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 13 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 (March 2019)
- Costa Rica in Spring (March 2019)
- Jamaica (April 2019)
- Oregon in Spring (May 2019)
- Brazil: Mato Grosso - The Pantanal and Cristalino Jungle Lodge (June 2019)
- Peru: Machu Picchu and the Manu-Kosñipata Road (September 2019)
- Peru: Rainforest Lodges of the Madre de Dios (October 2019)
- Brazil - Minas Gerais (November 2019)
- Jamaica (March 2020)
- Costa Rica in Spring (March 2020)
- Ecuador: The Galápagos Islands (June 2020)
- Peru: The Cloud Forests of the Rio Mayo and Abra Patricia (July 2020)
- Oregon in Summer (August 2020)
- Bolivia: The Chaco, Valle Zone and Central Andes (September 2020)
- Bolivia: Northern Andes, Madidi National Park and Barba Azul (October 2020)
- Mexico: Oaxaca at Christmastime (December 2020)
Updated: January 2018