Birding Festival of the Keys

Birding Festival of the Keys
2017 Guides

To the Festival home page. Details of our evening programs. Our exciting palegic boat trips. Go far afield to get some special species. Get out in the field with our knowledgable guides. Discover the details of our workshops.
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 and the new Birding Festival of the Keys. Paddy is a popular speaker and guide at Florida birding festivals-Space Coast, Fl. Bird & Nature Festival, Fairchild Gardens, Wings & Wildflowers and the Everglades Birding Festival. At festivals she has sat on 2 expert birding panels.

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 seek.

Paddy Cunningham
Paddy Cunningham, Biologist, Expert Guide and Instructor
754-201-1141 — 954-805-6810
Paul Bithorn is a Miami native and has led birding field trips for Tropical Audubon Society and many other environmental and civic groups for over 20 years. He served for many years as a TAS board member. Paul also served as Mayor of his hometown, the Village of Virginia Gardens, for nine years and has encouraged residents to xeriscape by planting native species of plants and shrubs to attract birds and butterflies.

Paul has contributed to several bird-finding guides, including the ABA's A Birders Guide to Florida (4th edition) and A Birders Guide to the Bahama Islands, the Birding Florida Falcon Guide, Parrots of South Florida and The Crossley Guide; Eastern Birds. His documentation of parrot species in Miami was featured in the June/July 2008 issue of the National Wildlife Federation magazine and the November 1st, 2008 issue of Birders World (now Birdwatching).

Paul Bithorn
Paul Bithorn, Expert Guide
King of the Exotics
Contact Paul by phone: 786-202-2473, or Email.
David Simpson 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.

David Simpson
David Simpson, Expert Guide
Dr. Ken Meyer of the Avian Research and Conservation Institute. Avian Research Biologist are conducting research on Florida Keys specialties such as White crowned Pigeon, Great White Heron, Reddish Egret, Magnificent Frigatebird and Swallow-tailed Kite.
Dr. Ken Meyer
Adam Kent
An Anhinga spurred Adam's passion for birds when he was five years old. Since then, a love of sharing his enthusiasm about the natural world has led Adam to work on a variety of environmental projects including as a naturalist guide, developing the educational program Bird Detective, assessing sites for the Great Florida Birding Trail, and working as the state's first Scrub-Jay Conservation Coordinator. Adam is President of the Florida Ornithological Society and serves as a County Coordinator for Florida's second Breeding Bird Atlas. 
Adam & Gina Kent
Gina Kent
Gina Kent has worked for the Avian Research and Conservation Institute for over 17 years. Whether conducting bird surveys from small planes, boating around the Florida Keys, or climbing up 100-foot tall trees, Gina has worked with many Florida specialty birds including swallow-tailed kites, short-tailed hawks, snail kites, reddish egrets, white-crowned pigeons, magnificent frigatebirds and others. She grew up in Wisconsin and went to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Upon graduation she took tech positions on birds, herps, small mammals, and invasive plants from New Mexico to New York and Missouri to Australia. Once hired as a temporary tech on ARCI's Short-tailed Hawk project, she was hooked on the birds and fieldwork in Florida. She received her Masters at Georgia Southern University on stopover ecology, habitat associations, and parasites of Swallow-tailed Kites. She is now ARCI's Research Ecologist and Coordinator. 
Gina Kent
Roberto Torres, or "Capt. Toe" as my friends call him, is a fully licensed Captain to 50 tons. He has many years of experience in commercial fishing. His educational background is a Masters Degree in Marine Affairs. His love of fishing and the ocean inspired him to seek a career protecting the natural world. He discovered pelagic birding as a new adventure of our coast and has been doing for personal pelagic trips out of Blackpoint Marina in South Dade. "I have gained first-hand knowledge of what is out there, bit on the ocean you never know what you will find and the potential for something totally new. After all, it's a Pelagic Adventure. Roberto Torres
Robert "Toe" Torres, Marine Biologist, Natural Resources Management
Pelagic Adventures
Peter Frezza is the Research Manager for the Everglades Region for Audubon Florida, based out of Audubon's Everglades Science Center in Tavernier, Florida Keys. He has been with Audubon since 2001 studying numerous aspects of the Florida Keys and Everglades ecosystem from hydrology to wading birds and game fish. He is an avid birder and has also been a professional backcountry fishing guide in the Everglades since the mid 90's. Peter Frezza
Natalie L Smith is the founder and Program Director of Natural Paths Fitness & Wellness, Natural Paths Paddle Adventures and Healing Life Change a Florida 503 © Non-profit.
      Natalie's vision for the companies came from many years as a Kripalu Yoga Teacher and Paddleboard Yoga Instructor. Her mission is to help others through healing life change and has had extensive training and studies in the pursuit of her goal. She enjoys working with all populations as a professional guide and Teacher, and has a true passion for Community and Family engaged activities based in a natural & experiential environment. She has developed wonderful and exciting tours for beginners through advanced paddlers in 3 very diverse and exciting locations on the Island of Marathon, in the Florida Keys. Natalie ensures that the guides are diverse and customizes the tours to suit the guests' desires and abilities. She has a true passion for excellence in all aspects of the operation and enjoys the many different talents of those who are sharing the journey with Natural Paths.
Natural Paths: Fitness & Wellness

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Birding Festival of the Keys