Everglades Birding Festival

Everglades Birding Festival

January 14 - 18, 2021

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FIELD TRIP LEADERS - 2020 Information below

PADDY CUNNINGHAM — Biologist — Expert Guide and Instructor
Paddy Cunningham Paddy Cunningham has been a Naturalist in South Florida for 35 years. Her passion is birds and she teaches a variety of bird classes to help birders gain advanced skills at numerous festivals, Bonnet House and Flamingo Gardens.

Her motto is “YOU LEARN THE I.D.”. Paddy’s company Birding Adventures takes small groups of birders throughout Florida, U.S. and the tropics - Jamaica, Bahamas and more. She calls her trips “INTENSE BIRDING at a RELAXED PACE.

She is the Coordinator of the Everglades Birding Festival in its 9th year. Paddy is a popular speaker and guide at Florida birding festivals-Big O, Fairchild Gardens, Wings & Wildflowers and the Everglades Birding Festival.

Despite being a Busy Mom and a full time Gifted Science Teacher in 2008 during a BIG YEAR she was 1st in Florida, 20th in the Lower 48 states and 27th overall for the A.B.A. area. Her passion is teaching you to become a better birder, while finding the birds you seek.

(954) 805-6810
JIM EAGER — Obsessive Compulsive Birding
Jim Eager After a 35 year career with BellSouth, Jim realized his dream of doing field work, after being selected as a raptor observer for the 2008 Florida Keys HawkWatch Project. As an Avian Field Technician, Jim has studied Bachman's Sparrows on the SE coastal plain of North Carolina, shorebirds/seabirds in east/central Florida and breeding songbirds in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Jim was also a co-founder and co-coordinator for the rebranded Florida Keys Hawkwatch at Curry Hammock State Park in the Middle Keys. Jim is the Social Media Coordinator and longtime field trip leader for the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival as well as Social Media Coordinator for the Brevard Nature Alliance. In addition, Jim is a field trip leader for the Florida Birding and Nature Festival, Biggest Week in American Birding as well as a longtime field trip leader for the Everglades Birding Festival. Jim is a board member of the Florida Ornithological Society (FOS), Merritt Island Wildlife Association (MIWA) and Associate Editor (for bird distribution), FOS "Florida Field Naturalist". Jim also owns Obsessive Compulsive Birding specializing in guided trips in and around Central Florida.
DAVID SIMPSON — Expert Guide
David & Dee Simpson David is one of Florida’s premier birders. A fanatical lister, he holds ABA records in Fl. Big Year (2nd), Fl. Life List (4th) and has identified at least 150 species of birds in all 67 Florida counties. David is also an avid eBirder, submitting over 5,000 complete checklists in Florida in 2015. He worked as a park ranger for over 12 years developing a deep knowledge of Florida’s environment.

David is a very popular leader at birding festivals including Space Coast Birding and Wildlife, Wings & Wildflowers, Birdapalooza, and more. David and his wife run a business providing environmental consulting, customized bird guiding, speaking engagements, and training for eBird, birding, and other subjects.

Jeff Kietzmann Jeff Kietzmann began birding in 2017 with a goal of seeing 365 birds in a single year. He finished the year with 552 ABA Lower 48 species. Since that time, Jeff has seen over 670 ABA birds in the Lower 48 of the United States and has a goal of reaching 700 ABA birds. Although a relatively new birder, Jeff is passionate about honing his skills and is continuously educating himself. He is an avid chaser who enjoys big days, big years and just big birding in general. His "spark bird" is the Pileated Woodpecker, the first bird he chased and found on his own. Outside of birding, Jeff is an avid traveler. As a full time telecommunications executive, Jeff has been to all seven continents and visited over 120 countries. His biggest regret is not birding all of them!


DR. DALE E. GAWLIK — Waterbird Ecology and Conservation
Dale E. Gawlik, Ph.D. Dale Gawlik is Director of Florida Atlantic University's Environmental Science Program and a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. His research focuses on waterbird ecology and conservation, wetland and intertidal ecosystems, restoration ecology, and the use of birds in aquatic ecosystem management. He has published over 70 papers, many focused on how hydrologic processes control wading bird populations in the Everglades of Florida. He and his students have developed heron, stork, and ibis habitat models that link bird populations to the hydrologic management and restoration of the Everglades. Dale serves on the IUCN Heron Specialists Group and IUCN Stork, Ibis, and Spoonbill Specialist Group. He also is a member of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Wood Stork Working Group. Dale has been held a number of elected leadership positions in professional ornithological and scientific societies, including his current positions as Secretary of the Association of Field Ornithologists and Councilor for the Waterbird Society.
Professor of Biological Sciences, Director, Environmental Science Program, Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431-0991
Telephone: 561-297-3333 • Fax: 561-297-2749 • E-mail: dgawlik@fau.edu


JAMES PASCATORE — Field Trip Co-Leader
David Pasacatore James is an excited new birder whose love of birds has led him to train to be a field trip co-leader. In 2012, James attempted a Big Year on the eastern coast of the U.S. and surpassed his goal of 300 species on New Year’s Eve. James reached 400 life bird species by the age of 19 and continues the quest for 500. He has been mentored by his Mom, Paddy Cunningham, but his ability to recall facts about birds lets him stand out on his own. This will be his fifth year (2020) as a co-leader and his sixth year as a member of Everglades Birding Festival family.
pascatore.dropkickmurphys.jame@gmail.com or

Birding Adventures
Paddy Cunningham

5181 SW 27th Terrace
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33312
(954) 805-6810