December 2022 Keynote Speakers
Hannah Buschert and Erik Dale Ostrander are a husband and wife team of very enthusiastic birders who travel around the world searching for birds and learning more about them. Hannah and Erik have been hosting a popular bird-related podcast for the past few years called "Hannah and Erik Go Birding." Recently Hannah has started hosting a women birders podcast in which she features women from around the world whose passion is birding. They reside on the Oregon Coast in a great location to see Tufted Puffins. Here is their website: They will be presenting the Friday night keynote "Five Years of Podcasting” and co-leading several trips at the festival.
Reinier Munguia is president of Lake Region Audubon Society in Winter Haven and staff naturalist at the Street Nature Center. Along with his wife Nyleen, he will present photo workshops at the NORTH SHORE BIRDING FESTIVAL. A widely published photographer, his website is Reinier has been Audubon Florida’s EagleWatch coordinator and assists with rescue work for wildlife rehabilitation centers. Reinier presents at schools all over Florida to help future generations understand and appreciate nature. He will present the dinner keynote on Saturday night at the Wekiwa Springs Youth Camp and photo workshops Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. 
December 2022 Field Trip Leaders
Gian Basili is one of the people most responsible for guiding restoration efforts on the Lake Apopka North Shore and for opening the area to birding and other passive recreational use. He worked 2 years for Audubon Florida, 17 years for the St. Johns River Water Management District, and now works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Jacksonville. Gian earned his Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for his groundbreaking work on Dickcissels, the first year-round study of a neotropical migratory songbird.  He will be co-leading Trip 46.
Bert Alm moved to Florida in 2014 and retired from Northrop Grumman in 2016. Bert is an Advanced Florida Master Naturalist and the Treasurer for Space Coast Audubon Society and Hundred Acre Hollows. Bert and his wife Val also volunteer at the Brevard Zoo's Sea Turtle Healing Center helping to rehabilitate sick and injured Sea Turtles. Bert is very active with other nature-centered organizations, and he is over halfway to his goal of visiting the 530+ sites on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. He will be co-leading Trip 11.
Brady Bailo is an avid birder who lives in Osceola County. He has participated in multiple Christmas Bird Counts and volunteered with the Nature Conservancy to monitor Florida Scrub-Jays and Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. He is a past winner of the June Challenge in Osceola County for 2020, 2021 and 2022. He will be co-leading Trip 63.
Andrew Boyle is the master bander at the Wekiva Bird Banding Station at Lake Lotus Park.  Set up in 1994, this banding station—which originally banded birds in the Wekiva River Basin Parks—is Florida’s longest continuously running bird banding station. Andrew began participating when the banding station was at Wekiwa Springs State Park in 2003 and in 2008 moved the station to Lake Lotus Park with banding on Sunday mornings. The fun of banding is in the surprise species that are netted. Learn more about the Wekiva Bird Banding Station through Andrew's blog at  He will be leading Trip 47.
MIchael Brothers is one of the our country's leading gull experts. Retired as Director of the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet, Michael has been leading pelagic birding expeditions off Florida and Georgia for nearly 20 years and natural history tours throughout Florida, the Galapagos Islands, Kenya, and the Amazon. He is a member of the Florida Ornithological Society Records Committee and is the Florida regional editor of the journal North American Birds. Michael will lead Trip 70.
Hannah Buschert and Erik Dale Ostrander are a husband and wife team of very enthusiastic birders who travel around the world searching for birds and learning more about them. They host a popular bird-related podcast called "Hannah and Erik Go Birding." Recently Hannah has started hosting a women birders podcast in which she features women from around the world whose passion is birding. They reside on the Oregon Coast in a great location to see Tufted Puffins. Here is their website: They will be presenting the Friday night keynote Five Years of Podcasting” and co-leading many trips at the festival.
Steve Coleman is “the dean of the Magnolia Park Lake Apopka sunset photographers.” Through his many posts on Facebook, he created a Magnolia Park sunset photography movement. Steve shares his photos on the Sunsets by Steven Facebook page and with Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive Facebook groups. The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive now closes at 5 p.m.. During the period that access at Magnolia Park was closed for renovations, Steve rode his bike on the Loop Trail to do his sunset photography. Steve will lead Trip 62.
