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Who is Lifer?

LIFER is an experience, is an idea, is a dream... an idea of the most talented, young and passionate naturalists that organized themselves together to create an agency that represents them all, properly, professionally and in a fair way. 

That is how a group of the best birdwatchers and bird guides of Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala and Ecuador started Lifer Nature Tours as an association of excellent bird guides that for being in the field finding the good birds could not handle the time of the overwhelming administrative tasks of running an office.


So instead of sitting behind and let them be just employees for a relatively small salary, they decided to join this initiative that empower them and give them a fair percentage of the great work they do. The money is spread in more hands but specially also sponsors their own conservation initiatives, so every Lifer Field Guide can use the Lifer Fund to partially sponsor their own research and citizen science initiatives and with this Lifer Nature Tours accumulated  a knowledge and passion that surpass the one by any other international agency. 

Lifer Field Guides

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Jorge's passion for birds developed at the age of 15 and his curiosity forced him to seek out nature and its beautiful species. Jorge studied Ecotourism Technician and had BA in Environmental Engineering, however, his passion for nature keeps him as a guide and now he has 11 years of experience in bird watching and photography. Jorge's goal is to make bird photography and bird-watching tours the best experience for clients in Latin America!

Jorge Gabriel

Education: Ecotourism Technician, Environmental Engineer

Age: 26

Bird List: 840 species for Costa Rica, and over 1500 worldwide

Birding gear: Swarovski Binoculars and Vortex Viper Scope

Birding experience: Mata Atlantica Brazil, Panama, Nicaragua, and Colombia.

Tours he guides for LIFER TOURS: Private tours specialized in target species.

Fun Birding Achievement: On the eBird platform, he is the number one observer with the highest number of species observed in Alajuela, Costa Rica

Education: Bachelor's degree in Ecotourism University of Costa Rica 
Age: 41
Bird List: 816 species for Costa Rica, and over 1394 worldwide.
Birding gear: SLC 8x42 Swarovski Binoculars and ATS 20-60 x 85 Swarovski Spotting Scope
Birding experience: He has been in Ecuador, Colombia, and Guatemala
Tours he guides for LIFER TOURS: 
Virtual tours in La Fortuna, Day Trips in Arenal, and multi-day trips with groups of birdwatchers and photographers 
Fun Birding Achievement: Adding a couple of species for the Province of Guanacaste and reaching 5000 complete list on Ebird in 2023.

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Juan grew up in a very rural and undeveloped area at the base of the vast Juan Castro Blanco National Park, the only bird influence there was his uncle: an illegal bird poacher who caught Cholorophonias, Solitaires and Euphonias for ilegal trade. As a growing teenager he was getting more and more interest in a deeper study of the birds around his home and had a lot of questions that a bird in a cage was not able to answer, and understood that he needed books and more time observing these birds in the wild. At the age of 15 he was able to get his first bird book, the heavy 1989 “Skutch & Stiles” guide and he was hooked for life.

After he stopped illegally catching birds at the age of fifteen he started watching birds for fun and later went to university to get a BA in Ecotourism and then a Master of Science in Sustainable Development with emphasis in Conservation of Biological Resources. Throughout his undergraduate and graduate career, he continued working during high seasons as a full-time bird-guide with some of the most renowned birding tour agencies in Costa Rica.


Since this time, he has also been active in many bird-related projects, from co-founding local NGOs (Cerulean Warbler Conservation Costa Rica) to being Vice Chair of a Working Group for the Convention on Migratory Bird Species of the United Nations Environmental Program. Apart from serving on multiple local committees for rare birds and birding clubs, his career/hobby has taken Juan to bird in many sites including Europe, Asia, Middle East, South America, and several countries of Central America.

Currently he is the country coordinator for the largest database of bird sightings in the world.

Juan Diego

Education: Lic. in Ecotourism and MSc. in Sustainable Development   

Age: 34

Bird List: 805 species for Costa Rica over a 3000 worldwide. 

Birding gear: Swarovski Binoculars and Scope; Canon 1d and 300mm f2.8 lens.

Birding experience: Panama, Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Central Europe, Spain, Tunisia and Southern China.

Tours he guides for LIFER TOURS: Birding and Bird Photography Costa Rica in Feb and April, Birding and Bird Photography in Ecuador, Birding and Bird Photography in Brazil.

Fun Birding Achievement: He got the first voucher for Costa Rica of an  Ocellated Poorwill in 2013. 

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