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WINGS Tour Leaders – Ben Lucking

Ben Lucking

Image of Ben Lucking

Ben Lucking was born in Beverley, United Kingdom, though moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan at the age of 4. From an early age he developed a fascination with all things natural history, obsessively watching David Attenborough and spending time exploring outside on family trips all over the US and back in England when visiting family. Having been introduced to birding through his grandfather on visits to RSPB reserves in England, birds quickly became his main focus. During travels with his family, he had the opportunity to expose himself to a diverse range of habitats and cultures, never missing an opportunity to detour in search of a bird. This sparked an insatiable interest in world birding. Back at home, he was fortunate to have the support and guidance of the local birding community in Ann Arbor. While in High School, Ben had the opportunity to volunteer at a Nature’s Valley Trust, a South African conservation organization, where he helped with bird counts and ringing. Though he read Law at the University of Exeter, Ben continued birding constantly. Even the legal studies quickly became about birds though, with a focus on environmental law. His final dissertation explored the legality of large-scale Ring-necked Pheasant releases in the UK.

During university, Ben also worked on bird photography, with his photos appearing on the cover of British Birds, as well as in Birdwatching, Handboek Europese Vogels, and other publications. He is also passionate about contributing to the Macaulay Library, particularly with photos of understudied species for which few photos are available. After gradating university in the UK, Ben returned to the United States where he began to pursue birding more professionally. Having learned the birds of the Andes through trips to Ecuador, Colombia, and Perú, he was able to spend time bird guiding in Ecuador. Here he guided his first international birding tours, and spent time stationed as a guide at Cabañas San Isidro on Ecuador’s Eastern Slope. 

Ben is also heavily involved in the local birding community in Michigan through presentations and trip leading for the Washtenaw Audubon Society where he has shared his birding travels and photos. He has also appeared on the Naturally Adventurous podcast to discuss his birding and travel in Perú. He is enthusiastic and passionate about nature and wildlife and enjoys nothing more than sharing his experiences and knowledge with others. He currently splits time between his home in Michigan, and Toronto where his fiancé is completing her graduate studies at the University of Toronto.


"Ben did a terrific job. He was very considerate and solicitous of tour participants. He is a great birder and knows the right areas for target species. He made sure that everyone was able to spot the birds he located. He is fun to be with, but quite serious about attending to all details of the trip. He also is a marvelous photographer."
-Barbara M. from Northwest Ohio: Spring Migration


"Ben is awesome, kind, thoughtful, patient, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Everything you want in a leader."
- Scott B. from Northwest Ohio: Spring Migration

Updated: September 2023