Gigi DelPizzo is a Freshwater Fisheries Biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, based north of Lake Apopka in Eustis. An avid birder, she participates in Florida Scrub-Jay surveys,  North America Breeding Bird Atlas surveys, Bluebird Nesting Box surveys, EagleWatch, quarterly bird and butterfly surveys in Lake County, and numerous Christmas Bird Counts. She has assisted with the Wekiva Basin Bird Banding Station at Lake Lotus Park. Gigi enjoys extensive traveling and birding around the United States and abroad and in 2019 saw her 500th American Birding Association species. She will co-lead Trips 17, 30, 40 and 55.
Lauren DiBiccari is currently Bander-in-Charge at New Jersey Audubon's South Cape May Meadows research station where the stopover ecology of migrant songbirds is being studied through bird-banding and tracking data. Hands-on field research has been her focus as a biologist, and she has previously worked with Klamath Bird Observatory, HawkWatch International, and Manomet Inc to study migratory and breeding birds as well as teaching and training new bird-banders. Lauren will be co-leading trips with Alex Lamoreaux.
Casey Dorsch has been working as a Wildlife Technician for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in Christmas, FL. since 2001. She is active in land management and conducts grassland bird and eastern bluebird nesting box surveys each spring. Casey’s love for birding started almost 20 years ago when she began hosting birding tours at Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area. She will be co-leading Trip 11.
Paula Duenas is a photographer and birder who recently traveled to Maine and Newfoundland to photograph Atlantic Puffins with her Nikon D500. She hasn't had any formal training but has learned a great deal from other birders and friends. She calls herself the accidental birder as she discovered her love for birds while spending time in nature as a healing tool. Paula is an Orange Audubon Society board member and volunteers as a Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive Ambassador. She will be co-leading Trip 31, Viaje de fotografía. 
Lynn Marie Folts is a photographer and naturalist that visited the North Shore even before there was the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. Her photos of birds in action, bugs and wildflowers have set the bar for future photographers on the Drive. A trip leader since 2018 but absent several years, the festival committee is happy to have Lynn Marie back. She will co-lead Trips 10, 28, 47 and 62.
Angela Gan is a Lake County resident who enjoys birding wherever she goes. She participates in bird surveys in the Central Florida area and travels often to see what she may be missing of the bird world. Angela will be co-leading Trips 4 and 45. 
Reinhard Geisler chases birds throughout Florida while working as a manager for a large corporation. A superb nature photographer, Reinhard is a volunteer at the City of Orlando's Orlando Wetlands Park and a Florida Master Naturalist. Along with his wife Jutta, he created the “Birds of Orlando Wetlands Park” book and teaches bird photography workshops to benefit that park in east Orlando. His images have also been featured in “American Birding Association” (ABA) magazine and “ABA Field Guide to Birds of Florida” by Bill Pranty. Reinhard will be co-leading Trip 28 and 48.
Jutta Geisler is a photographer, graphic designer and web designer through her company G-Graphic Solutions, LLC. She chases birds in Florida and all over the world with her husband Reinhard. Jutta is also a volunteer at Orlando Wetlands Park. She will be co-leading Trip 28 and 48.
Greg Gensheimer became an avid birder through the 1998 Emeralda Marsh Christmas Bird Count and monthly counts at Emeralda and the Lake Apopka North Shore. He chairs the Friends of Green Mountain Scenic Byway (GMSB), which created the 45.2-mile Florida-designated Scenic Highway along western Lake Apopka, including acquisition of Ferndale Preserve and the Green Mountain Scenic Overlook and Trailhead. Retired from dual careers as an environmental and investment consultant, Greg now spends time on the GMSB and birding. He will lead Trips 14 and 51.
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. Through Birding Ecotours, a company based in South Africa and the UK,  he leads tours to North America, the Caribbean, and Colombia. He is also a Kowa USA ambassador and avid digiscoper. Luis will co-lead Trips 15, 19, 27, 43, 52 and 65.
Rafael Gomez retired at sixty-two after many years of operating a printing press. In his post retirement years he spends much of his time hiking and riding his bicycle, mostly on the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. He saw so many interesting things that he decided he should capture these experiences, so he bought his first DSLR in 2019. After the pandemic he became more interested in birds and has since dedicated time to learning both birding and photography. 
He will be co-leading Trip 31. Viaje de fotografía. 
