Richard arrived in Brazil in the late 1980s. He has travelled extensively throughout his professional life in the drilling industries and fell in love with South America and its wildlife during working visits to Venezuela and Trinidad in the late 1970s.
After many years spent in preparation, Richard led his first birding group in 2003, searching for rare Cotingas in the forests around Rio de Janeiro. The tour was a great success and culminated with exceptional views, had by all, of one of the region’s most elusive species: Grey-winged Cotinga.
Richard Raby uses: Nikon 8×32 HG and Leica 8×32 BR Binoculars, a Kowa Flourite 613 Prismatic Telescope equiped with Manfrotto 443 carbon tripod, for photography a Nikon D70S DSLR Camera and for Bird-song, a Marantz PMD660 Solid-state field recorder, equiped with a Senheisser ME66 shotgun microphone.
Since those successful beginnings, Richard has started to lead birding trips further afield. Continuing to offer visits to the nearby ‘classic’ locations of Itatiaia, Teresopolis, Ubatuba, Nova Friburgo, Serra da Bocaina and Pereque, he now also offers trips to the more distant points of the surrounding states of Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo, Eastern Sao Paolo, and also Southern Bahia.
Richard is now a bona-fide Brazilian resident, fluent with the local way of life and now with a better knowledge of this region’s wildlife and wild places than many locals. He has devoted much of his spare time to exploring South-east Brazil’s preserved (and many still unprotected) areas, in pursuit of his hobby.
At present, Richard spends the British summer months in England and attends the Rutland Water Birdfair annually. You can always find him helping-out on the Neotropical Bird Club stand. Please come along and have a chat to find out more about this spectacular region’s birds.
His long-term plans are to move to Brazil full-time, leading his custom-made birding tours. Between trips, Richard pursues his own research, expanding his growing list of renowned birding destinations, while also increasing local awareness of still unrecognised hotspots, worthy of better protection.
Richard endeavours, wherever possible, to open the eyes of local Brazilians to the tremendous richness of their natural heritage.
A member of BirdLife International, the Neotropical Bird Club and the World Wildlife Fund, Richard is an ardent campaigner for the urgent need to preserve Brazil’s rainforests and other threatened habitats, and substantial areas of all types of habitat worldwide.