CAYAYA BIRDING wurde von Knut Eiserman und Claudia Avendaño in 2003 gegründet. Beide sind seit den 1990er Jahren aktive Ornithologen in Guatemala und organisieren und zu führen Vogelbeobachtungsreisen in Guatemala mit viel Spaß.
Knut und Claudia unterstützen seit mehr als 20 Jahren Ornithologie, Vogelbeobachtung und Naturschutz in Guatemala. Sie haben die erste komplett referenzierte Liste der Vögel Guatemalas erstellt, veröffentlicht in 2007 bei Lynx Edicions (Annotated checklist of the birds of Guatemala). Die meisten ihrer Vogelstudien wurden unter dem Dach des PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Programs durchgeführt und veröffentlicht. Mit BirdLife International haben beide die Identifizierung der Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Guatemala koordiniert. Claudia und Knut haben erfolgreich die Entwicklung von Vogelbeobachtungsgebieten unterstützt, u.a. Los Tarrales, Sibinal, und Sierra Los Cuchumatanes; durch Beratung, Ausbildung von lokalen Guides, und Öffentlicheitsarbeit (Websites und gedruckte Artikel in Zeitschriften). Durch die Unterstützung von Citizen Science Initiativen wie die Christmas Bird Counts fördern Knut und Claudia die Vogelbeobachtung als Hobby in Guatemala.
Ich wurde 1973 geboren und bin in Chemnitz aufgewachsen, wo mein Interesse an der Natur durch meinem Vater im Alter von 10 Jahren geweckt wurde. Die Beobachtung und das Studium der Vögel, später auch Fledemäuse, Libellen, Heuschrecken und Pflanzen wurden zur Leidenschaft. Als Teenager bin ich dem Verein Sächsischer Ornithologen beigetreten, wo ich mich mehrere Jahre in einem Forschungs- und Schutzprojekt für die Dohle engagiert habe. Mein Studium zum Ingenieur für Landschaftsnutzung und Naturschutz an der Fachhochschule Eberswalde habe ich mit einer Diplomarbeit über die Vogelfauna eines Bergnebelwaldes in Guatemala abgeschlossen. Seit 1997 lebe ich in Guatemala. Wenn ich nicht Vogelbeobachtugsreisen in Guatemala entwerfe oder führe, bin ich im Feld um Neues über besondere Vögel herauszufinden, um lokale Guides auszubilden, um die Entwicklung von Vogelbeobachtungsgebeiten und Lodges zu unterstützen, um neue und aufregende Beobachtungsgebiete zu finden, sowie um Naturschutzinitiativen zu unterstützen. Meine ornithologischen Studien konzentrieren sich auf Vogelverbreitung, Lebensweise, und Schutz, und wurden in zahlreichen Artikeln in internationalen ornithologischen Zeitschriften und Magazinen, Buchkapiteln, sowie einer kommentierten Artenliste der Vögel Guatemala (Lynx Edicions) veröffentlicht. Von 2004 bis 2015 habe ich bemerkenswerte Vogelbeobachtungen in Guatemala für den vierteljährigen Beobachtungsbericht in "North American Birds" (American Birding Association) zusammengetragen, und von 2008 bis 2015 war ich Gutachter von Beobachtungsdaten von Guatemala eingereicht in eBird.
Ich wurde 1974 geboren und bin in Guatemala Stadt aufgewachsen. In meiner Kindheit und Jugend bin ich viel mit meiner Familie durch Guatemala und Mexiko gereist, wobei ich viele der antiken Mayastätten zum ersten Mal gesehen habe und Unterschiede der verschiedenen Kulturen kennenlernen konnte. Während meines Studiums der Chemie und Biologie an der Universität San Carlos wurde mein Interesse an der Ornithologie geweckt. Vogelbeobachtung war kein gewöhnliches Hobby in Guatemala und Ornithologievorlesungen waren selten, so dass ich mich hauptsächlich im Selbststudium in die Vogelwelt Guatemalas eingearbeitet habe. Einige Vogelmonitoringmethoden habe ich erlernt mit Forschungsassistenten des Maya Projektes vom Peregrine Fund im Maya Biosphärenreservat. Meine Licenciatura-Arbeit habe ich über die Avifauna des Laguna Lachuá Nationalparks geschrieben, einem bis dahin ornithologisch unerforschten Regenwaldgebiet. Danach war ich an Vogelstudien in mehreren Gebieten Guatemalas beteiligt, welche in verschieden Artikeln zur Verbreitung, Lebensweise und Schutz von Vögeln in Guatemala veröffentlicht wurden, u.a. eine kommentierte Liste der Vogelarten Guatemalas (Lynx Edicions). Außerdem war ich engagiert in Umweltbildungs- und Citizen Science Inititaiven, und unter dem Dach von BirdLife International habe die Identifizierung der IBAs in Guatemala mit koordiniert. Seit 1999 führe ich Vogelbeobachtungsreisen in Guatemala. Wenn ich nicht gerade auf Tour bin oder Reisen organisiere, liebe ich die Vogel- und Naturfotografie, unterstütze ich private Tourismusinitiativen, bilde lokale Guides aus, und entdecke neue Beobachtungsgebiete.