Deborah Green knows the birds and plant life at Wekiwa Springs State Park well; she has written two natural history books on the area and taught a community college field class at the park. She is also intimately familiar with the NORTH SHORE BIRDING FESTIVAL that began in 2016 as a spin-off of the family-oriented Lake Apopka Wildlife Festival & Birdapalooza. While serving as president of Orange Audubon Society (OAS), in 2016 Deborah led the effort to develop a real birding festival to attract out of town visitors.  She chairs the Birding Festival committee. Deborah will be co-leading Trips 22, 38, and 59.
Mark Hainen is a birder/nature photographer who birds the majority of the year in Michigan and Ohio, particularly at the Black Swamp Bird Observatory at Magee Marsh. He spends 3 months each winter in Central Florida and has enjoyed birding the Lake Apopka North Shore for the past 8 years. Mark is an official Observer for the Detroit River Hawk Watch and one of its photographers. He makes an annual trip to Northern Minnesota’s Sax Zim Bog during February to see and photograph Great Gray, Northern Hawk and Boreal Owls. He wades into chest deep marshes, crawls on hands and knees and hikes miles for an opportunity to see and photograph nature. Mark will be co-leading Trip 10, 19 and 45.
Karen Hamblett is an avid birder and photographer who participates in local bird counts and has been eBirding for the past 8 years.  She frequently birds by bicycle and has found many rarities on the Lake Apopka North Shore, including the Smooth-billed Ani that was a big hit at the 2019 North Shore Birding Festival. She has recently taken birding trips to Peru, Brazil, and Columbia. Karen is a volunteer at Orlando Wetlands Park and will be co-leading Trips 48 and 28.
Mitchell Harris has been interested in natural history from his earliest years growing up in Vero Beach. He began birding about twenty years ago after seeing a white morph Gyrfalcon, just north of the Brooks Range on the North Slope of Alaska. He is extremely interested in pelagic birds and leads trips for the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival and for Space Coast Audubon. Mitchell has found many rarities in Brevard County, including an American Flamingo at Canaveral National Seashore. He will be co-leading Trips 67 and 70.
David Hartgrove was a backyard birder until 1986 when he helped with the first Florida Breeding Bird Atlas and was introduced to hard core birding. In 1987 he became the Conservation Chair for Halifax River Audubon in Daytona Beach, and in 1996 he became compiler for the Daytona Beach Christmas Bird Count. David has led trips to the Dry Tortugas, Cuba and Panama and in addition to leading  trips for Halifax River Audubon, he leads for the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival. David will co-lead Trips 7 and 16.
Milton Heiberg is a professional photographer and instructor of nature photography who has written seven books, most recently The Essentials of Nature Photography, Tern Book Company. Milton was the founder of the photo committee at New York City Audubon Society and taught nature photography courses there from 1980 until he moved to Orlando in 1998. He teaches nature photography at the Crealdé School of Art, Harry P. Leu Gardens and is Central Florida's photography instructor at Digital Photo Academy—Panasonic/Lumix's national school of photography. Milton will be co-leading Trip 1.
Jack Horton is a native Floridian and wildlife photographer who loves getting out in Central Florida to find subjects to observe and photograph. His photography has been used by Nikon USA, National Audubon Society, and the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey EagleWatch Program. He works as a high school math teacher, is involved with the sport of water polo, and was recently inducted into the Lake Brantley High School Hall of Fame. He serves on the board of Orange Audubon Society and is part of the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive Ambassador Program. Jack will be co-leading Trip 62.
Mariah Hryniewich is working for her third fall at the Florida Keys Hawkwatch. An avid naturalist from Port Charlotte, Mariah is passionate about Florida nature and has earned her stripes while birding the Gulf coast and traveling throughout the country. She is a wildlife photographer, a rep for Kowa Sporting Optics, and PhoneSkope. Mariah will co-lead Trips 15, 19, 27, 43, 52 and 65
Pete Johnson is active in Duval Audubon and serves as director of their Crosby Sanctuary (500-acre nature preserve) near Jacksonville, Florida. He is also an experienced bicyclist having completed numerous endurance events and nature tours of backcountry areas by bike. Pete grew up in central Florida and still travels down to bird and bike Lake Apopka as often as possible! His dad is on the right. He will be co-leading trip 36. 
Alan Kneidel is a Conservation Biologist at Manomet Bird Observatory in Massachusetts, focused on shorebird research in eastern Massachusetts, as well as Whimbrel conservation efforts in the Atlantic Flyway. He works in science and education at Manomet, in particular monitoring songbird populations at Manomet's long-term banding station and in restoration of retired cranberry bogs into wetland habitat. Alan worked in Alaska on shorebird research 5 years ago with Alex Lamoreaux and joined him leading an Orange Audubon Society trip with Wildside Nature Tours to Maine. He will be co-leading Trip 12, 23, 24, 53 and 59.
