BCR 188: Mark Stackhouse, Tropical Birder

 

For Mark Stackhouse, birding has been his passion since he was 5 years old. Mark says, “I can’t even remember a time when I wasn’t birding.” Mark has enjoyed watching birds throughout the Americas, and especially likes to share the beauty of birds and nature with other people. For most of his life, he has done this through teaching and guiding others in the field, and in recent years, through his photography as well.

Military Macaws near San Blas. ©Mark Stackhouse

                                       Military Macaws near San Blas. ©Mark Stackhouse

Mark led his first birding tour, a trip to Crane Creek, Ohio for the Dayton Museum of Natural History, when he was only 16. He has now been guiding birding tours for over 40 years, including 20 years in Mexico. He is the owner of Westwings, where he guides birding tours in the western U.S, Mexico, and other Latin American countries. Mark has also done consulting work as a biologist for government agencies and private industry, and worked seasonally as a wildlife biologist at Deseret Land and Livestock, Utah’s largest ranch, where he also guided birders for 21 years.

                                                        Cinereous Owl ©Mark Stackhouse

He was Director of Education at Tracy Aviary, a Salt Lake City, Utah bird park for 12 years, and has taught college-level courses in Field Ornithology in both English and Spanish. He attended Earlham College and Utah State University, earning degrees in Biology and Range Management. Mark fell in love with Mexico, its people, culture, landscapes, and of course its spectacular birding, on his first trip to San Blas 22 years ago. After 25 years of living in Utah, he now lives, and receives visiting birders from all over the world, in San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico, with his wife, Elizabeth Oregón Gonzalez, also of San Blas, and their daughter Daniela. 

A Golden-cheeked Woodpecker faces-off with a Yellow-winged Cacique, both species endemic to Mexico. ©Mark Stackhouse

A Golden-cheeked Woodpecker faces-off with a Yellow-winged Cacique, both species endemic to Mexico. ©Mark Stackhouse

Show Notes:

  • Worked as a consulting biologist, and as an environmental educator.
  • Where did the interest in natural history come from?
  • Climate in the San Blas area
  • The San Blas Christmas Bird count & history.
  • Tell us about the “Cinereous Owl”
  • birders in the San Blas area is Isla Isabel
  • Major San Blas birding areas.
  • Specialty species that can be found in the San Blas area.
  • Your dream of birders retreat in the San Blas area.
  • Tell us about functioning with a high audio awareness.
  • What is being done to engage the locals and draw them into birding and the environment.
Spotted Wren (3) (species endemic to Mexico) ©Mark Stackhouse

                      Spotted Wren (3) (species endemic to Mexico) ©Mark Stackhouse

Mentioned In Episode:

Westwings, Inc.

Sunset from the famous La Tovara boat ride in San Blas. ©Mark Stackhouse

             Sunset from the famous La Tovara boat ride in San Blas. ©Mark Stackhouse

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