Miguel Castelino

Birding and Nature Tour Leader

Miguel is one of the founders and co-owner of Trogon Tours. He worked in Iguazú as a National Park Guard and Chief Naturalist for 6 years, where he had the chance to combine his guard training with a strong personal interest for achieving an impressive understanding of both flora and fauna of the subtropical rainforests. As a naturalist, Miguel has focused in bird songs identification, and he has been recording birds for almost 20 years, keeping records of the vast majority of the species present in northern Argentina and Southern Brazil. Miguel has also made a number of contributions to nature conservation and education. He participated in an expedition throughout north eastern Argentina and Southern Brazil, which was organized by Conservation International, to explore the very last relicts of the natural habitat of the Glaucous Macaw, in search of the last individuals left of this magnificent bird, which is now thought to be extinct. Miguel worked in Guyana with The Smithsonian Institution, giving training courses for indigenous people to become natural history tour guides. He has also worked in Guyana on bird populations monitoring for the Kansas Museum. Also in the field of education, Miguel teaches at the University of Misiones in the training courses for professional tour guides. He is also co-author of the Inventory to the Birds of Iguazú National Park. Miguel started to work as a nature tour leader in 1991. He focused on birds and wildlife of Southern Brazil, Bolivia and Northern Argentina. His solid knowledge of the Pantanal and the subtropical rainforests of northern Argentina led to a number of important discoveries, including first sightings of many bird species for Argentina -like American Pygmy Kingfisher & Capped Heron to name but a few- and the location of one of the most visited nests of Harpy Eagle in southern Brazil; a discovery he made more than 10 years ago, which opened the way for a great number of birders to see this very secretive species. Miguel speaks fluent English, Spanish and Portuguese and enjoys widely showing wildlife to people. He lives with his wife Karina and his two sons, Ignacio and Félix in Puerto Iguazú, Argentina, very close to the mighty Iguazú Falls.

Luis Segura

Birding and Nature Tour Leader

Luis is one of the founders and co-owner of Trogon Tours. His home land is Patagonia, where he spent most of his life. He started leading birding and wildlife tours in 1982. Based in Buenos Aires at that time, he joined the Argentine Ornithological Society (AOP) and the Argentine Wildlife Foundation (FVSA), taking several courses on birds, bird watching, marine mammals, flora and geology, and soon started leading groups of Argentine birders and naturalists in different National Parks and Nature Reserves within the country. At age 20 Luis took his first group of foreign birders throughout Argentina and he continues leading English speaking naturalists and birders throughout the Neotropics and Antarctica, focusing mainly on flora expeditions, general natural history and nature photography tours.

Luis’ administration and tour planning skills date back to 1985, when was hired by a tour company in Buenos Aires to develop and manage their educational tours department. It was back then when he started developing Costanera Sur -the famous wildlife reserve located in the heart of Buenos Aires City- as a birding destination, running scheduled tours to this fantastic wildlife area almost on a daily basis… and this was much before it became a reserve!

In 1987, Luis decided to move back to Patagonia, where he settled in Puerto Madryn. Based there he continued working as an independent tour leader and locally as tour guide specialized in birding and nature tours. He was also an associate at a local nature tour company, running their operations department between 1995 and 1997. Luis finally started Seebirds -his own birding tour company- in 1997, catering for birders visiting Patagonia. Three years after, in 2000, he moved one step forward and founded Birding Argentina and Trogon Tours with Miguel Castelino. Combining his own field and office experience with that of Miguel, they started trading first as Birding Argentina, running only birding tours in this country. Regardless, it didn’t take long for the company to start expanding towards neighboring countries, catering not just for birders but also for other naturalists. For facing these new challenges, Luis and Miguel invited wildlife specialists from other fields to join the company, and its name was changed to Trogon Tours. Throughout the years, Trogon Tours became one of Latin America’s prime nature tour operators, pioneering expeditions in a wide variety of natural areas throughout the Neotropics. Trogon Tours currently runs birding and nature tours throughout the Neotropics and Antarctica.

