Meet the Leaders

Jeremy Bensette
An avid birder and aspiring career naturalist, Jeremy Bensette has birded the Point Pelee area daily for the last few years, only taking breaks to explore wildlife in places such as Moosonee and Florida. Jeremy loves to talk birds: ask him where any of the great birds are in Point Pelee and Essex County any day of the year!
Sarah Rupert
Sarah Rupert is a life-long southern Ontario girl and has been a nature lover since day one.  She has a particular passion and fascination for birds, which she loves to share through interpretive programs, art and other media.  Sarah has been birding her entire life, and hasn't missed a spring at Point Pelee since her first visit at 2.5 months old. Currently living in Leamington ON, her day job is with Parks Canada and the rest of the time she can be found looking at, drawing or painting the natural world around her.  She eagerly awaits the arrival of spring, and birders, to Pelee each spring.
Todd Pepper
Todd started birding at Point Pelee in the spring of 1991 and has since seen over 80% of the historically recorded species within the Pelee Birding Area. He has an ABA list of 732 species, including all 685 breeding species in North America. Todd is also active with the Holiday Beach Migration Observatory where he is a hawk counter, owl and passerine bander.

 

Karl Konze
Karl has been leading guided bird walks for the Friends of Point Pelee every spring since 1993. (He is very familiar with the Park's trail system and knows where to go to find the birds). When he's not at Point Pelee he is working in Guelph as an Environmental Consultant.
Chris Earley
Chris Earley is the University of Guelph Arboretum's Interpretive Biologist and Education Coordinator and a self-proclaimed 'nature geek'. He teaches workshops at the Arboretum. Chris has also written a series of very popular bird identification books and children's nature books too.  His latest work is called 100 Nature Hot Spots in Ontario.  Chris has led many previous Quest tours, including the High Arctic, the Galapagos Islands, Sri Lanka and several to eastern and southern Africa. His zoological knowledge is impressively broad and virtually encyclopedic, and his enthusiasm for wildlife is contagious.
Dave Milson
Dave Milsom is an expert naturalist who has travelled and led many Quest tours throughout Europe, North and South America and Antarctica. He is extremely knowledgeable about birds, mammals and butterflies. His English accent will simply delight you.
Geoff Carpentier
A past President of the Ontario Field Ornithologists, Geoff Carpentier is a veteran expedition leader and explorer having visited over 70 countries. He is a widely published in nature publications and writes regular columns and book reviews. He has led numerous Quest trips to such places as Svalbard, Canada's Northwest Passage, Russia & Alaska, Cuba, Taiwan Borneo and the Galapagos Islands. His particular expertise lies in Antarctica, South Georgia, the Falklands.  Geoff wrote the book Antarctica - First Journey, an acclaimed and invaluable resource guide for Antarctic travellers.  Closer to home, Geoff frequently leads local excursions to introduce nature enthusiasts to bird life nearby.
Ian Shanahan
Ian Shanahan is the quintessential educator. He recently completed a stint as the Senior Naturalist at Ontario's Algonquin Provincial Park, where he had previously worked as a Seasonal Park Naturalist for a few years. His love for natural history has taken him to many countries where he enjoys watching, photographing and sketching. He is also a gifted actor, vocal performer and dramatist.  Ian has led many Quest Nature Tours within Canada and to far-flung places as the Galapagos, Iceland and Canada's Northwest Passage.  Her returns to Costa Rica next winter.
Justin Peter
Justin Peter is Quest Nature Tours' Director of programs and Senior Naturalist, and Vice-President of the Toronto Ornithological Club.  Born and raised in Canada's capital, Justin has been leading bird walks since the age of 14.  Justin worked for several years as the Senior Naturalist at Ontario's world-renowned Algonquin Park, where he coordinated the park's interpretive program and acted as a lead howler for the park's celebrated Public Wolf Howl events.  Of both immediate East Indian and Czech heritage, Justin has been an international traveller since childhood.  He has led Quest trips to Churchill, Peru, Namibia and the Galapagos Islands, and heads back to India and the Galapagos soon.  His ear for bird vocalizations is particularly keen and he look forward to point ut birds and other interesting natural phenomena to you.
Jean Iron
Ontario's best-known birder, Jean is a past president of the Ontario Field Ornithologists and a retired school principal. She is active writing for nature publications and participating in wildlife surveys for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and is a tremendously effective roving ambassador for Ontario's critical natural areas. Jean has led many Quest Nature Tours trips to Peru, Belize & Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, the High Arctic, Cuba, Japan, the Galapagos, French Polynesia, the Svalbard and Iceland. Ask Jean about how much she likes gulls and shorebirds!
Pete Read
Since retiring from teaching, Pete Read has been active as an environmental consultant doing fieldwork throughout Ontario and working on building projects for the preservation of the Loggerhead Shrike. He is also the official compiler of bird records for the London, Ontario region. Pete has been birding at Point Pelee each spring for over 45 years, and has been leading walks there to initiate new birders for over a decade. Pete has led many Quest Nature Tours trips to destinations including the Amazon, Brazil's Panatal, Costa Rica, Madagascar, Cuba, Iceland, and India. Pete heads for South Africa this August.  Pete is known for his quirky jokes and storytelling abilities.
Tony Beck
Tony Beck is a freelance naturalist and professional photographer based in Ottawa. His award winning work appears in many books, websites, magazines & calendars. He teaches birdwatching and nature photography courses both independently and through a variety of institutions. He has led Quest trips throughout Canada and to Cuba, Costa Rica, the Middle East, the Arctic and Antarctic, Trinidad & Tobago, Namibia and Patagonia. Tony returns to Patagonia for a photographic odyssey in December.  Tony has earned the rank of Ambassador for Nikon Canada.
Paul Pratt
Paul Pratt was the head naturalist for Windsor's Ojibway Nature Centre. He also leads birding and natural history tours throughout North America, the Neotropics, Australia and Africa.  Paul currently holds the Big Day birding record for five provinces and Canada along with teammate Tom Hince. He has also been on winning teams at such birding events as the World Series of Birding and Texas Birding Classic. Paul has been birding Point Pelee for over 44 years and also has a wide range of knowledge on all aspects of the plant and animal life of the region.
Bruce DiLabio
Bruce is native of Ottawa, Ontario and his passion for birds and birding began at the age of 8, when he hand-tamed a Black-capped Chickadees at his family cottage at Constance Bay, Ontario. From these simple beginnings emerged both a life-long passion and career in the field of birding. He is a weekly columnist on birding in Canada's capital newspaper, the Ottawa Citizen and teaches birding courses. His first spring trip to Point Pelee was in May 1974 and Bruce has been a regular spring birder at Pelee since 2001. He has traveled extensively in North America and has lead birding trips to Costa Rica, Ecuador, Australia and a number of Caribbean destinations, including Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Bahamas, and Cuba. In addition, Bruce has authored numerous articles over the years for Nature Canada, Ontario Birds, Birding, and Ontario Birding News. Bruce was a member of the championship Kowa Birding Team that successfully won three World Series of Birding titles in New Jersey and one championship title in the Texas Birding Classic.




100 Species Challenge

Birder Breakfast and Lunch

Birder Breakfast and Lunch

Point Pelee National Park




CONTACT


Friends of Point Pelee
Phone: 888-707-3533

Point Pelee National Park
Phone: 888-773-8888
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