We here at 10,000 Birds are pleased to announce that two new Beat Writers have agreed to risk their spare time, their reputations, and their credibility by agreeing to blog here on 10,000 Birds! They will be writing on alternate Thursday mornings and we couldn’t be happier to welcome Dragan Simic and Alfredo Begazo. Dragan will be writing about “Eastern Europe and Beyond” while Alfredo will cover “Neotropical Birds and Ecology.” Both should be familiar to 10,000 Birds readers because both have contributed excellent guest posts in the past. (And Dragan already started on his beat last week.)

Please join us in giving them a warm welcome. Their biographies for 10,000 Birds are below and can be found with the bios of all of the talented Beat Writers on the Beat Writer page. Welcome aboard, Alfredo and Dragan!

Alfredo Begazo wrote a couple of guest posts on 10,000 Birds and we (and our readers) liked them so much that we Alfredo Begazoinvited him to become a Beat Writer. His work appears every-other-Thursday morning and is all about the birds, ecology, and conservation of the Neotropics, hence his beat: “Neotropical Birds and Ecology.”

Alfredo has been fascinated by birds since early age. He grew up alongside Peruvian Meadowlarks and Marvelous Spatuletails in his native Peru. Trained as Wildlife Biologist at the University of Florida, he moved south to the central part of the State and settled in sunny Vero Beach. He now divides his time between South Florida and the tropics where he spends a fair amount of time.  Alfredo founded Surbound Expeditions, a birding and nature travel company, as mean to share the wonders of Tropical Nature with others.  His passion for birds has expanded into a broad interest for other wildlife and for the conservation of their habitats.  Alfredo believes eco-tourism has the potential to foster sustainable practices among people who live in and own bird and wildlife habitats.

Dragan Simic is a name known by many of those who bird eastern Europe. After sharing some excellent guest posts on 10,00010,000 Birds we thought he would be a great addition as a Beat Writer and asked him to join 10,000 Birds. Dragan is now the “Eastern Europe and Beyond” Beat Writer on 10,000 Birds and you can find his posts every-other-Thursday.

Now nearing 50 and duly lost in a mid-life crisis, Dragan Simic took to birding rather late – only half a lifetime ago, after successfully testing his inadequate skills in other life threatening activities, such as rock climbing and vertical caving. In the end, it was birding that has taken him from his native Serbia, across the Balkans and Turkey, to the very borders of the Old World: East Anglia and Spain, southern Africa and India…

Beside birds and traveling in search of them, Dragan likes a good beer and the croaky voice of Shane MacGowan, hates confinements of four walls, but prefers four wheels and a lot of elbow room around. Birder by passion and environmentalist by education, he is the coauthor of three common birds guidebooks, the writer and the host of one TV film on birding for beginners, a field researcher, an ecotourism consultant, a bird blogger and a guy who always think that birding must be better behind that next curve of the road, and that the best bird ever is the – next lifer.

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy, their son, Desmond Shearwater, and their indoor cat, B.B. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.