Was Vogelbegeisterte sagen, die mit Knut und Claudia auf Tour waren:
"Knut and Claudia are the most knowledgeable, gentle, humble and self-effacing bird natural historian guides I have ever been led by in years and years of birding! Knut's keen bird awareness, speed and ability with the scope is truly unique. I have never enjoyed so much and experienced watching canopy gorgeous birds with the scope like I did with him! Together, through decades of hard work and love for Guatemala Knut and Claudia have pioneered most birdwatching hotspots in Guatemala. They have selflessly trained many other guides you'll find in the country. Their knowledge of the history of every single locale and of the geographic bird distribution processes is simply unparalleled!!! The plan they craft for your touring experience is worked out to the very last detail. Nothing is left to chance yet nothing feels rushed! You get to learn so much in so little time! Everything is calculated with precision, love and care and it shows so much!!! I am extremely thankful, my heart is full!!"
José Miguel Ponciano, Florida, USA (2023)
"This was a once in a lifetime experience as a birdwatcher and human being! In a few days we learned so much! We even got a mini-course in photography. In only four days we were able to enjoy, capture and begin to comprehend the beauty and diversity of the birds of Guatemala. At any time did we feel rushed. Never was seeing a species target a touch-and-go experience, so much natural history knowledge!!! We feel so thankful and honored to have had this experience!!!"
Marcela Diaz, Florida, USA (2023)
"Claudia and Knut are amazing scientists, naturalists and birders. They gave us a very engaging two-hour tour to our large family group at Finca El Pilar outside of Antigua. They engaged with all members of our group, from the grandmother to the eight-year-old. Everyone especially enjoyed the hummingbirds, and the whole group got to see many other birds in the spotting scope, including a pair of beautiful Black-vented Orioles. In the past, Knut and Claudia have taken me on serious birding outings, and they are the best in the country for that as well. I could not recommend them more highly for both serious birding and for more casual nature tours."
Kevin Omland, Baltimore, MD (2023)
"Knut was expert at finding the birds we were looking for and often managed to have them quickly in the scope so that I enjoyed many great views. The hike up to see the Horned Guan was nicely interrupted to look for owls on the way up; I didn't dream to have such great views of the Horned Guans posing and then feeding in the aguacatillo trees."
Jean-Francois Burhis, Netherlands (2023)
"As most experienced guides Knut Eisermann was able to identify all birds by call as well as song and sight. However, he was exceptionally good at getting his clients on the bird of interest. He was also incredibly committed to finding target birds and to meet his clients' objectives. Birding aside, Knut (and Claudia) were terrific company. Finally the logistics and communications about the trip were exceptionally clear, timely and relevant."
Magnus Persmark, United States (2022)
"Guatemala with CAYAYA BIRDING - far from the longest bird-list I've ever had, nor perhaps equalling the great wild-life spectacles of East Africa, but this was one of the very best birding trips I've ever been on. The leader is key on any sort of wild-life trip and I make no apology for the emphasis that I place on this area. We picked up all the "marquee" species and had many extra surprise bonus birds. All this is because Knut Eisermann has to be one of the world's very top bird leaders. His ability as a bird-finder must be unrivaled and he has the unique ability to get scope views of rainforest rarities. This alone makes a huge difference. He also has an unrivaled knowledge of the country's avifauna and has an extensive array of contacts, including local guides, to smooth the finding of rarities. Our list of owls, photographed as well as seen, was amazing. A bird leader also needs lots of "softer" skills and once more Knut excels - multi-lingual, resourceful, and with an excellent sense of humour. It really was like going birding with an old friend. There was always flexibility and a Plan B if necessary. To literally wet your appetite, the food and accommodation were absolutely superb. If you are thinking of a bird trip to Guatemala, and you should, then I'm afraid that there is no alternative to CAYAYA BIRDING."
