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WINGS Tour Leaders – Fabrice Schmitt

Fabrice Schmitt

Image of Fabrice Schmitt

Fabrice Schmitt was born in the east of France (Alsace), where he began to bird at the age of 12. After birding intensively and extensively in Europe, North Africa, Middle East, he fell in love with Neotropical birds during his first trip in Peru in 1995. He then spent most of his free time in South and Central America – mostly looking for birds, but studying wildlife in general. In 2002/2003, Fabrice (then a Math teacher) took a sabbatical year to visit birding destinations and look for and study the most localized species of south Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and south of Brazil. During this time, Fabrice participated in field expeditions in the Peruvian Andes and Amazonian lowlands, gaining knowledge about endangered, rare and even un-described bird species.

Fabrice lived in Chile from 2005 to 2015, and explored this beautiful country in every direction (well, mostly from North to South…). He is involved with Red de Observadores de Aves y Vida Silvestre de Chile (ROC), a non-governmental ornithologist organization, and founded the electronic birding magazine La Chiricoca. He is co-coordinator of the Chilean Breeding Bird Atlas, and part of the team who recently discovered several Markham’s Storm-Petrel colonies in the Atacama Desert (see the published paper on this topic here). Fabrice is also an active eBirder and helped the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the development of that birding tool in Chile and the rest of South America.

He has been leading birding trips to Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Guyana and Chile since 2005, and occasionally gives lectures on cruise trips to Antarctica and South American destinations. Fabrice is fluent in English, Spanish and French.

Testimonials

"I must say, after many years of many tours, Fabrice is the most outstanding tour leader I have ever experienced!"
- Marilee T. on Chile: Tierra del Fuego to the Atacama Desert

"Fabrice had a nice manner with the group, is sensitive to the different backgrounds and experiences, and enlivens the trip with his good sense of humor." - George R. on Colombia: The Santa Marta Mountains

"To say that Fabrice was excellent as a guide is not high enough praise. He is so knowledgeable and adept as a guide, so at home in the wild, broadly and deeply attuned to every environment he's in, and companionable and fun to boot!" - Don and Betsy A. on Guyana

"Fabrice Schmitt is the best tour leader I've birded with. On top of superb identification skills, he's great with clients. He'd tell us what bird he's trying to call or find, describe it, tell us where it may appear and then position us to maximize our chances of seeing it. Once it's close he's a master at using the laser pointer to ensure everyone sees the target bird. Once seen he's likely to delve into the natural history of the bird and/or its habitat."
- James W. on Guyana

"This is our third trip with Fabrice and he remains one of the best tour guides we have had the pleasure of birding with. He has a good sense of humor to go along with his excellent birding skills and he was patient with our group when things didn't go perfectly." - James C. on a private Colombia tour

Updated: April 2019