I’m Pepe Rojas, an avid birder, guide, and naturalist from Lima, Peru. I’ve had the great fortune to watch birds for work and play for over 25 years. I began my journey in 1990 when, as a forestry student, I escaped the chaos of Lima to live and work in the Tambopata rainforest of Southeastern Peru. While walking the trails one day, I listened in a trance as a spooky, yet beautiful song echoed across the forest. I found out later that it was the magical call of the musician wren. That’s the day I got hooked on birds.
I spent 7 years living in Tambopata, immersed in the ecology of the Amazon rainforest and helping friends to establish what is now the Tambopata Macaw Project. I began guiding my first birding tours and assisted on a handful of conservation projects – one of the more memorable (and amusing to friends) being a starring role in a BBC documentary about Amazon birds. All the while, I studied my birds, honed my field skills, and gained extensive knowledge of tropical ecology. It was a wild and formative time that ignited my passion for birds and launched my career.
Fast forward a couple of decades and I’ve since lived in the U.S. for over 15 years, picked up a degree from the University of California (Santa Cruz), and have contributed to many birding and conservation projects with top companies and organizations. In addition to working as a tour leader for Field Guides, I’ve been associated with The Field Museum of Chicago, Stanford University, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Santa Clara Audubon Society, National Geographic, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Conservation International. I’ve also consulted for several international and Peruvian tourism companies and SERNANP, the Peruvian ministry of the environment.
In 2014, I returned to Peru with my wife, Abby, to pursue my ultimate goal of building the birding company of my dreams. Pepe Rojas Birding is the culmination of my 25+ years work as a researcher, guide, and passionate advocate for protecting wild places.
Tambopata feels like a lifetime ago, but the magic I felt that first day on the trails is still there – I feel it everytime I enter the forest. I hope you’ll come experience it with me.