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LEADERS

Alejandro Pinto

Alejandro is a biologist from the Universidad Nacional (National University) of Colombia, located in Bogota. His passion for nature started when he was a child, growing up in the Eastern Andean plateau. His past roles include being the coordinator of the National University of Colombia Group of Ornithology (GOUN) between 2011-2012 and is still an active member of the group today. Alejandro was a leading and organising member for the GOUN during the XXVI National Ornithological Meeting in San Jose del Guaviare and again an organising member for the national meeting in 2017. Alejandro is also the National Coordinator of the International Migratory Bird Day since 2014 to present. These voluntary roles really highlight Alejandro’s passion for the continued growth of ornithological studies in Colombia and its importance at a national and international level.

He started his research projects and field work in 2011 regarding seed dispersal by birds and its implications in the natural restoration of habitats in the Llanos (Eastern Plains) region of Colombia, and has worked in many research projects including migrant birds assessments, delimitation of new areas for conservation and population censuses of some endemic birds. He is a passionate birdwatcher, field ornithologist and talented nature photographer. An all round great guy who loves nothing better than to take his clients around showing them the fantastic avian diversity of Colombia. Alejandro is The Colombian Project’s Birding Product Manager and one of Colombia’s most sought-after tour leaders.

Oswaldo Cortes

Oswaldo was born Bogotá, has a graduate degree in Biology and is currently working and studying for a Master’s degree in Biology (Universidad Nacional/National University). Oswaldo has been at the forefront of conservation and research of various endangered Colombian endemics of the Eastern Andes. He has a special focus is in the region of the municipality of Soatá , where he has helped to jointly establish a reserve with the local community for the conservation and survival of the endemic Niceforo’s Wren and Colombian Mountain Grackle. Oswaldo regularly appears in the media promoting conservation and has been a fundamental adviser of various new birding tourism/conservation-related policies in Colombia.

He is always avidly birding all over Colombia, that is, when he is not researching, recording bird sounds, preparing papers about bird rediscoveries, or attending scientific meetings (during which he of course takes advantage of to do more birding), in Brazil, the US, and South Africa. Oswaldo has designed and led birding, natural and cultural history tours in Colombia now for many years, making him without doubt one of Colombia’s most experienced leaders.

Diego Calderon

Diego is one of Colombia’s founding fathers when it comes to birding tourism. An established tour leader in his own right, Diego has been at the forefront of birding in Colombia for well over 10 years. Through his experience and expertise Diego has been invited to lead birding tours at a regional and international level throughout Central and Latin America (Brazil, Panama, Venezuela, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico) and Africa (Madagascar), with more and more international tours being added to his roster each year. Diego completed his studies as a biologist at the Universidad de Antioquia and his academic research has included studies of courtship display behaviour of manakins, natural history studies of migratory birds, and the systematics and relationships of Galloanserae.

Diego has birded extensively throughout his native country where he has been part of expeditions exploring the most remote and poorly known areas of Colombia. This has resulted in Diego adding many more species to Colombia’s overall list as well as having the prestige of being involved with the identification and scientific description of the endemic and endangered Antioquia Wren. Other explorations include the almost inaccessible endemism centre of the Pirre mountains which lie between Panama and Colombia deep in the heart of the Darien rainforest. Diego is also one of the few people to have ascended to the páramo of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains to look for the enigmatic Blue-bearded Helmetcrest and rarely seen Santa Marta Wren, both of which he photographed and voice-recorded.

Diego on tour is a fountain of knowledge and has an infectious passion for birds and nature in general. It’s a pleasure to be able to include Diego among our tour leaders here in Colombia. Diego’s passions include digiscoping and searching for and photographing wild orchids.