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WINGS Tour Leaders – Scott Olmstead

Scott Olmstead

Image of Scott Olmstead

Scott Olmstead is a high school Spanish teacher who is always birding in the background. After finishing college with a degree in Latin American Studies, Scott headed straight to Costa Rica and began what would become a decades-long obsession with birding in the Neotropics. At first, seasons in Latin America were interspersed with field jobs in the US, including banding birds in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains, counting migrating raptors over the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and interpreting the spectacle of songbird migration for visitors to Cape May, New Jersey. A trip to Ecuador for the American Birding Association’s Young Adult Birder Conference provided an opportunity to try out tour leading and soon Scott found himself based in Quito, Ecuador while exploring and guiding in South America. This formative period helped establish a lifelong connection with Ecuador, and although he now lives in Arizona he maintains ties to Ecuador’s birds and birding community as a member of the Ecuadorian Ornithological Records Committee and an eBird volunteer reviewer.

Since 2009 Scott and his wife Erin have made their home in Tucson, where he shares his passion for language and culture as a high school Spanish teacher and head of the World Languages department at his school. He is a past member of the Arizona Bird Committee, currently serves on the board of Arizona Field Ornithologists, and contributes to Tucson Audubon Society as a longtime volunteer in many capacities, such as leading field trips and collecting data for the Desert Purple Martin Project.

Originally from Connecticut, Scott returns to New England regularly to watch birds and visit family. He is an avid sports fan, especially college basketball, and in addition to being a proud supporter of the Arizona Wildcats of his adopted hometown, he still closely follows the ups and downs of the UConn Huskies from afar. Scott’s birding-related side projects include sound recording, photography, and studying the local Great Horned Owl population in Tucson.


Updated: November 2022