately did not find), but she did encounter the not-so-elusive kookaburras, wallabies, and possums throughout campus. Upon her return, Kate interned with the beautiful marine mammals and birds at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Washington. “You haven’t lived until you’ve bleached an ENTIRE puffin exhibit and shoveled polar bear poop!” She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Science/Biology in 2005 and ironically could not find a job near the ocean, but the Denver Zoo hired her for a seasonal position with their Summer Safari camp. She was then hired as an educator for the Downtown Aquarium in 2006, a family programs specialist with the Denver Zoo in 2007, and as the education and group sales coordinator at the Downtown Aquarium in 2010. In 2012, she graduated from Regis University with a Master’s in Nonprofit Business Management, and although she will miss the sharks and mermaids dearly, Kate was so excited to once again be joining a nonprofit like ASGD that values environmental education and strives to teach the community about the beauty of Colorado wildlife. She currently lives in Parker with her husband Bryan, daughter Caitlyn, and son Luke.

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