Mike Thompson, United Kingdom (2019)
"A great trip with a brilliant guide. Knut Eisermann was both fun to be with and excellent at getting us onto all the birds."
David Crawshaw, United Kingdom (2919)
"Thank you Knut and Claudia for one of the best birding trips I have been on, well considered and organised itinerary led by a highly knowledgeable and likeable guide who quickly located birds in the scope. Great birds, scenery, accommodation and coffee, I couldn't recommend CAYAYA BIRDING highly enough."
Fiona Ireland, United Kingdom (2019)
"A much anticipated return to this wonderful country after a several year break. A huge thanks to Knut Eisermann and Claudia Avendaño, for yet another absolutely fantastic trip. The whole thing meticulously planned and operated. Exceptionally knowledgeable, focused, patient and kind, the CAYAYA BIRDING team are the natural choice for birdwatching in Guatemala. Already planning our next visit!"
Harry Barnard, United Kingdom and Costa Rica. (2019)
"The whole arrangement was excellent with a good mix of habitats, ensuring that we ended up with a very nice trip list (386 species, of which 13 were heard only). Knut Eisermann was a splendid guide, very keen to find our targets and with excellent knowledge of all the birds occurring in Guatemala. A slightly unexpected bonus was his special interest in owls, which meant that owling was an almost nightly exercise. Our final trip list included nine species of owls and they were all seen!" Tomas Hedmark, Sweden (2019)
"Four of us went to Guatemala in the hope of photographing the regional endemics. Thanks to Knut's expertise, we saw and photographed almost all on our wish list. I would recommend CAYAYA BIRDING company for anyone birding or pursuing serious photography in Guatemala. Knut Eisermann not only knows the birds and how to find them, but is an accomplished photographer himself, so he knows just what a photographer needs when in the field. We can't wait to come back."
Richard Greenspun, Florida, USA (2019)
"I was part of a four person bird photography tour of Guatemala. Knut Eisermann was the best guide I have ever toured with. He was quick to find target birds and as we were a photography group was comfortable spending extra time allowing us to get the photographs we desired. He was very quick to get the traget birds in the scope which helped us locate the birds to shoot. The highlight was a tour to find the Horned Guan, which we did. This is one trip that I will remember for a lifetime. Thanks to Claudia for all of the hard work in coordinating our group." Gary Wong, Florida, USA. (2019)
"Knut is a fantastic guide - he is friendly, knowledgeable, gentle, accommodating, and patient. He always had a big smile, never complained and was so nice to the Guatemalans including them in his guiding business and helping them to appreciate and protect their special and beautiful environment. He is one of my all time top guides in the world that I have had the pleasure of meeting and traveling with. " Kathryn Young, Florida, USA. (2019)
"Five days in the company of Knut Eisermann birding the hills and valleys of the countryside surrounding Antigua, Guatemala was an absolute delight. Knut is as much an ornithologist, with a special interest in owls, as he is a birder and this made the trip extra special. I am a serial guide user in the Americas and Knut is up there with the best of them." Kevin Buckley, New Jersey, USA (2018)
"I had the pleasure of birding the highlands with Knut Eisermann for a week in August with two friends. Besides seeing some mega birds - Horned Guan, Pink-headed Warbler, and Belted Flycatcher for example - I was really impressed by the amazing scenery, delicious cuisine and comfortable accomodations. I hope to book another trip with CAYAYA BIRDING again soon!" Michael C. Duffy, New York, USA. (2018)
"I was able to organize a 10 day trip with Claudia Avendaño for an 11 person group I was leading for Atlanta Audubon. We had a spectacular time! We were able to visit the western highlands as well as the lowland forests at Tikal National Park. In addition to finding life birds and seeing amazing places, this trip had a special focus on shade grown coffee and the Wood Thrush. CAYAYA BIRDING did a great job helping us create a customized itinerary that balanced birding, culture, conservation, and educational opportunities. Claudia was skillful at noticing the needs and desires of each particular group member and adjusting accordingly. She was well prepared and researched and understood what our group desired. The lodging, transportation, and local guides all met or exceeded expectations. I cannot recommend CAYAYA BIRDING and Claudia Avendaño enough and absolutely plan on birding with them again in the future. We were able to see 275 species in 10 days and everyone left happy and healthy." Adam Betuel, Atlanta Audubon Society (2018)
