In It To Linnet
We are made up of four itinerant and driven conservationists who believe that connecting people with birds is one of the best ways to protect birds and their habitats. Through our interactions with the public and through social media, we hope to drum up support for this year’s mission: aiding declining Steppe Eagle populations in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Birds and their habitats need champions to rally around them, and participating in an event to do just that and to celebrate birds with an international community is an opportunity we didn’t want to pass up. There aren’t Linnets where we are coming from; Alex, Marc and Eliana come by way of Miami, FL and Raymond hails from Albuquerque, NM.
Meet the Team:
Eliana Ardila Kramer
Hailing from bird-rich Colombia, Eliana was destined to be a birder. Her ornithological endeavors have taken her from her home in South Florida (USA) to the far corners of the world, where she immerses herself in nature with a warmth and excitement for bird life. You’ll most likely never see her without a camera in hand; she is a committed and spirited photographer. Not only is she exceedingly quick at capturing images of flighty birds, she has a keen eye for composition and technique. When she’s not birding, Eliana is the executive director and lead veterinary technician for Project PetSnip, a Miami-based organization focusing on spay and neuter surgery to combat pet overpopulation. She’s also a field biologist, avid ceramicist, triathlete, gardener, vegan chef, environmentalist… you name it, she’s probably done it. You’ll quickly learn that she has an obsession with Corvids (the crows, ravens, and jays) and the color green. With her outgoing personality and contagious enthusiasm, she is fantastic company to clients, co- workers, and friends. Together with her husband, Marc, they undertook a North America birding big year in 2018, chasing birds across the continent in their restored 1978 Volkswagen Bus.
Marc Kramer, DVM
From rattling off the names of every dinosaur at the age of 2, Marc’s beginnings as a bona fide birder began in the early 90’s as a student at Cornell University. Mesmerized by the work of his ornithology professors, he embraced the opportunity to take on avian field work on a remote seabird island in Alaska, in the neotropical rainforests of Panama, and on a wetland refuge for shorebirds in Northern California. Those formative days set into motion an unrelenting enthusiasm for birds and he never looked back. A plethora of life birds later, he steered his professional career towards birds but with a unique twist. He became a veterinarian and specializes in the medical care of birds, wildlife, and unusual pets. Over the past 25 years he has made birds his passion in life, for both work and recreationally, traveling across the globe in a perpetual birding quest. Together with his wife, Eliana, who also shares the same obsession — they embarked on a North American birding “Big Year” in 2018, tracking down birds on an epic road trip from Florida to Alaska and back — in their 1978 Volkswagen Bus!
Birds hijacked the course of Alex’s life from his infancy; his first word was “birdy”, according to his parents. He doesn’t remember the occasion himself, but he happily accepts that as a befitting first word. Alex’s growth as a birder and conservationist was fostered by Miami’s birding community and by a family that reinforced in him the notion that individuals can make positive change. He studied Environmental Science and pursued a number of avian field jobs in North America’s National Parks, Rocky Mountains, and Florida Keys. He filled some gaps with the odd guiding gig, including taking a season to guide in Brazil. Alex is now based in Las Vegas where he is an active member of Red Rock Audubon Society, guides with Bird Las Vegas, does avian field work and sits as a voting member on the Nevada Bird Records Committee. He also spends the warmer months in Alaska as a guide on Saint Paul Island and the mainland. In 2020, he’ll begin guiding for Lindblad Expeditions in Alaska’s Inside Passage.
Raymond L. Van Buskirk
Raymond L. Van Buskirk’s love for the natural world was born in the pine forests of the Land of Enchantment. He is a New Mexico native and has spent the first 29 years of his life following his dream of creating a career around birding. Raymond co-owns and operates BRANT Nature Tours, a New-Mexico-based nature travel company with a strong commitment to both environmental and social justice. His career experience also includes multiple ornithological field research positions, including two summers as seabird research technician on the Arctic Ocean, head Rosy-Finch researcher with Rio Grande Bird Research Inc., past president of the Central New Mexico Audubon Society, board member of Western Field Ornithologists, ABA young birding camp instructor, and birding specialist for Leica Sport Optics. Raymond is a proud member of Queer Birders of North America (QBNA), the continent’s informal club for LGBTQ+ members of the birding community. Raymond is a senior leader for WINGS Birding Tours Worldwide and is the Sales Manager for Redstart Birding and head guide for Bird Watcher’s Digest’s Reader Rendezvous tour series.