Luddy Lambertson is an avid birder, nature lover, and world traveler. Professionally, he and his wife Rachel breed and sell daylilies through his Art Gallery Gardens in Lake Helen, FL.  Luddy has been an art instructor for junior high, high school, adult education and the learning disabled, and his artwork is represented in numerous private and public collections. His birding trips have taken him all over the United States and to Peru, Colombia, Thailand, Africa, and Costa Rica. Luddy will co-lead Trip 33.
Paul Lammardo is an ornithologist and park biologist at Wekiwa Springs State Park, a position he has held since 2005. Paul's Master’s thesis at SUNY Stonybrook was on scrub-jays—comparing survival in natural and suburban settings. Through monthly Wekiwa Springs State Park bird surveys, using Orange Audubon Society volunteers, he is documenting how species like Bachman's Sparrow, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Red-headed Woodpecker and Eastern Bluebird have increased at the park through 35 years of prescribed burning. He also monitors Florida Scrub-Jays on park properties. Paul will lead Trip 66.
Alex Lamoreaux is senior leader and North American specialist for Wildside Nature Tours and guides birding tours across the US and beyond. He has worked on avian research projects from Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to southern Belize, and everywhere in between! Alex is particularly interested in shorebirds and raptors, and absolutely loves watching birds in active migration. A former Florida resident, he currently resides in Cape May, New Jersey, but birding tours take him all over the world. Alex is leading Trips 2, 6, 12, 23, 30, 50, and 58.
Michael Legare is Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge's Supervisory Refuge Biologist and works to develop and implement recovery efforts for federally threatened and endangered species across public lands in east-central Florida. One of the species he focuses on is the Eastern Black Rail, recently listed as federally Threatened. The St. Johns National Wildlife Refuge, managed though Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, is a location where Black Rails still survive. Michael will be leading Trip 8.
Lorri Lilja worked as a contractor for the St. Johns River Water Management doing bird surveys and other projects, which spawned her interest in birding. She earned an Environmental Studies degree from Rollins College and participates in bird and butterfly surveys, Bioblitzes, Florida Scrub-jay surveys and Christmas Bird Counts. Recently retired from a career in law enforcement, Lorri enjoys birding travel. Her American Birding Association (ABA) species list is over 500 and her worldwide total is over 700. Lorri enjoys pointing out birds to others and will be co-leading Trips 15, 26, 51 and 63.
Ed Maldonado is a Retired Law Enforcement Officer with a passion for bird photography. This passion really started three years ago when he took his oldest grandson to a Bird Rehabilitation Center. Taking photos of birds not only helps Ed in his daily life but it is satisfying to share them with family and friends on social media.  His gear for bird photography is a Sony A9 camera and a Sony 200-600mm lens. Ed will be co-leading Trip 31 Viaje de fotografía. ​​​​​​​

Cindy Monell is an avid nature photographer recently retired from elementary teaching. Ever enthusiastic, she enjoys working with children and welcomes her first chance to co-lead a Youth and Family Photography Field Trip for Orange Audubon Society. Cindy is one of the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive Ambassadors and can frequently be found on the Drive or at other birding hotspots. She will be co-leading Trips 18 and 35.
Reinier Munguia is the staff naturalist and president of Lake Region Audubon Society in Winter Haven. Along with his wife Nyleen, he will present photo workshops at the NORTH SHORE BIRDING FESTIVAL. Reinier has been Audubon Florida’s EagleWatch coordinator and assists with rescue work for wildlife rehabilitation centers. Reinier presents at schools all over Florida to help future generations understand and appreciate nature. A widely published photographer, his website is He will be co-leading Trips 39 (indoor workshop) and 49.
Chris Newton first started birding when his father and uncle took him on birding trips and Christmas Bird Counts in the Northeast. He has been a birding guide, monitored raptor nests in Nevada, and done surveys on the Lake Apopka North Shore. His full time job is keeper of giraffes, lions, rhinos and zebras at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In 2015, he did an Osceola County Big Year in competition with his friend Gallus Quigley, who did a Lake County Big Year. Chris saw 236 bird species, a record for Osceola County. He saw his 700th North American bird species in 2019. Chris will co-lead trips 3, 8, 12, 29, 37. 50, and 63.
