The Jamestown Audubon Center and Sanctuary will host Rudy Gelis, a tropical natural history researcher and tour leader, at its next First Friday Lunch Bunch meeting at 11 a.m. Friday.
Gelis will share photos and stories about Christmas bird counts, private- and community-owned protected areas, and a bird nest monitoring project in Ecuador. A combination of excellent photos and brief videos, this presentation is based on more than a decade of Gelis's living and working in Ecuador. In the past decade, infrastructure improvements have made Ecuador more accessible for ecotourism than ever before. In addition, numerous Ecuadorians are now feeding birds and making great birding trails and gardens. Gelis's talk will explore the firm link between birding, tourism, and local efforts in conservation and environmental education.
Gelis is a graduate of Berea College and owner of Pluma Verde Tours. He began his career in ornithology in 1997 when he was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, providing a year of independent, purposeful exploration and travel to college graduates of "unusual promise." After studying nesting Andean Condors in Argentina and penguins on the Falkland Islands, he settled in Ecuador.
Gelis has collaborated in numerous publications in ornithology journals, he instructs university-level natural history courses in Ecuador, and he frequently offers ecotourism courses and assists in professional workshops for guides and park guards in Latin America. He is co-author of Plumas: Birds in Ecuador, a fine art photography book published in South America.
Applying his strong background in botany and great interest throughout the natural world, Gelis leads birding and natural history tours throughout much of Ecuador and Peru. He currently lives in Quito, Ecuador.
Following the program, coffee and tea will be provided for a bring-your-own brown bag lunch. The fee for attending is $7 or $5 for Friends of the Nature Center. Reservations are not required.
The Audubon Center and Sanctuary is at 1600 Riverside Road, a quarter-mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren.
For more information, call 569-2345 or visit jamestownaudubon.org.