Our Guides

Christopher Calonje

Christopher Calonje was born and raised in Co¬lombia where his grandfather and parents instilled an appreciation for the beautiful birds of Colombia from a young age. He graduated with a degree in Natural Resources Planning at Humboldt State University, lo¬cated in Northern California, and worked ten years as an environmental consultant in the Pacific Northwest. Chris specializes in wetland science, botany, and environmental education. He began leading groups in 2008 in his native Colombia, found-ed Colombia Birdwatch to promote responsible ecotourism, and devotes his time to various non-profit conservation groups and local communities. His family and friends in Colombia have welcomed nu-merous tour groups to their properties in all regions of Colombia.

Jose Luna

Jose Luna was born and raised in the Western Andes of Colombia, and has been birding in the San Antonio Forest since 2007. He is studying environmental agriculture and is an organic farmer himself. He is the lead local guide for Colombia Birdwatch, and has shined amongst his colleagues for his proficiency in English and his ability to find birds. He has been guiding for most of his adult life, and has taken a liking to imitating bird songs and calls. He enjoys birding and studying birds on his free time and has worked as a field biologist in numerous thesis projects and expeditions in the Colombia Andes and Choco Bioregion.

Carlos Mario Wagner

Carlos Mario Wagner is a zoologist from Colombian National University, and the tour leader for Mapalina Birding Trails, a conservation non-profit organization that trains local youth and teaches the skills necessary to guide birding groups. He has spent the past five years working on bird conservation projects throughout southwest Colombia, but concentrates his efforts in the Farallones National Park and the IBA San Antonio Forest where he grew up.

Sergio Ocampo

Sergio Ocampo was born and raised in Manizales, Colombia, and obtained a degree in zoology from the University of Caldas. He has been leading trips throughout Colombia since 1997, and is director of the Gabriel Arango Ecological Foundation in the Rio Blanco Reserve. Sergio knows Rio Blanco better than anyones else in the world. He is a founding member of the Colombian Association of Ornithi-ology and the National Network of Colombian Birdwatchers, President of the Board of Directors of the Colombian Network of Private Nature Reserves and an Associate Member of the Antioquean Ornithological Association.

Oswlado Cortes

Oswaldo Cortes is gaining his Master's in Biology at Universidad Nacional. He has been biridng in Co-lombia for more than ten years and has a vast knowledge of birds and bird sounds of Eastern Andes species. Oswaldo's broad research interests include ecology, conservation planning and landscape-scale conservation strategies for hummingbirds. Species he does research on include Niceforo's wren, Colombia mountain grackle and chestnut-bellied hummingbird. Oswaldo loves meeting and traveling with people of all cultures and from all corners of the world.

Richard Johnston

Richard Johnston is a biologist from the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia. He has worked for Calidris, a non-profit organization specializing in waterbird research, as an associate researcher since 2000. He has extensive experience in waterbird ecology, specializing in population estimates and habitat use. He is extremely knowledgeable on the birds of the Cauca Valley and Colombia's Pacific and Caribbean Coasts.

Johnierre Arango

Johnnier Arango is the environmental liasion for Serraniagua, a community-based organization that promotes conservation in El Cairo (his native town). He is passionate about the planning and creation of natural reserves to ensure the survival of endangered species in the Serrania de los Paraguas. He is a rural tourism coordinator and environmental educator and has been instrumental in the creation of environmental stewardship programs in his area. Johnnier has ben guiding birders for 4 years, where he has studied the endemic and endangered Gold-ringed Tanager.

Jose Castaño

Jose was born in Jardin Antioquia and has been studying birds since 2001 when he became interested in the protection of the Yellwo-eared Parrot. Jose was a founding member of Proaves, and is involved in conservation work mainly in the Western Andes. As co-founder of Proaves, Jose has helped to es-tablish many successful reserves and been involved with a variety of conservation projects in his native Colombia. Jose has been guiding professionally since 2008, and is currently finishing his studies as a Biologist at Antioquia University.