Katrina Noland is a Land Management Specialist with the St Johns River Water Management District, assisting in management of 10 conservation areas totaling over 80,000 acres in Orange, Seminole, Brevard, and Volusia Counties. Keeping the natural lands healthy while offering public recreation opportunities makes for an extremely diverse work schedule. Prior to this position, Katrina worked as Land Manager for Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, FL and was an exotics spray technician and AmeriCorps member with the Florida Parks Service. Her BS degree is in Environmental Science from the University of Central Florida. Katrina will be co-leading Trip 9.​​​​​​​
Eric Dale Ostrander and Hannah Buschert are a husband and wife team of very enthusiastic birders who like to travel around the world searching for birds and learning more about them. Hannah and Erik have been hosting a popular bird-related podcast for the past few years called Hannah and Erik Go Birding. They reside on the Oregon Coast. Here is their website: They will be presenting the Friday night keynote Five Years of Podcasting” and co-leading several trips at the festival.
Lee Ann Posavad is an avid nature photographer who enjoys working with young photographers, having taught her grandchildren phototrips graphy. She is always learning by working with other photographers and taking photo workshops to improve her skills. See her photography at this link. She has taught Youth and Family Photo Workshops for Orange Audubon Society for several years including at the NORTH SHORE BIRDING FESTIVAL. Lee Ann will be co-leading Trips 35, 45 and 61.
Ben Powell is a local birder and photographer that frequents the Lake Apopka North Shore. He considers himself equal parts birder and photographer, inspired by grandmother and father and reading the National Audubon Society Field Guide for North America Birds as a kid (the one with the green vinyl cover). He gets great shots with his Nikon D700 / 200-500mm combo aided by Nikon bins for tracking.  Professionally a Manager of Commercial Finance, Ben is Scoutmaster of a local Boy Scout Troop and a Bird Study and Photography Merit Badge Counselor. Ben will be co-leading the Friday Sunrise trip.
Lynn Proenza is a Wildlife Biologist for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in Christmas, FL. In addition to land management activities, she conducts annual grassland bird and Eastern Bluebird nesting box surveys. Her true birding passion started while hosting birding tours each year at Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area. She looks forward to each migration and loves traveling to new destinations to add to her growing list of bird sightings. Lynn will be co-leading Trip 11.
Gallus Quigley works as a planner, biologist and trails coordinator with the Lake County Parks & Trails Division.He also is a birding guide with Rebecca Smith through Archaeopteryx Birding and Nature Tours.  An avid birder for over 25 years, he is the Cornell eBird regional reviewer for Lake and Sumter counties and was coordinated the Florida Breeding Bird Atlas II for Lake County. He broke Lake County’s Big Year record in 2015 with 243 species. A past Orange Audubon Society board member, Gallus has contributed to the development of this festival. He will co-lead Trips 4, 14, 30, 40, 44 and 64.
Emily Renaud is Senior Communications Manager for Manomet Bird Observatory in Massachusetts, where she content for social media, web and Manomet Magazine. Joining Manomet in spring 2016, she worked first as a bird banding intern with the Environmental Education and Outreach team. An avid birder, outdoorswoman, and natural science illustrator, Emily is committed both in her professional and personal life to spreading the message that nature is for everyone. She holds a BSc in Wildlife and Conservation Biology from the University of Rhode Island and worked on various projects as a seasonal field biologist for three years before joining Manomet. She will be co-leading Trip 12, 23, 24, 42 and 59. 
Matt Richardson is a native Floridian whose interest in birds began when his family moved to the pine woods of Northwest Florida. At age 8 he requested a field guide for Christmas and set out to identify every bird he could find. Moving to Central Florida in 2005 for a career in corporate finance, he added photography to his birding hobby. Matt frequents the North Shore, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, the South Carolina low country and adds birding/photography to business travel.  He enjoys fishing, camping and anything outdoors and is a scratch golfer but easily distracted by birds.
Kathy Rigling is an avid birder, eBirder and photographer who has recently retired after 35 years as a middle school science teacher. She is Education Coordinator Orange Audubon Society, coordinates local bird surveys, is Birdathon compiler, and serves on the NORTH SHORE BIRDING FESTIVAL committee. Each summer Kathy directs the Nature Studies program at the Wekiva Youth Camp. She will co-lead many trips (see At-A-Glance).
