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Hawaii: Premier Birding Guide Biographical Sketch

Mandy Talpas

Mandy Talpas has been a professional bird guide for over fifteen years. Mandy started birding young, and she has been birding for over twenty-five years. Mandy has guided in Hawaii for the American Birding Association as well as several major birding tour companies. Mandy loves Hawaiian birding and her enthusiasm for birding on the islands can be contagious.  In 2018, Mandy set the Hawaii Big Year record.


Some of the things we at the Partnership for International Birding love about Mandy is that she loves to share stories about her recent birding adventures on the Hawaiian islands.


  • One such moment was when Mandy found three tropicbird species in a two hour span of time.  One tropicbird species in the ABA area is an accomplishment for most ABA listers, but all three from this family in a few hours is a really good day of birding.

  • Mandy also loves to tell about her Big Day on the “Big Island”, when she shared with clients a dozen endemic species in a single day.

  • Many also loves a good day of pelagic birding, especially when the group sees some very tough to find species like White-necked Petrel or Juan Fernandez Petrel.


As a tremendous lover of birds and wildlife, Mandy has dedicated her life to avian conservation and bird-watching. From the time she was a young girl she collected natural history observations in her backyard, volunteered at a wildlife rehabilitation and education center, and rescued many unwanted pet parrots.


Mandy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies from East Stroudsburg University and began conducting countless environmental education programs as a naturalist and educator. She continued to broaden her scientific studies and field skills with the Ornithology Lab at Villanova University, pursuing a graduate degree.


Mandy has worked for several bird conservation organizations, including at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and Pacific Rim Conservation (in Hawaii). She has worked as an educator for ornithological and zoological societies and organizations. She has worked as a bird bander. She has also worked at the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania, and she loves working as a bird guide.


Her passion for parrots led her to the remote forests of Manu in Peru, where she worked to save endangered macaws. She has also studied tropical ecology in Costa Rica, Mexico, Belize and Guatemala.


Mandy is grateful to have embarked on a new life in Hawaii as a bird and nature guide and an avian field technician for Pacific Rim Conservation.

Mandy volunteers for the Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project and the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project.


Mandy is eager to share her knowledge and enthusiasm of Hawaii's culture, history, wildlife and most especially, its unique and fascinating birds.


More details about our trips in Hawaii:

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