Rich Hoyer’s first guiding and teaching experience came when he was a senior in high school when he was asked to teach a birdwatching class to a group of 3rd and 4th graders. Five years later, after showing friends from Germany the amazing natural history of his home state of Oregon and after birding for three months all around Ecuador (on about $6 a day), he came to realize what he wanted to do for a living. After graduating with bachelors degrees in Zoology and German and working several seasonal jobs for bird studies in southeastern Arizona, California, Oregon, and Russia, he became a local guide during two summers on Saint Paul Island in Alaska’s Pribilofs, the perfect stepping stone for guiding birders further abroad. He has been a full-time leader for WINGS since September 1997.
Rich actually began keying out wildflowers, raising butterflies and moths in his bedroom, netting tadpoles and dragonfly larvae, and catching snakes, lizards, moles, and voles with his younger brother and father well before he became interested in birding at the age of 14. His musical ear was tuned into bird voices, and becoming an ear-birder was a natural progression. While concentrating on developing this skill over the years, his interests in other areas of natural history have only grown, and he continues to enjoy learning about various forms wildlife such as damselflies, keying out composites, and photographing beeflies. His other passions and hobbies include playing piano, singing, learning languages, cooking, baking bread, gardening, and knitting. He lives in Tucson, Arizona where he maintains 16 hummingbird feeders in his urban yard.
The diversity of Rich’s natural history interests is well represented in his blog, Birdernaturalist.
- Peru: The Cloud Forests of the Rio Mayo and Abra Patricia (Feb 17-26, 2017)
- Costa Rica in Spring (Mar 12-26, 2017)
- Alaska: Gambell (May 28 to Jun 6, 2017 with extensions to 9 Jun and to 11 Jun)
- Brazil: Marvelous Mato Grosso - The Pantanal, Chapada dos Guimarães, and Cristalino Jungle Lodge (Jun 17 to Jul 1, 2017 with extension to 5 Jul) One space remains
- Costa Rica in July (Jul 23 to Aug 3, 2017)
- Oregon: Woodpeckers, Owls and the Solar Eclipse (Aug 17-25, 2017 with extension to 27 Aug)NEW
- Peru: Machu Picchu and the Manu-Kosñipata Road (Sep 10-21, 2017)NEW
- Peru: Rainforest Lodges of the Madre de Dios (Sep 21 to Oct 1, 2017)NEW
- Mexico: The Yucatan and Cozumel (Nov 26 to Dec 3, 2017)
- Peru: The Cloud Forests of the Rio Mayo and Abra Patricia (Jan 26 to Feb 4, 2018)
- Mexico: Baja California's Cape Region (Feb 2018)
- Jamaica (Mar 3-10, 2018)
- Costa Rica in Spring (Apr 4-18, 2018)
- The Galápagos Islands (Jun 22 to Jul 2, 2018)
- Bolivia (Sep 2018)
- Oregon in Late Summer (Sep 2-13, 2018 with extension from 31 Aug)
- Brazil: The Southeast Atlantic Rainforest (Nov 4-17, 2018)
- Mexico: Oaxaca at Christmastime (Dec 22-31, 2018)
- Oregon in Spring (May 2019)
Updated: June 2013