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Brazil: Premier Birding Guide Biographical Sketch

Ciro Albano

Ciro Albano has been a bird guide, focused on northeast Brazil, for fifteen years. He is widely recognized as the top field ornithologist leading tours in this area.


Ciro has spent his life in northeast Brazil, and started studying nature and birds here at a young age.

  • He was born and grew up in Fortaleza, the capital of the state of Ceará, in the heart of the Caatinga Biome.

  • Throughout his childhood, he would often visit the countryside accompanying his father, a nature photographer. His father was thrilled when Ciro also turned into a nature enthusiast.

  • His passion for nature drove his choice of study at university. Ciro chose to study biology, focusing on bird study as much as he could. Ciro graduated from the Federal University of Ceará in 2003.


Ciro has also worked in numerous positions as a scientist and naturalist. In 2003, Ciro joined the NGO Aquasis to work in bird research and conservation. For five years, he was one of the founders and a team member of conservation projects focused on two critically endangered species – the Araripe Manakin and the Grey-breasted Parakeet.


Ciro’s skill at identifying bird calls and his wide knowledge of the birds of northeast Brazil drew the attention of other Brazilian ornithologists. In 2006, he was first asked to lead birding tours in northeast Brazil. Ciro was thrilled with the opportunity, and he has been leading tours in northeast Brazil building towards a near-full schedule ever since.


Ciro’s field experience and scientific study have supported his published work and the rare accomplishment of finding a new bird species to science. Ciro enjoys collecting data in the field, and he enjoys bird photography and collecting acoustic data of birds calls and vocalizations. His photos have been published in several important publications, including the Handbook of the Birds of the World. He has been the author or co-author of several scientific papers on birds. One of Ciro’s greatest discoveries is a yet unnamed new bird species to science, of the genus Myiornis (Pygmy-Tyrant); and Ciro looks forward to the day this discovery has completed scientific review. 

Clients appreciate Ciro’s enthusiasm for sharing the birds of Brazil with them, and they are always impressed by his abundant knowledge of the area and the birds and other wildlife found here. You will find your birding experience with Ciro in northeast Brazil to be unforgettable.

More details about Brazil trips:

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 Colombia 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, Colombia, 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.

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