Ralph Risch for many years was Florida Scrub-Jay Biologist for Seminole State Forest in Lake County and now is principal forester for Flagler County. While studying for his zoology masters at University of South Florida, he worked at Archbold Biological Station with pioneering Scrub-Jay experts Reed Bowman, John Fitzpatrick and Glenn Woolfenden. He has birded in 45 states, 3 Canadian provinces, and 6 European countries, and worked as a bird biologist in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, New York, Oregon and Washington, and as a birding guide. He will be leading Trip 56.
Jack Rogers is a prize-winning, widely-published nature photographer who has been photographing birds and other wildlife for decades. Jack leads workshops and presents a variety of seminars each year, including nature photography at Valencia College where he recently retired from a career as a Geology professor. He is a great supporter of Florida’s conservation organizations and his images ( may be seen on their websites, pamphlets, and signposts across the state. He will be co-leading Trip 18.
Gilberto Sanchez-Perez is a naturalist and photographer who volunteers at Orlando Wetlands Park. He is a retired U.S. Army command sergeant major, originally from Guanica, Puerto Rico who studied at the University of Puerto Rico in Ponce. Gilberto is a skilled photographer, particularly interested in hummingbirds, and travels around the world to see new species. Gilberto will be co-leading Trip 69, the Monday photography trip to Orlando Wetlands Park.
Bob Sena has been doing scenic and nature photography for many years, beginning with trips to over 30 US national parks and continuing with trips to such places as the Galapagos Islands, China, and New Zealand. In recent years he has used his photos as a basis for more than 70 detailed color pencil drawings of birds and other wildlife, winning “Best of Show” and other awards at various competitions. Bob has a degree in Graphics Communication. He will be co-leading Trip 61.
Steve Shaluta  was the West Virginia Tourism Board’s primary photographer for 30 years. Upon retirement, he moved to Central Florida and has turned to nature photography, with the Lake Apopka North Shore, Emeralda Marsh, and Ocala National Forest among his favorite places. Steve had taught many photo workshops in West Virginia and now teaches in Central Florida.  He will be co-leading the photo trip to Emeralda Marsh. He will be co-leading Trip 55.
Alan Shapiro owned a large native plant wholesale nursery in Gainesville, FL before retiring to Winter Garden several years ago. He now spends most of his time outside birding, botanizing, biking and kayaking - usually around Lake Apopka.  As he had been active with Alachua Audubon, Orange Audubon has pulled him into our fold as board member and festival committee member. He will be co-leading Trips 1, 17, 36 and 57.
Scott Simmons was given a SLR camera in 2001. HIs interest turned to nature photography and a few years later, through the Central Maryland Photographer's Guild, he developed a passion for teaching. The more he learned about photography, the more he wanted to be out in nature photographing it and the more he “got into” birding. Scott is a fan of the Lake Apopka North Shore and submitting observations to iNaturalist. He is an eBirder, chaser of rare species and has a great ear for bird vocalizations. See to see his photos. Scott will be co-leading Trips 20 and 25.
David Simpson is one of Florida’s top birders, a life-
long resident of central Florida and holds many American Birding Association records, David  is one of Florida’s top birders, a life-long resident of central Florida and has held many American Birding Association records, including Big Year and Big Day. He has spent over 25 years leading tours, both through his previous job as a ranger at the St. Sebastian Buffer Preserve and at festivals. He is a birding guide through his own company, Birding with David Simpson. David will be leading Trips 5, 26, 52 and 68​​​​​​​. 
Rebecca Smith, "Beck" to her friends, now leads birding tours with Gallus Quigley through their company Archaeopteryx Birding and Nature Tours, a festival sponsor. Since 2000 during her first internship studying dotted skippers and diamondback terrapins in Cape May County, New Jersey, Beck's passion for biodiversity has spread from entomology and herpetology to birding. A Certified Master Naturalist, she is a volunteer with Audubon Florida's Jay Watch, NABA butterfly counts and Christmas Bird Counts. She has been a bird bander with the Wekiva Basin Banding Station. Beck will be co-leading Trips 44. and 58.
Mary Soule is one of the most dedicated birders on the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive—digiscoping and documenting on eBird the arrival of waterfowl and shorebirds as well as spotting rarities. In the Orange County June Challenge. Mary placed first in 2019 and second in 2020. Mary will be co-leading Trips 6, 16, 10, 42 and  54.

