Everglades Birding Festival

Everglades Birding Festival

January 11-15, 2018

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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.


JIM EAGER — Space Coast Audubon Society Avian Field Technician

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 in North Carolina, shorebirds/seabirds in Florida and breeding songbirds in Virginia.

He was also a co-founder and co-coordinator for the rebranded Florida Keys Hawkwatch at Curry Hammock State Park in the Middle Keys. He has participated in numerous Christmas Bird counts in Tennessee and Florida, conducted a Breeding Bird Survey route for 5 years in Merritt Island NWR and is the Brevard County coordinator for Florida’s Breeding Bird Atlas 2.

Jim is a field trip leader for the Wings and Wildflower Festival as well as the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival. He is currently a board member and publicity chair for Space Coast Audubon Society and helps mentor the Young Birders of Brevard. He now is doing private guiding and touring with his company Obsessive Compulsive Birding.  


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.



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 second year (2017) as a co-leader and his third year as a member of Everglades Birding Festival family.

pascatore.dropkickmurphys.jame@gmail.com or


JAMES CURRIE — Wildlife Adventurer 

James Currie A life-long wildlife enthusiast and native of South Africa, James Currie is fast- becoming one of the most recognizable faces in birding and wildlife in North America. James hosts the popular birding TV show, Nikon’s Birding Adventures, now in its 8th season and currently airing on Discovery Channel’s Destination America. He also hosted the popular action-birding show “Aerial Assassins” on National Geographic WILD, aired in the United States and worldwide in 2012 and appeared as himself in the reality birding show, “Twitchers” that aired on the National Geographic Channel in 2014. He has led professional wildlife and birding tours for over 15 years and his passion for birding, adventure and remote cultures has taken him to nearly every corner of the globe. James has appeared as a special guest on various TV shows and radio, including Martha Stewart Radio, and WGN and has been the subject of several newspaper articles including the Wall Street Journal, The Palm Beach Post and the Orlando Sentinel.

James filmed for, consulted for and provided footage for the 2011 Hollywood birding movie, “The Big Year”, starring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson. James Currie is a highly sought-after public speaker and has spoken to sold-out audiences at various venues including the prestigious Explorers Club in New York City, The G2 Gallery in Los Angeles, The National Audubon headquarters in New York City, the Miami Zoo, humanitarian fundraisers and international conservation conventions, birding shows, the annual Educational Travel Conference and The Adventure and Travel Expo.

He is an expert in the fields of sustainable development and environmental management, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in African Languages and a Masters degree in Sustainable Environmental Management. His dissertation received a distinction and has been used as a model for assessing the relationships between wildlife areas and local communities. James presented his dissertation to the Icelandic Government in 2001. One of his passions is forging links between local communities, wildlife and international travelers. From 2004-2007 James worked as the Managing Director of Africa Foundation, a non-profit organization that directs its efforts towards the upliftment of communities surrounding wildlife areas in Africa. He has extensive experience in African wildlife, including walking game on foot.

James has contributed to several publications, including the acclaimed Southern African Birdfinder and Wildwatch and his first book, When Eagles Roar was published in October 2014.

In late 2007, he immigrated to the United States with his American wife and three kids and he currently resides in West Palm Beach, Florida.


Birding Adventures
Paddy Cunningham

5181 SW 27th Terrace
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33312
(754) 201-1141