Leaders and Staff

miguel castelinoMiguel Castelino is well known in South America as one of the foremost avian sound recordists on the continent.  In Argentina and Brazil he is known as an amiable and well-prepared bird guide that has encyclopedic knowledge of all things ornithological.  Formerly the chief naturalist of Iguazú National Park and lead author of its bird checklist, Miguel is also responsible for several first records of birds in Argentina and is renowned for the discovery of the world's most visited Harpy Eagle nest in Brazil.  Show tours with Miguel.

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With a passion for birds and birding that has endured since childhood, Steve Davidson conducts ongoing surveys for Birdlife Australia, is a regional coordinator for the Orange-bellied Parrot Recovery Team, and has been involved in Swift Parrot national surveys in Tasmania and on the Australian mainland. Steve’s affable nature, coupled with first-rate birding skills and intimate knowledge of Australian wildlife, make him an invaluable asset in the field.  Show tours with Steve.



carlos gomezBiologist Carlos Gómez Nieto, just "Charlie" to his friends, is one of Costa Rica’s all-time best birdwatchers with over 800 species of that country’s avifauna to his credit, including several first records. As a professional guide since 1985, Carlos has worked closely with many birding and natural history tour groups, and has earned a reputation as Costa Rica’s single most popular bird leader. He is an expert in tropical ecology, and has traveled widely in the United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America. In 1991 Carlos and Rick Taylor set a Costa Rican “Big Day” record of 225 species. Show tours with Carlos.

arturo kirkconnellOur leading collaborator for birding research in Cuba is Arturo Kirkconnell. Arturo is the former Curator of Ornithology at the National Museum of Natural History of Cuba. His curriculum vitae includes 77 scientific papers and he is the co-author of two books: A Field Guide to the Birds of Cuba, and A Birdwatchers’ Guide to Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and the Caymans. At present he is working on another project: a photographic edition of The Birds of Cuba to be published by the British Ornithologists Union. Arturo has also been leading birding tours in his native Cuba since 1988.  Show tours with Arturo.

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While Philip Maher is an erudite Australian birder in general, his name has become synonymous with the Plains-wanderer, a species of the open grasslands of interior Australia that he has studied intensively for many years. Philip and his partner Patricia have organized and led birding and natural history tours throughout Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and Southeast Asia. Not to be defined by birds alone, Philip’s zeal for native vegetation is demonstrable in the several thousand trees, shrubs and grasses he raises from locally- collected seeds each year.  Show tours with Phil.



eric martinezEric Martinez is perhaps the single most dexterous person we’ve ever seen with a spotting scope.  While he also studied anthropology and archaeology, Eric – fortunately for us – chose a career in ornithology.  His work as a field biologist has ranged from southern Mexico to Ontario, Canada, making him almost as migratory as the songbirds he studies!  In his native Oaxaca, Mexico, he also volunteers as the Christmas Bird Count compiler.  Birding and guiding proficiency aside, Eric’s abiding geniality and quick wit make him an ideal travel companion.  Show tours with Eric.

julio salgadoOver the winter when he's not leading birders around his beloved country, Julio Salgado has proven that he has a special power that enables him to find incredibly scarce Bicknell's Thrush.  His powers of observation extend to all of Puerto Rico's endemic avifauna.  Although Julio only began his birding career five years ago, he has posted Puerto Rico's "Big Year" record for the most species seen, and is number 3 on the all-time list for the total number of species he's recorded in Puerto Rico.  Anyone who has traveled to Puerto Rico with Borderland knows that – above all – Julio loves to laugh!  Show tours with Julio.

Chris SharpeA British birder who resided in Caracas from 1990 through 2010, Chris Sharpe is widely acknowledged as an expert on the birds of Venezuela. Chris began guiding in 1983, and he has led groups in Africa and Antarctica, as well as in South America. Cambridge educated, Chris has published numerous papers, checklists, and book chapters relating to the ecology and conservation of tropical birds. He is presently editor of Cotinga, the journal of the Neotropical Bird Club.  Above all, Chris is known for his droll sense of humor! Show tours with Chris.

Ann SuttonAnn Sutton is the author of the recent Birds of Jamaica, a photographic field guide that stands alone as the definitive work on Jamaica’s avifauna.  After three decades as a resident of the island nation, as well as her experiences as farmer, conservationist, artist, and scientist, Ann is an authority on practically all things Jamaican.  Seabird ecology was the theme of Ann's Ph.D., but her insight into all things wild opens the door to an understanding of Jamaica that few are privileged to experience.  As the proprietor of perhaps Jamaica’s single most famous birdwatching site, Ann’s unfailing humor, energy, and intelligence make Marshall’s Pen everyone’s favorite.  Show tours with Ann.

Rick TaylorRichard Cachor Taylor, founder and Director of Borderland Tours, is the author of location checklists for the birds of both the Chiricahua Mountains--revised in 2010--and the Huachuca Mountains of Arizona, as well as Trogons of the Arizona Borderlands. In 1995 his A Birder’s Guide to Southeastern Arizona was published by the American Birding Association, and he has since revised it for a second edition published in 2005. Rick's most recent project, Birds of Southeastern Arizona, a photo field guide targeted specifically to this unique corner of the U.S., was published by the R. W. Morse Company in August 2010.  Rick set a “Big Year” record for the most birds seen in Mexico in 1988 with 717 species.  Show tours with Rick.

Luis UruenaTrained formally as a biologist, Luis Eduardo Urueña became a rabid birder during his four year tenure as director of the Blue-billed Curassow conservation program sponsored by the ProAves Foundation of Colombia.  Recognizing the importance of ecotourism as a preservation tool, he and his partner Andrea Borras, an ornithologist specializing in endangered species, founded Manakin Nature Tours in 2008.  She and Luis are famous for their ability to weave the most complex Colombian logistics into the fabric of a well-organized tour package.  When traveling with Luis, both his pride and his knowledge of all things Colombian create an experience never to be forgotten.  Show tours with Luis.

rob williams3Originally from England where he received a Ph.D. in avian ecology, Rob Williams has conducted research in Spain and throughout South America.  He has written four books, including "A Guide to Bird-watching in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands" and "The Forgotten Forests," as well as numerous scientific papers.  He and his wife Anahi reside in Cuzco, Peru with their two young sons, Alec and Oliver.  Show tours with Rob.



John YergerJohn Yerger, Assistant Director of Borderland Tours, facetiously describes himself as a “recovering ornithologist.” In reality, his enthusiasm for bird behavior remains contagious. In 2006, John helped set new records for 11 of the 12 monthly “Big Day” records for the state of Arizona. John has served on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Field Ornithologists, the Arizona Bird Committee, and as a member of the editing team for Tucson Audubon’s Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona. When he’s not peering through birding optics, he can often be found squinting at a computer screen in the Borderland Tours office. Show tours with John.

lynne taylorIn 1990 Lynne Taylor left her position as manager of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum gift shop to become the office manager of Borderland Tours. Lynne is in charge of reservations for lodging, transportation, and meals—ensuring that everything will go smoothly in the field for our tour leaders and our participants. Lynne has traveled from Alaska to Australia and from India to Kenya, so she has the first-hand experience to answer your questions. And when you get to meet her in person, you’ll enjoy Lynne’s warmth and unaffected sense of humor.