Program: Birding Peru with 4 Guides from 4 Continents

group photo of bird watchers

Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

This months program will be great! Fabulous photos of Peruvian birds as experienced by bird guides, some of whom have never birded in the western hemisphere! Don’t miss this presentation!

Date & Time

Wednesday, January 22, 2020
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Farrand Hall, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

2559 Puesta del Sol, Santa Barbara, CA 93105


Presented by Satie Airame and Jeff Chemnick


Grass-green Tanager Photo: Satie Airame

Peru’s Manu Road, known popularly as “the birdiest road in the world,” spans an enormous elevational gradient from 500 to 11,500 feet, including high Andes, puna grassland, cloud forest, montane forest, and lowland Amazon Forest. These diverse habitats are protected in Manu National Park, where more than 1,000 bird species live in and around the park.


Crimson Tanager – Photo by Satie Airame

Ecologist and nature photographer Satie Airame, together with cycad expert and eco-tour guide Jeff Chemnick, birded the Manu Road for the first time in June 1999. Twenty years later, in May 2019, they returned with 3 birding guides from 3 continents: Alfred Twinomujuni from Uganda, Phub Dorji from Bhutan, and Raphael Santos from Brazil. This multinational birding team never met before but bonded quickly over their shared passion and expertise. Alfred from Uganda applied his unbelievable ability to whistle calls to attract birds and his x-ray vision to find birds in dense forest.



Blue-banded Toucanet Photo: Satie Airame

Raphael, with 16 years of experience leading bird tours throughout Brazil and adjacent South American countries, knew almost all bird calls by ear and brought attention to important birds through their calls. Dorji established himself as a master photographer who got great photos of any bird in any location and any light. He was just honored as Bhutan’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year!







Booted Racket-tail Photo:Satie Airame

In 3 weeks, the team saw and heard 538 bird species and photographed many birds in their natural habitats.Highlights included Andean Cock-of-the-Rock on a lek, critically endangered Royal Cinclodes in a Polylepis remnant at Abra Malaga, Red-and-White Antpitta coyly calling from dense cloud forest vegetation, Hairy-crested Antbird attending an army ant swarm, and the impressive and near-threatened Crested Eagle that flew into our canopy tower tree to check out Alfred whistling. Enjoy an inspiring photographic journey about birds of Manu with informative and colorful narration by Airame and Chemnick. Photos contributed by Satie Airame, Raphael E. F. Santos and Phub Dorji.


Satie Airame is Assistant Dean for Academic Programs at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management.As scientific advisor from 2000-2010 to NOAA’s Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and the Marine Life Protection Initiative, Satie contributed to the design of marine protected areas around the Channel Islands and throughout California’s coastal waters. Satie received a PhD in ecology from the University of Chicago in 1999.

Jeff Chemnick is a research associate at Ganna Walska Lotusland, and an authority on Mexican cycads. He owns and operates Aloes in Wonderland, a specialty nursery in Santa Barbara, where he has lived since 1981. Jeff leads botanical and ornithological ecotours throughout Mexico. His world bird life list is in excess of 5,100 species.


Doors open at 7:00 pm – join us for refreshments

Sponsored By Santa Barbara Audubon Society

Special thank you to Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History for their support


All photos by Satie Airame