Andrew Griswold has been the Director of EcoTravel for Connecticut Audubon Society (CAS) since 1996. He graduated as an honor student in biology from Hartwick College, where he worked at their biological research station in the Bahamas studying avian ecology. Andy is the original concept creator and scientific consultant for a cable television series on bird watching called All Bird TV that aired on Discovery’s Animal Planet. He is the original concept creator of the award winning Connecticut River Eagle Festival (during its time the largest birding festival in the world). Andy has conducted bird surveys for the US Fish and Wildlife Service and been participating as a CBC captain for nearly 30 years. He has been a consultant to the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism concerning development of birding tourism in its more remote islands. Andy leads trips for CAS to Canada, Texas, South Florida, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, and many other unique destinations. Andy is a licensed USCG 100-Ton Master boat captain and lives in Essex, Connecticut with his wife and their young son. He is known for his attentiveness to traveler’s needs, fine birding skills, and infectious sense of humor.
Priscilla Wood has been with CT Audubon EcoTravel since 2007 as the Sales & Marketing Manager. She attended the University of Massachusetts and spent over 20 years as a Special Education Behavioral Consultant before changing careers in 2000 to become involved in the education and conservation of the lower CT River Valley. She works in the EcoTravel office in Essex designing and organizing day trips and has also been leading and creating overnight trips. Many of our EcoTravelers have enjoyed Priscilla’s companionship and state that her leadership style, organization, and sense of humor make for a great travel experience. Her attention to detail and traveler’s needs is well known. Priscilla has traveled to Cornwall England numerous times, led trips to Tuscany, throughout New England, and to the headwaters of the Connecticut River. Priscilla lives with her husband in Old Saybrook.
Bob Kuchta has been involved with outdoor organizations most of his life, whether it be for work or play, including the American Public Gardens Association, Connecticut Horticulture Society, Connecticut Botanical Society and Madison and Guilford Land Trusts. Bob is Madison’s Inland Wetland Officer and Tree Warden. He loves traveling, having visited over 500 botanical sites in the past 30 years, to some 30 states and 3 foreign countries. He particularly loves visiting gardens( wild and cultivated) and walking anywhere he is free to explore. Bob and his wife have camped in the wilds of Alaska and traveled by foot, ferry, airplane, canoe, motorhome, van and bicycle. As a landscape designer and ecologist/educator, Bob is always reading the story of the land and loves to share it with any type of audience, large or small. He has guided many Connecticut Audubon groups, over many years, mostly on daytrips to NY, RI, CT, MA, PA and NJ. With his horticulturist wife and two children, Bob lives within camera shot of an active osprey next on the Neck River in Madison, in a post and beam, solar home that he designed and built.
Milan Bull is Senior Director of Research and Science for Connecticut Audubon Society and is a long-time expedition leader for Connecticut Audubon including destinations throughout the Americas, Australia, Antarctica, and Africa. Miley has acquired a strong following that comment frequently about his wide ranging knowledge of natural history and birds. You will appreciate his enthusiastic willingness to share that knowledge and his unequalled passion for the natural world. His leadership and sense of humor will add immeasurably to your experience. Miley has a BS degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Connecticut and a MS degree in biology from the University of Bridgeport. He currently is a member of the Long Island Sound Advisory Committee, the Citizens Advisory Council to Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection and was a founding director of the Connecticut Ornithological Association. He has also published numerous articles and speaks statewide on topics relating to ornithology and the environment. Milan and his wife, Cathy, reside with their two children in Fairfield.
Joe Bear has been actively birding for over 25 years. A University of Florida graduate, and now Director of Treasury at Royal Bank of Scotland, he entered into his passion for birds by signing up for as many Connecticut Audubon Society trips as his weekends would allow. After not too long, his abilities and desire to give back to the birding community had him leading trips for CAS to Cape May and the Florida Everglades. A 3-year overseas work assignment in London sidetracked his US trips, but led Joe into a whole new world of birds. With a world list now exceeding 2,100 species, he has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa and takes great pleasure in helping people find and identify our avian friends. His enthusiastic and friendly personality compliment well his overall leadership abilities. His upcoming trips for CAS include Mount Auburn, Block Island, and Monhegan Island. Keep an eye out for future overseas trips, too. Joe believes that each time we pick up our binoculars, both beginners and experts alike, we learn something new about birds. He now resides in Wilton, CT with Barabara, his wife, and their two children.
