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.
- Costa Rica in spring (March 2017)
- Brazil: Mato Grosso - Chapada dos Guimarães and Cristalino Jungle Lodge (June 2017)
- Peru: Machu Picchu and the Manu-Kosñipata Road (September 2017)
- Peru: Rainforest Lodges of the Madre de Dios (September 2017)
- Peru: The Cloud Forests of the Rio Mayo and Abra Patricia (January 2018)
- Mexico: Baja California's Cape Region (January 2018)
- Jamaica (March 2018)
- Costa Rica in spring (April 2018)
- Ecuador: The Galapagos Islands (June 2018)
- Brazil: Mato Grosso - Chapada dos Guimarães and Cristalino Jungle Lodge (July 2018)
- Oregon in Summer (September 2018)
- Bolivia (September 2018)
- Brazil: The Southeast Atlantic Rainforest (November 2018)
- Oregon in Spring (May 2019)
Updated: January 2010