Luis has also been involved in many wildlife conservation projects, mainly on Shorebirds and Seabirds. He worked as a volunteer with the Magellanic Penguin Project in Punta Tombo for 4 seasons. He was also in charge of a rescue station for penguins affected by off-shore oil spilling in Puerto Madryn in 1991. That same year, Luis helped founding the Austral Ornithological Society, becoming its first president.

He is also a keen cacti enthusiast, and keeps a vast collection of Argentine and Neotropical cacti at home, most of them grown from seeds. In the last few years, Luis started sharing his passion for these amazing plants with members of the local community, and -along with Willy Smith, Trogon Tours’ flora specialist- he has developed a series of cacti tours running in different Latin American countries.

To this day, Luis continues organizing and dictating bird watching, natural history and flora courses in Patagonia, encouraging other tour guides and general public to get out there and enjoy nature around us. Luis lives in Puerto Madryn with his wife Nancy.

Lucas Martí

Birding and Nature Tour Leader and Ornithologist

Lucas is one of Trogon Tours partners and senior tour leader for southern South America and Antarctica. Lucas got his diploma in Biology at the School of Natural Science and Museum of the National University of La Plata. His first work as a professional ornithologist was assessing the health of a bird community in a petrol refinery. Since then, he has worked as an ornithologist for the I.A.A. (Instituto Antárctico Argentino) in Antarctica for four different seasons; for the National University of La Plata in bird control at airports and landfills, assessing problems related to birds and power lines; and, for private companies in many ornithological inventories and assessments all along Argentina- in the field of mining, wind power, road constructions, urban developments and others. He has also been working as an environmental consultant for many different projects and fields of expertise.

With more than 15 trips to the white continent, he started leading birding and natural history tours to Antarctica in 2004. At the same time, he gave lectures on Antarctic fauna to then join Trogon Tours in 2005. He soon became one of the company’s senior leaders, guiding many of our tours in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Antarctica and Brazil. Throughout the years, Lucas has specialized in leading birding, mammal and photography journeys. He is very flexible and happy to work with the wide myriad of traveler profiles in the world of nature travel.

Lucas has finally became one of Trogon Tours’ partners and associate in 2016. Besides leading tours, Lucas is our sales manager, and therefore the person in charge of making true your nature travel adventures in Latin America and Antarctica with Trogon Tours.

Lucas also works as a Senior Lecturer in ornithology at the university and still does environmental assessments. He also loves reading, listening to music, playing guitar and rugby. He lives in the city of La Plata, with his wife and three sons.

Pablo Petracci

Birding and Nature Tour Leader and Ornithologist

Pablo joined Trogon Tours in 2012. He was born in Bahía Blanca, Argentina, and studied Zoology at the Faculty of Natural Science and the Museum of La Plata, specializing in marine and freshwater ecology and conservation biology, mostly on migratory birds. During 2003 he was the Coordinator of the “Migratory Bird Conservation Program” of Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina, and from that year on, he cooperates with their “Marine Program”. Pablo worked at the Arctic Polar Circle in Alaska during 2002 and 2004 under the U.S. Geological Service and the National Park Service, where he conducted research on Nearctic migratory birds and seabirds ecology. Since 2006 Pablo has guided expeditions to Antarctica several times a year. At present he holds a position as assistant professor in “Vertebrates Zoology III” at the National University of La Plata. He also coordinates different projects on migratory endangered species (Olrog’s Gull and Austral Goose) and shorebirds (Red Knot) in Argentina. He has done field work and researched on penguins in Staten Island, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, and conducted several aerial shorebird surveys along the Patagonian coast. He published three books (two bird identification guides), four chapters of books, more than 40 scientific papers in national and international specialized magazines and renowned peer-reviewed journals, and gave several conferences and courses. Being in the wild is undoubtedly one of his greatest passions, and he enjoys sharing his knowledge and passion for wildlife and conservation biology with other people. Last but not least, he is a keen and knowledgeable nature photographer, sailor and kayaker. He has explored many Patagonian lakes and rivers by kayak. Pablo currently lives between the cities of La Plata and Bahía Blanca.

