Hi! My name is Jere and I am an extremely dedicated birder and naturalist from the Point Pelee area in Leamington, Ontario and a proud member of the Vortex Pro Staff Team!
One of the passions that drives my career as a naturalist is sharing the wonders of birds with others through tour guiding, presentations and educational workshops both with school groups and the general public. I try to commend and embrace anyone who spends time appreciating the natural world, regardless of their skill or experience level and I am ever appreciative of new insights and information offered back. I spent the year 2017 travelling over 100,000 km to the far reaches of Ontario with one extreme goal in mind: to identify as many bird species as possible in a single year in my spectacular home province. With my trusty Vortex Razor HD spotting scope and binoculars in hand I set a new Ontario Big Year birding record by listing 346 bird species in that single year!
Wildlife and natural history was not always my thing but I did always have great interest and appreciation for the natural world. Having grown up in Leamington, Point Pelee National Park was only a ten minute drive from home and as a child I visited it often. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of walks on The Boardwalk or to The Tip with family. We would frequently see naturalists guiding groups, and I found their skills so impressive. For many years I dreamed of becoming a wildlife expert so I could photograph and share the natural world with others, but I never considered avenues to make that possible. I did not know anyone who was into naturalist hobbies like bird watching, insect collecting, or botany.
While completing my psychology degree I jumped into photographing wildlife, but quickly discovered that I cannot photograph much diversity if I do not learn about and build a connection with that wildlife first. I shifted my focus to learning as much as I could about the local birds who breed in, overwinter in, or migrate through the area. I have since spent nearly every waking moment searching for, studying, photographing, and thinking about birds, insects, plants, and other wildlife.
I have had wonderful opportunities to visit distant locations such as Germany, Switzerland, UK, Florida, and Texas, and plan to travel and learn more as my passion for wildlife continues to grow.
I owe many thanks to one of my closest friends and one of North America’s greatest birders, the late Alan Wormington. Alan inspired me to get started on the right foot, taught me countless lessons, and took me along on some crazy trips across North America. I take part in quite a few citizen science and volunteer programs such as submitting checklists to the eBird database, reviewing regional eBird data, participating in Christmas Bird Counts, and presenting and trip leading for various organizations like Ontario Field Ornithologists, Essex County Field Naturalists’ Club, etc. I worked a couple summers at Pelee Wings Optics and Nature Store where I intensively learned the superior value of Vortex Optics. I have been doing wetland bird and amphibian survey work across Southern Ontario with Bird Studies Canada in the past few years.
I would love to get more involved with both local and international guiding, educational speaking engagements, and conservation biology work. On most days, expect to find me out exploring the wildlife of the Point Pelee area with at least a few Vortex logos on display! Feel free to contact me at JeremyBirder@gmail.com to inquire about my services and photos, or check out my blog at www.jeremybirder.com if interested in my stories.
Thanks for reading, and see you around in the field!
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