"Knut Eisermann provided my son and I with a wonderful week of birdwatching in Guatemala. He is warm, friendly and fun! His birding skills are second to none. We had a wonderful time and I can't say enough good things about our time with him." Michael Robinson, Washington, USA (2018)
"Just had my second, brilliant trip with Knut Eisermann and CAYAYA BIRDING. Honestly, can't think of how it could have been improved on. Knut and Claudia Avendaño think of every single detail to make sure that everything goes smoothly and that, as a guest, you have the best possible birding experience. Knut is great company and is deeply knowledgeable. We found all the birds we went looking for, and I was lucky enough to get good chances for photos of each species. Spent part of our time together discussing our next trip together ... can't wait. Really recommend CAYAYA BIRDING, with no hesitation whatsoever ... wonderful way to experience a great birding country." Kevin Bartlett, Buenos Aires, Argentina. (2018)
"We had an extremely good trip. Everything was organized with an incredible attention to detail; we saw a huge amount without feeling rushed; and the food and accommodation were far better than we had expected. Knut Eisermann is an excellent guide with an incredible knowledge of the birds, wildlife and culture of his adopted home. He is also very pleasant company in the field. Very highly recommended." Graham Tebb, Vienna, Austria. (2018)
"I just returned from a very productive birding trip down to Guatemala with my primary focus being warblers. I had a target list and managed to find all of them thanks to the expert guiding from Knut Eisermann. I let them know exactly what species I was looking for and they planned an itinerary that would give us the best chances of finding them. I would highly recommend them as they know where the birds are, get you on them and tailor the tour to whatever you want to find. Although Knut is originally from Germany he has been down in Guatemala for 20 years so knows the country very well and I always like providing business to local guides when I travel." Larry Therrien, Massachusetts, USA. (2018)
"We spent two weeks in Guatemala to see the specialty birds of the region. It was the right decision to ask CAYAYA BIRDING to organize our tour. Knut Eisermann was a perfect guide knowing all the birds, the secret places and the culture of the people. He involves local guides which helps finding the birds and supporting the communities. We did see all the special birds of the region we were hoping for plus several real rarities like Unspotted Saw-whet Owl. Being impressed by the incredible landscape, the friendliness of the people, the Mayan historical sites and the many birds, we will come back to Guatemala and we will definitely contact CAYAYA BIRDING again to organize our next trip." Jochen Baurmeister Frauke Jordt, Pennsylvania, USA, and Frankfurt, Germany. (2017)
"Knut Eisermann took a friend and I in search of rare species. Even though we weren't able to reach one area due to road closures, Knut was able to quickly come up with alternate locations and great birds. He is a very personable and skilled guide that i would recommend to anyone wanting to bird Guatemala. Also he is a very safe driver." Ken Havard, Canada. (2017)
"Claudia Avendaño was very professional and knowledgeable. Her English was impeccable, and I felt very comfortable spending the day with her. She was lightening quick with her spotting scope, and as a result I was able to see many birds I never would have seen without her assistance. She was a good listener and answered all my questions. I was impressed with her keen ear for the birds. I would highly recommend CAYAYA BIRDING tours to any bird lover. It is worth every penny!" Tina Collins, USA. (2017)
"The trip was absolutely the best. I have been on many guided trips to a number of countries, but none were more well organized and thought out than yours." Dennis Shirley, Utah, USA (May 2017)
"CAYAYA BIRDING are the Guatemala experts. For expert guiding, logistics planning and knowing where the birds are, you can't beat the team of Knut Eisermann and Claudia Avendaño! Thanks for a great trip, guys!!" Mark Conrad, Arizona, USA (2017)
