Everglades Birding Festival
FIELD TRIP LEADERS
PADDY CUNNINGHAM — Biologist — Expert Guide and Instructor 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
JIM EAGER — Obsessive Compulsive Birding 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 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.www.BirdingwithDavidSimpson.com
MARIAH HRYNIEWICH & LUIS GLES Mariah Hryniewich is a Wildlife and Nature Photographer and an avid naturalist from Port Charlotte. Mariah is passionate about most things in nature leading her & Luis to show others the wonder of our world through their tour company, Woodstars Birding & Nature Tours. Mariah has also been working for the Florida Keys Hawkwatch the past 3 fall migrations and has been doing multiple bird surveys for ARCI-Avian Research & Conservation Institute. She is the birding & social media manager for PhoneSkope and a Kowa Sporting Optics representative.
Luis Gles is a Naturalist from Colombia, currently living in Miami, and is a well-known member of South Florida’s birding community. He is lead hawkwatcher for the Florida Keys Hawkwatch and volunteers at the Cape Florida Banding Station. He is a founding member of Valley of the Colors, an organization focused on developing ecotourism in Colombia and Florida and coordinating with bird tracking agencies. Luis is a co-founder and tour guide of Woodstars Birding & Nature Tours, a company based in Florida. He leads tours to North America, the Caribbean, Central America and Colombia. He is also a Kowa USA ambassador and avid digiscoper.
FIELD TRIP CO-LEADERJAMES PASCATORE — Field Trip Co-Leader
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.