Frank Gallo is a leading expert on where to find birds in Connecticut. Through his birding tours, lectures, and classes he has inspired countless birders to discover and appreciate the region’s rich bird life. Frank has worked for the Connecticut Audubon Society for the past six years, and is currently the Associate Director of the Connecticut Audubon Coastal Center at Milford Point. Previously, he served at the New Canaan Nature Center as Director of Public Programs and Director of Eco-Travel and Field Studies, and before that with the New Haven Parks Department. Currently, he is a member of the Connecticut Avian Rare Records Committee, and is federally licensed as a master bird bander. He is a past President of the New Haven Bird Club. A superb birder, he has led birding expeditions throughout North America and abroad, including New Zealand, South Africa, Peru, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala, Mexico, and Spain. Annually, he acts as the bird team leader for the Forman School Rain Forest Project, guiding high school students from Litchfield, CT in bird research projects in Costa Rica. Frank is the author of two highly successful children’s nature books, Bird Calls and Night Sounds, has recently completed work on a bird finding guide to CT and Coastal Rhode Island, and is a published freelance photographer and lecturer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology with a specialization in Ornithology from Southern Connecticut State College, and in 2003, he received the CT Outdoor Environmental Education Association’s Outdoor Environmental Educator of the Year Award.
Jay Hand is a veteran of the Connecticut Audubon Society travel program. He has led many tours, each one with rave reviews. Jay has led tours to Texas, Chincoteague, Block Island, Cape May, South Florida, East Africa, Costa Rica, and Arizona, to name just a few! A former Connecticut native, Jay now lives in Tucson, AZ where he has been the voice of the Southeast Arizona Rare Bird Alert. Jay is a graduate of Yale University with a degree in Geology. Jay is known for his competent birding skills, great ear, energy, and commitment to your having a memorable trip.
James Restivo has been leading tours for Connecticut Audubon for a number of years and is now a veteran guide. His resume of tours includes Nebraska’s Platte River, New Hampshire’s Connecticut Lakes, Pennsylvania’s Hawk Mountain, and Massachusetts’ North Shore. Before his introduction to CAS EcoTravel, he spent time working with The Nature Conservancy in central Texas on various projects including banding and nest monitoring of Black-capped Vireos, habitat control for Golden-cheeked Warbler, and a management program for prescribed fires. His experience includes bird banding in Alaska and California. James has traveled throughout North America in search of birds, and touts a world life list of approximately 1,400 species.
Nick Bonomo has been birding New England since the age of 16. He graduated from Stonehill College with a degree in Biology in May of 2006. In autumn 2007, he began attending Yale University from which he recently graduated as a Physician Assistant. Despite his rigorous career schedule, Nick has escaped to bird such locations as Nova Scotia, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Costa Rica, eastern Australia, and New Zealand. He currently lives in Connecticut and can often be found birding the New Haven County coast in his spare time. His interest in bird identification, status, and distribution makes him a skillful leader, and his youthful enthusiasm is matched by few.
Rob Taylor, a musician and writer by profession, began birding in earnest around the same time he picked up the violin at age eight. His love of music, languages, literature, and birds has led him to a lifetime of study and travel. A graduate of Holland’s Royal Conservatory, Union College, the University of Bonn, and Princeton University, he has taught foreign languages and ornithology in New York, English and music in Asia, and birded extensively in Australia, Bhutan, Brazil, the Caribbean, Central America, China, Europe, India, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand, North Africa, and North America. As a lyricist and librettist, Rob has written several new musicals, including “Ace” (Repertory Theatre of St Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Old Globe Theatre San Diego, Signature Theatre of Washington DC), “Journey to the West” (New York Music Theatre Festival), “The Parenting Project” (Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati), and “The Sandman” based on the writings of E. T. A. Hoffmann (Signature Theatre of Washington DC commission). A member of the Dramatist’s Guild, Rob Taylor is represented by the Gersh Agency.