"Die Reise besticht durch eine perfekte Organisation und eine fachlich hoch kompetente Reiseleitung, die den Reisenden darüber hinaus ein familiäres Flair als wesentlichen Wohlfühlfaktor zu geben vermag. Neben der eigentlichen fachlichen Zielstellung kommen auch historische und ethologische Informationen nicht zu kurz. Eine Birding-Tour, die jedem "Birdwatcher" wärmstens empfohlen werden kann. 300 Vogelarten sind garantiert! Auch ist genügend Zeit zur Vogelfotografie." Klaus und Karin Eulenberger, Leipzig. (2014)
"Diese vogelkundliche Reise hat meine Erwartungen in jeder Hinsicht übertroffen. Am Ende der Reise standen beachtliche 356 Arten auf der Gesamtliste. Diese Bilanz ist vor allem Knut Eisermann zu verdanken, der nicht nur hervorragende Kenntnisse über die Vogelwelt Guatemalas besitzt, sondern auch ein exzellenter Beobachter ist. Beeindruckend war dabei insbesondere seine Sicherheit, mit der er auch seltene Vogelarten im dichten Regenwald aufspürte. Seine liebenswürdige und umsichtige Betreuung gehört neben den außergewöhnlichen Eindrücken über das Land - einschließlich der zahlreichen faszinierenden Naturerlebnisse - zu den unvergesslichen Erfahrungen dieser Reise. Guatemala war für mich ein Erlebnis der besonderen Art. Für Ornithologen und natürlich auch für Naturfreunde mit anderen Interessengebieten ist dieses Land ein beachtenswerter Geheimtipp!" Peter Tischler, Halle/Saale. (2014)
"It was a delightful trip from beginning to end. Communication was clear in the planning stages and throughout the entire trip. And, most especially, Knut Eisermann and Claudia Avendaño were 'over-the-top' birders! We loved their total friendliness and cheerfulness and their skills at hearing, seeing and identifying Guatemalan birds was amazing." Ann and John Reichhardt, Colorado, USA. (2013)
"My experience in Guatemala could not have been better. Knut Eisermann is a very accomplished guide who knows the birds beyond field guide information." Mark Lockwood, Alpine, TX, USA. (2014), senior author of The TOS Handbook of Texas Birds.
"Die Reise war sehr gut geplant und dank der prima Vorbereitung klappte alles hervorragend. Das betrifft die Auswahl der Quartiere und Gaststätten und natürlich ganz besonders auch der unterschiedlichen Lebensräume. Beeindruckend war, mit welcher Sicherheit die gesuchten Vogelarten auch wirklich gefunden werden konnten. Auch der kulturelle Rahmen war gut abgesteckt, so wurden uns Einblicke in die Geschichte und Kultur des Landes ermöglicht. Ich kann und werde solcherart ornithologische Erkundungsreisen jederzeit weiterempfehlen." Klaus Fabian, Dresden. (2008)
"Claudia Avendaño and Knut Eisermann organized a one week custom tour for Pacific slope bird specialties and the cultural attractions of colonial Antigua and Lake Atitlán. Knut was an outstanding guide and personable companion. His knowledge of the birds is encyclopedic, and his sharp eyes and perseverance were greatly appreciated." Robert Orenstein, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. (2007)
"CAYAYA BIRDING is outstanding: they not only offer world-class guides, but remarkably comfortable accommodation. They have taken care to ensure good relations with the communities they visit, which means you will not only see a long list of endemics and rarities, but also learn a lot about Guatemala's cultural diversity." Matthew Koch, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. (2015)
"Our guide, Knut Eisermann was excellent! I was impressed by his bird knowledge, phenomenal eyes and ears, and on how well he took care of us. He was charming at all times, attuned to all of our needs both birdwise and otherwise, and extremely patient and considerate. He is lightning-fast on getting a bird in the scope! He is also a very safe driver. We had a delightful time. Claudia Avendaño was very prompt on her responses to all of our queries. Her pre-trip information was comprehensive and very clear. I would highly recommend that anyone interested in birding Guatemala contact them first."
Lorna L. Engleman, MD, and Dodge Engleman, MD, San Antonio, TX. (2014), Co-authors of: A bird-finding guide to Panama.
"Birding with Knut Eisermann and Claudia Avendaño is a double benefit. Not only do you get the best birding experience and expertise, but you are also supporting conservation and habitat/ecological awareness efforts through their programs with locals. Teach the local people about birds, employ them as paid citizen scientists, increase awareness about caring for the earth and support the local economy." Ruth Stewart, Vermont, USA. (2012)
"We found Knut Eisermann an extremely knowledgable, enthusiastic, patient and attentive leader. He knows the birds, the locations, the people. He involves local guides that he trained himself wherever possible - we were impressed by this. His sense of humour is also an asset." Ian D. Harrison, Aberaeron, UK. (2013)Weitere Kommentare ...