Florida: Premier Birding Guide Biographical Sketch
Rebecca (Beck) has been an avid birder and photographer for the past fifteen years. She began her career with an environmental science degree from Richard Stockton University. Her first internship was in 2000 studying Dotted Skippers and Diamondback Terrapins in Cape May County, NJ. After this period, her passion for biodiversity spread from entomology and herpetology to birding. Beck is a Certified Master Naturalist, a bird bander with the Wekiva Basin Banding Station until 2017, and participates as a volunteer in Jay Watch, North America Butterfly Association butterfly counts, and Christmas Bird Counts. She served two years as an Oklawaha Valley Audubon Society board member and field trip coordinator.
Beck has been a guide for the North Shore Birding Festival, Palm Coast’s Birds of a Feather Fest, Festival of Flight & Flowers, Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival, Orlando Wetland Park Festival, and Acadia Birding Festival and has been guiding birding tours both professionally and as a volunteer for the past six years. She brings a diverse knowledge of all of Florida’s fauna, but especially birds, butterflies, beetles, and other insects. Rebecca also brings a passion for all things nature and her love of the natural world is contagious to all those who go with her. She also has an extensive resume of thirteen years of ornithological fieldwork studying everything from Clapper Rails, Pileated Woodpeckers, Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, shorebirds, waterfowl, and wading birds.
Gallus began birding in eighth grade at the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania watching raptors, which began his love of hawks. Naturally he chose to work towards a degree in biology at Kutztown University. Since then, he has been the hawk counter at Bake Oven Knob in Pennsylvania. During his time there, he was published in American Hawkwatcher for a paper on Migrating Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned Hawks in conjunction with Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and Montclair in New Jersey for the New Jersey Audubon Society.
He arrived in Florida in May 2005 to work for Dr. Reed Noss of the University of Central Florida performing radio telemetry and banding of the critically endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrow. This eventually led to his current job with Lake County Office of Parks & Trails where he performs quarterly bird & butterfly surveys on six conservation properties, gives presentations and leads educational trips in addition to his regular duties as a Recreation Coordinator for Trails. Over his time with Lake County, he was on Birding Adventures with James Currie, Keynote Speaker for 2015 Wings & Wildflowers Festival as well as a guide and speaker each of the five years the festival was in existence.
In his spare time, Gallus is the eBird reviewer for Lake and Sumter Counties, Florida, compiler for Zellwood-Mt. Dora (Lake Apopka) CBC, eBird Hotspot Reviewer for Florida and has assisted with Jay Watch. He also is a trip leader for North Shore Birding Festival, Festival of Flight & Flowers, Space Coast Birding & Nature Festival, and Palm Coast’s Birds of a Feather Fest. Gallus participates in numerous Christmas Bird Counts and often accompanies Beck on North American Butterfly Association butterfly surveys. He also leads trips to the Dry Tortugas for Florida Nature Tours. Gallus has been guiding tours in Florida for the past nine years.
With this background, Gallus brings the details, with quality eBird checklists made at every stop and a knowledge of the when and where to find birds. His background also means he has a vast knowledge of local ecosystems and thanks to Rebecca is becoming a butterfly enthusiast and better photographer.
David has loved natural history his entire life, and he has seriously studied birds and butterflies for over twenty-five years. For over two decades, he has led trips for local bird clubs and Audubon groups, first starting with the Tennessee Ornithological Society (TOS). That soon led to organizing trips farther afield, and he now guides half a dozen trips per year for the Partnership for International Birding.
David has led trips all around the US (especially Alaska, New Jersey, Texas and Ohio/Michigan) and to other countries, including Canada (Newfoundland), Panama, Ecuador, Mexico and Belize.
In addition to birding, David spends a lot of time documenting butterfly, dragonfly and moth species for county lists. David is also involved in annual BioBlitzes and bird counts, and his advice on the distribution of certain species is sought out in both Tennessee and Pennsylvania. He has been in active leadership roles in the Tennessee Ornithological Society, Lackawanna Audubon Society and the Northeast Pennsylvania Audubon Society.
He has worked at the University of Tennessee in the Entomology and Plant Pathology Department. He has an M.S. degree from UT and a B.S. in biology research from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania.
David now lives in his home state of Pennsylvania, where he works full-time for the Partnership for International Birding. As a partner in the Partnership for International Birding, he is more than happy to guide anywhere in the United States and/or host a birding trip in most any country.