Esteban Daniels

Birding and Nature Tour Leader

Raised in Tierra del Fuego, Esteban currently resides in its capital city, Ushuaia. He has a Degree in Tourism and he is Trogon Tours’ Senior Leader for Tierra del Fuego and southern Patagonia. As a professional guide, he has specialized in birdwatching, nature and wildlife photography. Esteban grew up in a sheep farm where he developed his love for nature and wildlife. He knows Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia first hand, and he’s proud to show clients all those secret places where special birds and wildlife live in the southernmost part of the Earth. Leading birding and nature tours is one of Esteban’s passions. Esteban is also involved in conservation and sustainable tourism projects in his homeland. Along with a group of local passionate nature lovers, he helped creating the first Urban Reserve in Ushuaia. This strategic place, located close to the city center, covers 35 hectares of grassland, wetlands and an enclosed bay -a perfect setting for birdwatchers and nature photographers! He helps building a nature sensitive conscience in the local community by leading educational tours for local students to this urban reserve, something that has has been doing for many years now. Esteban has also been a founding member and is an active participant of the local birdwatching club. He also loves exploring Patagonia, trekking, camping, fishing, skiing and horseback riding with his wife Susana and his son Juan.

Patricio Ramírez Llorens

Birding and Nature Tour Leader and Biologist

Patricio is a naturalist guide with a strong interest in flora, fauna, ecology, and conservation biology. He joined our company in 2006, specializing mainly on birding tours in Argentina and the Pantanal. Patrcio leads many of our tours in Argentina, a country he know as the back of his hand! He started his career as a naturalist by joining the Argentine Ornithological Society in 1992 where he took several courses on bird watching and made frequent field trips. He has been birding in every single ecological region of Argentina and has added several new species to the Argentine list of birds. Patricio has also specialized in recording bird songs, something he did for 9 years, and so developed excellent skills for bird recognition by song. Patricio obtained a naturalist degree from the Argentine School of Naturalists. He worked as a guide in Costanera Sur Nature Reserve in Buenos Aires for five years and also guided natural history and educational tours throughout Argentina. He has also given numerous lectures and courses on wildlife and bird watching. Patricio is also a biologist, with a degree from the University of Buenos Aires. He became a field biologist, and always kept the same passion for nature than he had since he became a naturalist. His first field research took him to the flooded forests of the Argentine Chaco for five summers, where he worked with Owls and Owl Monkeys. He then moved to the Atlantic Forest of Argentina to study vocal communication in infant Black Capuchin Monkeys. Nowadays Patricio lives in Iguazú.

Willy Smith

Flora Tour Leader and Agronomist

Willy joined Trogon Tours in 2007. He is an agronomist who developed a strong interest and first hand knowledge on cacti by traveling intensively through his native Argentina and the rest of South America, working as a location scout for the film industry; a job he did for 20 years. As a result of this, some years ago, he started collecting cacti and now has a collection of more than 1,400 species and with over 6,000 plants, nearly all of them seed grown. He has written several articles for specialized journals of Argentina and Spain. Due to his knowledge of the cacti habitats he has been guiding cactus oriented tours since 2002 in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil and Uruguay. Willy produced, directed and hosted a gardening show in Argentina for three years. He obtained his degree in Agricultural Engineer in the University of Buenos Aires and is fluent in English. Willy lives in Buenos Aires.

Julián Baigorria

Birding and Nature Tour Leader and Biologist

Julian in one of Trogon Tours’ birding tour leaders for northern Argentina and Brazil. He has been passionate about nature from a very young age. He has traveled throughout Argentina studying and researching its vast fauna and flora and participated in several projects aimed at conserving native species and natural environments, such as the Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) and Tala forests (Celtis tala) in the Province of Buenos Aires. After obtaining his degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) he moved to the Urugua-í – Foerster Biological Corridor in Misiones, to work for “Conservation Argentina” as Manager of reserves and field projects. He spent several years monitoring birds and mammals in the Biological Corridor, and working with the Provincial Roads Authority to design routes that reduce collisions between vehicles and wildlife. During the past ten years he has been working in Karadya Birding Lodge as manager and birding guide, and he also developed field studies focused on understanding the effect of forest logging and restoration in bird, mammals and spider communities, and during the past 5 years he has been also working as a specialized guide at Iguazú National Park area and throughout NE Argentina. He has built the first ecolodge entirely dedicated to birding in northern Misiones and he is currently working with NGOs and governmental agencies to promote birding tourism and birding routes in NE Argentina. Throughout all this years in the field, Julián has acquired a deep knowledge of the Atlantic forest and its biodiversity and he is always happy to share his knowledge with other people

