About Us

Avery Meeker

Avery is best known for his work with the National Park Service, working in both Yosemite National Park and Denali National Park as an avian ecologist. He earned his masters degree from the University of Washington in 2019 where he helped teach a field course in Costa Rica for undergrads about wildlife and sustainable practices. Since then he has birded around the world seeing some of the most elusive and beautiful birds on our planet. He also has published his scientific research in one of the worlds greatest avian journals (IBIS). His biggest year got cut short by covid, but he still managed to see 622 species across 4 continents!

Lifelist: 1188

Marcos Garcia 

Born and raised in Mastatal, Costa Rica, Marcos has extensive experience about local customs and birds. He now owns and operates his own eco lodge in his home town where he welcomes birders from around the world. He has served as a local guide for many universities and ecology focused programs like ecoteach and UC Davis. He has teamed up with Avery to share his local knowledge and serve as a translator and guide for all our Costa Rica trips.

Lifelist: 879

Who are the Big Year Birders?

We started this guiding service as a way to help others travel and enjoy birding in foreign places. Our goal is to provide excellent birding trips to those less familiar with a region by creating bird-focused itineraries that maximize species encounters. Along the way we hope to educate our clients about local cultures, natural resource impacts, sustainability and to create a community of birders who travel responsibly. We hope each trip introduces unique cultural and natural experiences to all those that attend.

Who owns Big Year Birders?

This company is owned and operated by Avery Meeker, an avian ecologist with years of professional birding experience in Denali and Yosemite National Parks. Avery has traveled around the world to 29 countries, birding across 4 continents with an intense passion for sustainable tourism and understanding recreational impacts on avifauna. He has published previous scientific research in a top journal and continues to protect birds to this day as a scientific reviewer and bird-friendly coffee roaster.