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Tom Dunkerton

dunkI am a Pro Staffer for Opticron North America, a sport and nature optics company and I promote our binoculars and spotting scopes throughout the U.S. at various birding events. My family and I have recently moved to Iowa, one of the best kept birding secrets in the U.S.! Lucky me!

As a kid growing up in New York, I’ve always loved being outside. I grew up fishing and crabbing off the shores of Staten Island and constantly wandering the wooded areas available to me, which at the time, contrary to popular belief, were quite abundant.

Turning over stones and logs investigating what lies beneath led to an early interest in reptiles and amphibians. It wasn’t until 1985 that my eyes were opened to the wonderful world of bird watching! My girlfriend at the time, now my wife, had then given me my first birding field guide in 1985 and I’ve been hooked ever since!

Fast forward to 1995, when I moved to Florida where I continued to bird avidly, so much so that I ended up with a job as a field research technician studying Florida Scrub-jays on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for four years from 2005 through 2008. It wasn’t until 2003, after participating in shorebird surveys at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge that I was inspired to take up photography. Initially, it was simply to photograph birds to better study them. Spending every waking moment out in the field when not working afforded me some grand experiences and lessons in patience that led my photography to become just as much an obsession as birding itself.

My birding obsession was rewarded in 2007 by being invited to guide field trips for the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival in Titusville, Florida. It has since expanded well beyond that. My hobby led me to even dabble in portrait and wedding photography but none could live up to the rewards of nature photography and just being outside!

Upcoming Events

April 2017
April 6 @ 6:30 am - 11:30 am

Explore the entire island on a fast-paced trip. Our local leaders know the birding spots well and will take into account the weather and tides, and what they have seen just prior to and during the festival. The tour is not fixed rigidly in advance but is more a birding adventure. You'll go where the birds are!

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April 7 @ 6:00 am - 2:00 pm

Join Kevin Karlson at what he calls “one of the finest migratory locations in North America” – the southern end of the Bolivar Peninsula. Shorebirds, terns, herons, egrets and other water birds will give participants an unforgettable field experience. Targets: Expect to see at least 80 – 100 species! For example, 5 species of plovers, 7 species of terns, 4 species of gulls, Dowitchers, Peregrine Falcon, Northern Harrier, Marbled Godwit, Long-billed Curlew, Whimbrel, Red Knot, White-tailed Kite, Marsh Wren, Seaside…

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