Joan Tague walked through the doors of the Pittsburgh Aviary in 1987 and never looked back. Her path in birding is like so many others that love a hobby—studying, doing the field work, traveling, developing skills, giving back through volunteering and teaching both adults and children. She regularly guides field trips for Halifax Audubon Society and other organizations and looks forward to sharing her love for her adopted home of Central Florida. She will be co-leading Trip 33.

Susan Thome-Barrett is an avid birder who now serves as Orange Audubon Society's conservation chair. She is recently retired as a physical therapist and in the past worked in marketing. She is part of the team originating Bird Chats with Orange Audubon Society, the weekly online Zoom programs. Recently Susan has co-led the Beginner's Bird Watching Classes and now will be co-leading Trips 9, 34, 41 and 54..
​​​​​​​John Thomton began birding during his junior year of high school in the Chicago suburbs. An avid birder in Central Florida for the past 15 years while working for Disney, John founded and is compiler for two local Christmas Bird Counts, Clermont and Bay Hill. He holds degrees in wildlife management and biology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and particularly likes corvids. John will be co-leading Trips 32 and 37.
Craig Watson is recently retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in the ACE Basin south of Charleston, SC, where he researched avian populations. Thirty-three years ago he worked for the U.S. Forest Service in the Francis Marion National Forest when Hurricane Hugo hit and obliterated the population of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. Craig led the  installing artificial inserts into pine trees, now widely used to expand populations of this endangered woodpecker. He and partner Pam Ford lead trips and bird surveys for the Carolina Bird Club. Craig will co-lead Trips 3, 8, 16, 29, 40, 46 and 67.
Maxfield Weakley has been immersed in wildlife since his earliest memories. Learning to photograph at the age of eight from his father, Kent Weakley, only deepened his passion for wildlife (particularly the feathered variety). He graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2019 after helping found the UCF Knighthawk Audubon Campus Chapter as the head photographer chair. He now runs his own website,, where he shares his passion for avifauna and photography with fellow bird nerds around the world. Max will co-lead Trip 55 and others TBA.
Bob Wexler is a Lake County birder who does bird surveys with Gallus Quigley and leads trips locally for Oklawaha Valley Audubon Society. Bob has been an avid birder for 65 years and moved to Central Florida in 2004 from the Catskill Mountains of New York. He and his late wife birded in over 30 countries. Bob will co-lead Trip 55.
Graham Williams works for the St Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) managing 10 conservation areas totaling over 80,000 acres in Orange, Seminole, Brevard, and Volusia Counties. He balances public access and recreation with natural resource management and regularly employs prescribed burning. Graham has BS and MS degrees in Biology from the University of Central Florida and was a SJRWMD Land Management Specialist in north Florida, a Florida Park Service Environmental Specialist II, and worked for the Seminole County Natural Lands Program before becoming a SJRWMD Land Manager. An avid birder, Graham will lead Trip 9.
2021 Field Trip Leaders Who May Be Back, Depending on Schedules
Brian Cammarano has been monitoring terns and other seabirds on Maine's seabird islands, surveying rare Black Rails in Southwest Florida and monitoring breeding and migratory shorebirds through Audubon Florida's shorebird steward program. He assisted with bird banding at the Cape Florida Banding Station and Wekiva Basin Banding Station; worked as a grassland songbird technician in Montana; volunteered for a bird of prey rehab center in Miami; assisted with Florida Scrub-Jay research, and this fall has joined the Florida Keys Hawkwatch. Brian helped form the UCF Knighthawks  Audubon chapter.  
Jeffrey Gammon is a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida, now teaching middle school science while working to become a field biologist. Skilled at finding birds in the field, Jeffrey researches behavior, ecology, and life history to better understand each species, and his eBird reports include interesting annotations. Jeffrey has volunteered with rehabilitation of injured/orphaned birds at the Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge. 
Natasza Fontaine is completing her masters at Florida State University on habitat associations between plants and birds. She studied Northern Mockingbirds at the Lahti Lab at CUNY Queens College and volunteered with New York City Audubon as well as the Delaware Highlands Conservancy.  In 2017, she had the opportunity to attend a Cornell Lab of Ornithology Sound Recording workshop and now has made over 550 bird audio recordings!  These have enhanced her keen ear. Natasza is also a natural science illustrator and volunteers as a Shorebird Steward for Audubon Florida. 
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