Rick began birding at age ten while living on Ft. Huachuca, Arizona. In less than a year he was leading birders to the specialty birds of Southeastern Arizona. The owners of the Mile Hi Guest Ranch in Ramsey Canyon, Huachuca Mountains were so impressed with his abilities they would send all their guests with wish lists of birds to him. Of course they provided their guests with a map to his house (still a little young to drive) and the heads up that they were going to be led by a child, but not to worry, he would find them their birds. And he did! During high school and college he led individuals and groups on tours in Southeastern Arizona. He received a BS in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Arizona (in a year we won’t mention here!). Before graduating from college, Rick received a letter from Victor Emanuel asking if he would like to lead tours for his company, Victor Emanuel Nature Tours. Rick led tours to many destinations from Alaska and Siberia to Antarctica but with a specialty in North and Central America.
In 2002 he left VENT to work on a series of books with his wife, Nora, and Kenn Kaufman. They completed the first four books in the Kaufman Field Guide series, Birds, Mammals, Butterflies and Insects of North America with Rick and Nora providing the majority of the images for all but the insect guide. Rick and Nora then did a series of field guides to Wildflowers of Arizona, Texas, and the Carolinas. In addition they did field guides to Cactus of Arizona, Texas, and the Southwestern US.
Rick has a special interest in nightbirds. He and Kenn Kaufman hold the one day owl record having SEEN eleven species of owls in one 24 hour period (Big Owl Day article).
After completing nine books and two decks of playing cards, Rick has returned to his first love – leading tours and sharing is vast knowledge of natural history and photography with fellow nature lovers. Please come join him for an exciting and informative nature tour or photo safari!