About Your Guides

 

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Rebecca Smith (Scroll down for bio) and Gallus Quigley (Scroll down for bio) each bring unique pieces to our tours. Both share backgrounds in biology, bird banding and monitoring, and a love of nature.

Rebecca Smith is the passionate nature lover with great knowledge of not only birds but butterflies, insects, and more. Her photography skills and patience makes her perfect for those wanting to get that perfect photograph while still adding to their life lists or just enjoying photographing Florida’s natural beauty. Her love of all things nature quickly draws you right into the natural wonders that surrounds us.

Gallus Quigley is the lister and birder, he brings the ability to move through a list of desired species efficiently, which is perfect for the lister or twitcher. Those who have a target list and limited time will enjoy his ability to find those species and move on to the next one maximizing the number seen in a single outing. His detailed eBird checklists saves one the need to spend time writing notes and instead they can focus on more birding.

Rebecca and Gallus together balance each other perfectly, each one strengthens and balances the other. Both enjoy birds, butterflies, photography, and travel. No matter who leads your tour you’ll know the other helped in planning the perfect day for you. Each bring a vast knowledge of Florida, not just the birds and butterflies.

With our home base situated only 45 minutes from the major theme parks and one of the only Birding and Nature Tour company in the Orlando area we are the perfect choice for the person who wants to escape the theme parks and get out into the real Florida. Our prices are competitive and we are more than willing to customize the day to meet your needs. Check out our ABA and International Tours as well.

 

Rebecca Smith

Avid Birder for last 13 years with 345 species with photos in Florida, she also is an avid photographer and has won several photo contests locally.  Since 2000 during her first internship studying Dotted Skippers and Diamondback Terrapins in Cape May County, NJ, her passion for biodiversity spread from entomology and herpetology to birding. A Certified Master Naturalist, a bird bander with the Wekiva Basin Banding Station until 2017, she participates as a volunteer in Jay Watch, NABA butterfly counts and Christmas Bird Counts. She served 2 years as an Oklawaha Valley Audubon Society board member and coordinating that chapter’s field trips. Beck has been a guide for North Shore Birding Festival, Palm Coast’s Birds of a Feather Fest, Festival of Flight & Flowers, Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival, Orlando Wetland Park Festival, and Acadia Birding Festival. She brings a diverse knowledge of all of Florida’s fauna, is an amazing photographer, and loves insects, especially beetles. Rebecca brings a passion for all things nature and her love of birds, butterflies, and insects is contagious to all those who go out with her.  With her long resume of jobs in biology studying everything from Clapper Rail to Red-cockaded Woodpecker and you won’t find anyone more knowledgeable or passionate about what she does.

Florida Bird List-345 with photos

Florida Butterfly List-103

Bird Life List-1047 with photos

Gallus Quigley

Began birding in 8th grade at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania watching raptors, which began his love of hawks. That soon changed after receiving a Golden’s Field Guide that he paged through till he came across the wood-warblers and saw the Prothonotary Warbler which launched him into the world of birding. Since then he has been the hawk counter at Bake Oven Knob in Pennsylvania, during his time here he was published in American Hawkwatcher for a paper on Migrating Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned Hawks in conjunction with Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, and Montclair in New Jersey for New Jersey Audubon Society.

He arrived in Florida in May 2005 to work for Dr. Reed Noss of the University of Central Florida performing Radio Telemetry and banding of the critically endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrow. This eventually lead to his current job with Lake County Office of Parks & Trails where he performs quarterly bird & butterfly surveys on six conservation properties, gives presentations and lead educational trips in addition to his regular duties as a Recreation Coordinator for Trails. Over his time with with Lake County he was on Birding Adventures with James Currie, Keynote Speaker for 2015 Wings & Wildflowers Festival, as well as a guide and speaker each of the five years the festival was in existence.

Orlando Sentinel Article

Birding Adventures Episode

Birdwatcher’s Digest Article-An Englishman in Florida

Birdwatching Magazine Article

ABA Blog Article

Birding the Byway

Wings & Wildflowers Festival Interview

In his spare time he is the eBird reviewer for Lake and Sumter Counties, Compiler for Zellwood-Mt. Dora (Lake Apopka) CBC, eBird Hotspot Reviewer for Florida, has assisted with Jay Watch, beta tested eBird and Birdseye apps for Android and iOS, and was Lake County Coordinator for Florida BBA 2011-2016. He also is a trip leader for North Shore Birding Festival, Festival of Flight & Flowers, Space Coast Birding & Nature Festival, and Palm Coast’s Birds of a Feather Fest. Gallus also participates in numerous Christmas Bird Counts and often accompanies Beck on NABA Butterfly Surveys. He also leads trips to the Dry Tortugas for Florida Nature Tours

With this background, Gallus brings the details, with quality eBird checklists made at every stop and a knowledge of the when and where to find birds. His background also means he has a vast knowledge of local ecosystems and thank to Rebecca is becoming a butterfly enthusiast and better photographer.

Florida Bird List-436

Florida Butterfly List-93

Big Year-Florida 359 in 2008 (4th Highest Total), Lake County 243 in 2015 (Record)

Bird Life List-1500

Gallus and Beck were married in October 2018 on Grand Bahama Island by Greg Miller!

Gallus and Beck Wedding Officiated by Greg Miller
Gallus and Beck Wedding Officiated by Greg Miller of The Big Year Fame. Best man is Wes Biggs Florida top birder for total species and has over 800 in ABA.

If interested in Dry Tortugas Trips we do guide work through Florida Nature Tours which offers best guides, boat, and price of anyone leading trips there.