Victor Gamarra-Toledo

Birding and Nature Tour Leader and Biologist

Victor is Trogon Tours’ senior leader for Peru. He joined the team in 2016 and besides leading tours, he actively participates in tour design and operations in his native Peru and also in Ecuador. Victor is and ornithologist, graduated from the Faculty of Biological Sciences, National University of San Agustin of Arequipa. He has a strong interest in evolution, ecology, and conservation biology, focusing mainly on Amazonian and Andean birds. Victor has carried out research on song evolution in Neotropical birds, spending lots of time studying bird voices, thus developing excellent skills for identifying birds by their calls. During his college student years, he worked as a volunteer park ranger in various Peruvian national parks and reserves, such as Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve, near Arequipa, where he was in change of surveying bird populations in Andean wetlands, focusing mainly on Andean, Chilean, and James’s flamingos. He was also a participant and coordinator of the Neotropical water birds census in southern Peru from 2003 to 2006. Victor’s field research started in the Amazonian rainforests of southeastern Peru, where he worked in the Madre de Dios area, at the well renowned field station of ¨Los Amigos¨ (CICRA), from 2005 to 2007. During his time there, Victor worked on several projects funded by Amazon Conservation Association (ACA) and World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF). As Scientific and Administrative Assistant of the Biological Station, he assisted in the project: “Determining minimum areas for the design of landscapes of conservation in the southwest Amazon,” monitoring populations of parrots and macaws, searching for nests and doing radio telemetry. He also studied the ecology of Forest Falcons in the Peruvian Amazon and was project Manager for a study on song evolution in the antbird species complex; a project of the Department of Zoology – University of Oxford and the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology. Victor has also worked as an external consultant on evaluation, monitoring and inventory of birds for different Peruvian companies since 2008, a job that took him birding to a wide variety of Peruvian natural areas. He also participated in many ornithological expeditions organized by public and private institutions –including the Museum of Natural History, National University of San Agustin– throughout Peru; mainly to explore areas with information gaps. He has also been assistant, organizer, and field instructor in several ecology and ornithology courses for undergraduate students and general public. Victor has nearly 15 years of experience and involvement in biological expeditions, consulting assessments, biological monitoring and research projects in national institutions like SERNANP and international organizations including WWF, WCS, Smithsonian Institution and different universities, among others. Since 2012, he is also a Research Associate at the Museum of Natural History, National University of San Agustin and External Consultant in biodiversity and bird monitoring and Coordinator in the area of Ornithology of the Monitoring Program of Biodiversity in Camisea – PMB. Birds and bird watching are undoubtedly his main interests, but he also enjoys spending time afield, training students interested in ornithology and bird watching. He loves music and travel, and developed a strong interest in nature photography during the last few years.

Luis Eduardo Urueña

Birding and Nature Tour Leader and Biologist

Luis is Trogon Tours’ senior leader for Colombia. He is a biologist from the Tolima University with a vast experience in bird watching and scientific research on endangered species. He started leading birding tours in 2007, but from 2010 onwards he has highly specialized in leading English speaking naturalists and birders in his native Colombia. His field training as a birding tour leader was achieved through locally guiding and co-leading tours with international leaders, like Steven Hilty (Author of the book “Field Guide to the Birds of Colombia – 1986), Nick Athanas, Richard Webster and Frank Lambert to name but a few. In addition, he won a “watcher prize” from the British Petroleum Company Conservation Programme when he worked as director of an important project with the enigmatic Blue-billed Curassow in 2004. He looks after our tour logistics in Colombia, and he actively participates in the design of our Colombia tour itineraries.

