Alvaro (Al) Jaramillo was born in Chile but began birding in Toronto, where he lived as a youth. He studied ecology and evolution in Canada, earning a master's degree studying co-evolution in Argentine cowbirds. Research forays and backpacking trips introduced Alvaro to the riches of the Neotropics, where he has traveled extensively.
His recent Birds of Chile is now the standard field guide for that country. His New World Blackbirds: The Icterids deals with the biology and identification of this fascinating group of birds. He has also contributed both popular and scientific articles in various publications and wrote the icterid chapter for The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior.
Most recently Al finished co-editing a Spanish translation of A Neotropical Companion for Birder's Exchange. With no book projects on tap, he has more time to spend with his wife Katja, raising their son, Pablo, and daughter, Bianca, in the cozy coastal town of Half Moon Bay, California. Ecologically, it's very much like Chile but the people speak English!
Al is a birder who is also keenly interested in all aspects of the natural world and in understanding the biology and behavior of the birds we seek on trips. He enjoys teaching and incorporating gee whiz facts from his great internal database of bird info into the day's birding. Al's great enjoyment of humor is also part of the package, so if you want to have great fun birding the Americas...you know where to find him.