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 moths 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.
- Mexico: Baja California's Cape Region (Feb 2-10, 2013)
- Alaska: Gambell (May 29 to Jun 7, 2013 with extensions to 10 Jun and to 12 Jun)
- Brazil: Marvelous Mato Grosso, The Pantanal, Chapada dos Guimarães, and Cristalino Jungle Lodge (Sep 20 to Oct 3, 2013)
- Peru: The Manu Biosphere Reserve and Machu Picchu (Oct 12-26, 2013 with extension to 28 Oct)
- Mexico: The Yucatan and Cozumel (Nov 24 to Dec 1, 2013)
- Belize: The Birds of Chan Chich (Jan 25 to Feb 1, 2014)
- Northern Peru: The Cloud Forests of the Rio Mayo and Abra Patricia (Feb 6-15, 2014)NEW!
- Jamaica (Apr 12-19, 2014)
- Costa Rica in July (Jul 19-30, 2014)
- Brazil: Marvelous Mato Grosso, The Pantanal, Chapada dos Guimarães, and Cristalino Jungle Lodge (Aug 3-16, 2014)
- Oregon in Summer (Aug 24 to Sep 4, 2014 with extension from 22 Aug)
- Oregon: Birds and the Shakespeare Festival (Sep 5-11, 2014)
- Bolivia: The Peak of Diversity (Sep 15 to Oct 3, 2014)
- Peru: Butterflies and Birds, The Manu Road and Kosñipata Valley (Sep 17-17, 2014)NEW!
- Mexico: The Yucatan and Cozumel (Nov 30 to Dec 8, 2014)
- Mexico: Oaxaca at Christmastime (Dec 21-31, 2014)
- Mexico: Baja California's Cape Region (Feb 7-14, 2015)
- Costa Rica in March (Mar 14-28, 2015)
- Oregon in Spring (May 15-26, 2015)
Updated: May 2013