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Rodrigo Tapia Rodrigo Tapia, Far South Expeditions Tour Leaders and Guides

Rodrigo started his long-time love relationship with birds when he became an avid birder by the age of 10, and has been observing, studying and learning about them for more than 30 years now, first by birding in many different environments from the seaside to the Andes mountains around his home patch, acquiring in the process a good deal of field experience with virtually all the birds of central Chile including most chilean endemics, and later expanding his voyages to the rest of the country. This early passion naturally evolved into his career and led him into studying Biology at Universidad Católica de Valparaíso and further studying with Cornell Lab of Ornithology

He has explored Chile's whole length from the northern Altiplano to Cape Horn while conducting ornithological research and guiding groups of birders since 1989. He studied the birds in the wetlands of the Aconcagua river and Mantagua for three years, gathering experience with shorebirds, plovers, waders and coastal seabirds. Rodrigo travelled to Antarctica for the first time in 1991 as part of a research team conducting studies on antarctic penguins, and later worked for eight seasons in the White Continent as an expedition leader, lecturer and zodiac driver on board a couple of vessels. These years of sailing across the Drake Passage, together with the experience gathered in pelagic birding off his hometown of Valparaíso in the Pacific coast of central Chile gave him hundreds of hours with albatrosses, petrels and other seabirds, a group of birds which has always captivated him.

Member of the Chilean Ornithologists Union, he has worked as a birding guide, as an independent researcher, and as a birding consultant and guide instructor for several nature-oriented hotels and lodges. He´s also interested in bird photography. Rodrigo has been involved in several environmental education projects with children, imparted workshops and lectured about birds and birding, and has worked to try and get the public attention on birds, their knowledge and conservation, and birdwatching as a sustainable economic activity. In this context he was the mind behind Festival de Aves de Chile, in 2008, the first ever bird festival in Chile, an event that is still celebrated every year in the city of Viña del Mar and has spurred the apparition of similar bird-centered community events throughout the country. He started guiding birding tours and pelagics in central Chile for Far South Expeditions in 2006 and currently works for us as a full-time birding, wildlife and wildlife photo trip leader and writer since 2012 when he moved to Punta Arenas. 

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