Regina Ribeiro

Birding and Nature Tour Leader

Regina joined Trogon Tours in 2010. Born and raised Brazilian, Regina graduated in Tourism Business and have concentrated her studies in biology and ecotourism. She has been leading wildlife and nature photography trips since 1997 in her native Brazil, and more recently in Chile and Argentina as well. Birding and mammal watching has led her to travel throughout South America. She is a popular and knowledgeable person, well known for her ability in wildlife spotting. Regina speaks fluent Portuguese, English and Spanish. Nowadays she is based in Belo Horizonte, the third largest city of Brazil.

Laura Dodyk

Birding and Nature Tour Leader

Laura joined Trogon Tours in 2017. She has guided foreigner birdwatchers and photographers since 2013 in Buenos Aires, Entre Ríos and Misiones. She speaks fluent Spanish, English and Portuguese. She has travelled across Argentina since she was very young, always with the aspiration of learning about birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, vegetation and their interactions. She became a birdwatcher at the age of 10 when she visit Misiones’ forests for the first time. Since then Laura began to frequent libraries to learn about the ecology of the birds of Argentina and spent her free time in natural areas in order to spot new species. She currently works in conservation and ecotourism at the centenary NGO Aves Argentinas, with a role that allows her to travel and further her knowledge. Advanced Biology student.

Nicolás Olejnik

Birding and Nature Tour Leader

Nicolas joined Trogon Tours in 2017. He started leading birding and nature tours since 2013, mainly working with birders in the Argentine provinces of Misiones, Corrientes, Entre Rios, Formosa, Neuquen and Buenos Aires. Birds are his main interest when traveling across the country but he loves finding reptiles, amphibians and arthropods as well. His love for arthropods (especially spiders) led to the publishing of numerous scientific publications, including the discovery of several new species of spiders for the country. He spend one year living in a natural reserve located on the atlantic rainforest of Misiones province, guiding people from all over the world. When he is not working as a birding and nature guide he works at the Buenos Aires museum of natural history as a paleontology lab technician, preparing dinosaur skeletons for study.

Adrián Aspiroz

Birding and Nature Tour Leader and Ornithologist

Adrian is Trogon Tours’ main tour leader for Uruguay. He is a Uruguayan biologist with main interests in ornithology and conservation biology. He earned his M.Sc. and Ph.D degrees from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and has worked in many research and conservation projects in Uruguay and Argentina during the last 20 years. He has studied several threatened species and he is currently responsible of a Pampas birds ecology and conservation project (www.pampasbirds.com). This initiative combines research and education activities to increase public awareness related to grassland bird conservation throughout the region. Adrian has published many scientific contributions as well technical publications such as “Aves del Uruguay” (Birds of Uruguay, 2001) and “Birds of the Pampas and Campos of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay: an identification guide” (2012). He currently lives in Uruguay and works as a scientific consultant for private companies.

Alejandro Pinto

Birding and Nature Tour Leader and Biologist

Alejandro is one of Trogon Tours’ Leaders for Colombia. He is a biologist from National University of Colombia. He has carried out bird research since 2010 and has been leading birding and nature tours since 2014. He is mainly focused on birding in the Andes, Bogota Savanna area and Colombian flatlands. He was the coordinator of GOUN group (Ornithology group of National University of Colombia, between 2011-2012) and a leadership member in XXVI National Encounter of Ornithology in San Jose del Guaviare, National Coordinator of the International migratory bird day, since 2014 to the present. His field researches included topics like seed dispersal by birds and implication for natural restoration of habitats in the Colombian plains.

Cristian Daza

Birding and Nature Tour Leader

Cristian was born and raised in Pereira, Colombia, specifically in the Otún basin. He went to school in the rural basin area, specializing in agrotourism. He was part of a birders group called Aguilas between 2001 and 2013, where he learned about birds and bird watching. Cristian has worked as a birding guide in the Otún basin since 2014, and also as nature and mountain guide in Nevados National Park and Otún Quimbaya Wildlife Sanctuary. Crtistian also took part in different research programs for Yarumo Blanco Communitarian Association, mainly supporting community initiatives on ecotourism and bird watching. Cristian continues studying and specializing in tourism and he guides birders and naturalists for Trogon Tours in his native Colombia.