Dušan Brinkhuizen: Biologist, birder, photographer and birdguide resident in Ecuador. Dušan graduated at the University of Groningen (MSc.), The Netherlands, where he did bird research on extra-pair paternity, breeding systems, evolution of song, speciation and community ecology. During his studies he got hooked on Neotropical biodiversity and wilderness. Now he lives in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, and works for Rockjumper Birding Tours. Activities apart from leading birdwatching tours include scientific research, bird sound recording and bird photography.
I started bird photography in October 2000 using a very old Yashica body (thanks mother!) and a sturdy Russian 300mm lens. About a year later I upgraded my gear to an analog Minolta body with Sigma 400mm lens. A cheap but "indestructible" 5 megapixel digital camera was used for digiscoping and yielded some very nice pictures for a couple of years. In 2007 I got myself a Sony Alpha DSLR that was compatible with my Sigma 400mm. Digital images were not that crisp and a year later I switched to a Sigma 70-300mm F4-5,6 APO DG lens. Now I am using a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM. I got this serious lens only recently (April 2011) and it was one of the reasons for opening this photo gallery.The camera bodies that I used on this lens were a Canon EOS 40D and a Canon EOS 50D. Unfortunately, both bodies did not survive the continuous tropical climates so now I'm shooting with a simple Canon EOS Rebel T3, which is actually quite good.
Dušan is founder and webmaster of AvesEcuador.com: an interactive birding website with the latest bird observations and birding news from Ecuador. Dušan is a member of CERO (Comité Ecuatoriano de Registros Ornitológicos) , Ecuador's rare bird records committee. To view some of his recent publications and more go to his Curriculum Vitae.
For bird sound recording I use a Sennheiser ME67 shotgun microphone with a LS-11 Olympus recorder. In the past I have been using a Sony ECM-PB1C parabolic microphone with a Sharp MD-MT190H(S) recorder. Some of my recordings can be found on IBC and Xeno-Canto but I'm far behind from uploading them all!
Why the name Sapayoa? Primarily because it's just a cool name! It's a rare bird species found in remote lowland forests of the Chocó region, one of my areas of expertise and favourite places to bird. The Broad-billed Sapayoa, or simply Sapayoa, is taxonomically an enigma, hence its scientific name Sapayoa aenigma. First it was thought to be a manakin and later it was thought to be related to the Tyrant flycatchers. Recent molecular data, however, suggest a close relationship to the Old World Broadbills. Currently, most authorities place the species within its own monotypic family. Dull birds can be special too! For more on Neotropical bird taxonomy see the website of the South American Classification Committee (SACC).
Hereunder some more photos to illustrate my biography a little better. Click on each photo for a brief description.