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Cuba: Key Bird Guides


Arturo Kirkconnell Jr., Arturo Kirkconnell, Luis M. Diaz and Alejandro Llanes  

Arturo Kirkconnell Jr.

Arturo Kirkconnell (sometimes referred to as R2 or Arturo, Junior) has been a professional bird guide in Cuba for nine years, and he has been birding in Cuba for over 18 years.  He has guided couples, small groups, and large groups since 2009.  In the last few years, he has been guiding close to twenty Cuba birding and ornithological study tours each year.


Arturo is working to complete the Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of Cuba and an app for the Birds of Cuba. 


Arturo completed his Bachelor of Science at the University of Havana in 2012.  Though his degree is in computer science, his true passion is birding.  

Arturo’s education in bird studies has mostly been with his father Arturo Kirkconnell, who wrote the Field Guide to the Birds of Cuba.  Arturo (R2) has participated in many of his father’s expeditions since he was age nine (almost twenty years ago), and he fell in love with birding as he grew up.  He has helped on a number of his father’s ornithological study tours, as a bird researcher and field assistant over the last decade.


Besides teaching field skills to his son, Arturo (R1 or senior) has taught Arturo (R2) the value of high-quality customer service.  On trip after trip, both Arturo (R1) and Arturo (R2) prove they take good care of our clients, and they work hard to meet our customers’ needs throughout the tour.


Luis M. Diaz

Luis M. Díaz, PhD, has been a curator at the National Museum of Natural History in Havana since 1998. He is an enthusiastic birder and long term naturalist. He has guided natural history tours in Cuba for over seventeen years, and he has been a bird guide since 2003. He has led over sixty birding tours in Cuba, and he is very popular with birders as a guide. He has guided with well-known American birders, including Jon Dunn and David Sibley.


His research is focused on the taxonomy and conservation of Cuban amphibians and reptiles. He has over one hundred published works, including the  Guía Taxonómica de los Anfibios de Cuba. Luis has described twenty new species of herps for Cuba and the Dominican Republic. He has traveled as a researcher or lecturer, including to the Dominican Republic, Germany, Japan, Bolivia, Colombia, Honduras, Guadaloupe, Italy, Canada and the United Sates. Despite his specialized research profile, he loves guiding bird-watchers, as they are interested in birds and other wildlife in Cuba.

Arturo Kirkconnell

Arturo, a native of Cuba, is recognized by many birders as the leading authority on Cuban birds.  He is the co-author of two books, including A Field Guide to the Birds of Cuba, and A Birdwatchers’ Guide to Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, and the Caymans. 


He truly loves birding and ornithology, and this is his passion.  His curriculum vitae includes 77 scientific papers, mostly focused on Cuban and Caribbean ornithology, natural history and conservation.  At present, he is working on another project, The Birds of Cuba (that will be published by the BOU Checklist Series).  Arturo completed his Bachelor of Science in biology at the University of Havana. 


As part of the Museum’s efforts to collect ornithological data, Arturo has been leading birding tours in Cuba for over two decades (since 1988).  To date he has guided more than 200 birding groups. He designed the present birding itinerary, and he has developed the main strategies for bird-finding in Cuba.


Clients praise Arturo for his field skills, and they also indicate that his customer service is excellent. On trip after trip, both Arturo (R1) and Arturo (R2) prove they take good care of our clients, and they work hard to meet our customers’ needs throughout the tour.


Alejandro Llanes

Alejandro works as an ecologist, naturalist and bird guide. He has worked as a bird guide in Cuba for over twenty-five years, guiding more than a hundred thirty tours there. In the last three years, he has been guiding about a dozen tours each year.


Besides working as a birding guide, Alejandro is as an ecologist at the Institute of Ecology and Systematics of the Ministry of Science Technology and Environment (since 1998).


Alejandro has completed a master's degree in ecology and applied systematics. He continues his studies with nearly thirty post-graduate courses completed.


Alejandro is also widely published. He has been the first author on twenty publications, and has co-authored thirty additional publications. His publications have appeared in Poeyana, Biological Sciences, Zoological Miscellany, Neotropical Ornithology, The Journal of Caribbean Ornithology, Ecopolis, Journal of Field Ornithology, and American Bird Banding. Some of his works are included in three books, "Aves de Cuba" (published in Finland in 2002), Ecosistema Sabana Camagüey (published in Cuba in 2007) and Areas of Importance for Birds, published by Editorial Academy of Sciences of Cuba in 2010. He has participated in over forty scientific events throughout the Carribean. He has been a member of the Cuban Society of Zoology since 2004, the Society for the Study and Conservation of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB), and BIRDSCARIBBEAN since 1999.


Besides the Partnership for International Birding, he has guided tours for several other major bird tour companies.


Alejandro loves bird-watching. He is currently the number one eBirder for Cuba, with more species recorded than anyone else. His birding clients always comment on his clear love of bird-finding and sharing bird sightings with them.


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