Connecticut Audbon Society
EcoTravel

EcoTravel

The EcoTravel Team

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 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and been participating as a Christmas Bird Count captain for over 35 years. He’s 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, Iceland, and many other unique destinations. Andy is a former licensed USCG 100-Ton Master boat captain and lives in Essex, Connecticut, with his wife and their son. He is known for his attentiveness to traveler’s needs, fine birding skills, and infectious sense of humor.

 

Matt Bell is a recent graduate from The Ohio State University with BS degrees in both earth sciences and evolution/ecology. Matt started birding in May 2013 and became more seriously involved after a trip to Costa Rica. Since then he helped revive The Ornithology Club at Ohio State and assisted as a volunteer guide for The Biggest Week in American Birding and the Yellow Rails and Rice Festival. He absolutely loves participating in citizen science, tour guiding, chasing rare birds in his free time, and meeting fellow birders from around the globe. Most of all, Matt enjoys sharing his passion for birds and conservation with others and never shies away from taking the time to help beginners start their explorations of the avian world. Matt is the EcoTravel travel specialist and leads day trips and overnight tours.

 

Rami Haxhi loves studying nature and recently completed both levels of the Master Naturalist program sponsored by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Holding degrees from the Hartt School and Wesleyan University, he is a classically trained pianist who taught public school music for 30 years. During his teaching days, he led many trips for his students to places such as New York, Washington, D.C., and Montreal, and he now leads hiking groups and is the resident naturalist for the Mayflower Inn in Washington, Connecticut. Some of his favorite travel destinations have been numerous U.S. national parks, Machu Picchu, Albania, and Turkey. 
 
 

As early as high school, Jim Sherwonit fell in love with the woods and with birding. He started birding more seriously in 2010 after his first EcoTravel trip and has participated (as traveler, driver, and co-leader) in over 30 trips. He is a professional engineer and has been managing the local office for a major transportation engineering firm for over 30 years. Jim has an enthusiasm for conservation, all things nature, and is an avid photographer. As he says, “Any day spent in the woods is a good day.”
   
   

 

Lucretia Bingham studied writing at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. Upon graduation, she went to Los Angeles, where she made a living as a free-lance travel writer and photographer. Her credits include publication in Vanity Fair, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel and Leisure, Islands, and Saveur. One of her food pieces was published in an anthology of the best food writing in 2005. She was a frequent contributor, for many years, to both the Los Angeles Times Magazine and their travel section. Twelve years ago, she moved back east to her roots, where she lives with Jim Fitzpatrick, her husband, and writes in a grand shingle-style house on Long Island Sound. Lucretia’s second novel, SHE, a sequel to The Talcott House, has recently been published by Keith Publications. She has led trips to Machu Picchu and Guatemala.

 

Miley BullMilan Bull is senior director of science and conservation for Connecticut Audubon Society and is a long-time EcoTravel expedition leader to destinations throughout the Americas, Australia, Antarctica, and Africa. Those who have traveled with Miley pay enthusiastic tribute to his sense of humor, his wide-ranging knowledge of the natural world, and his willingness to share his passion for it. He holds a BS degree in wildlife management from the University of Connecticut and a MS degree in biology from the University of Bridgeport. He is currently a member of the Long Island Sound Advisory Committee and the Citizens Advisory Council to the state Department of Energy and 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.

 

 

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 and English and music in Asia, and has birded extensively in Australia, Bhutan, Brazil, the Caribbean, Central America, China, Europe, India, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand, Africa, and North America. As a lyricist and librettist, he has written several new musicals, including Ace; Journey to the West; The Parenting Project; The Sandman, based on the writings of E. T. A. Hoffman; and Bandstand, which opened on Broadway at the Jacobs Threatre in April 2017. 

 

Jay Hand

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, he now lives in Tucson, Arizona, 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 and is known for his competent birding skills, great ear, energy, and commitment to your having a memorable trip.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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