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Steve Ritt

Birding Guide / Botanist

Steve-Ritt-jay Steve’s interest in natural history all began with a case of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Determined to free himself of pharmaceutical medications, he learned all he could about natural medicine and nutrition. This spawned a passion for wild medicinal and edible plants, which got him outside and interested in wilderness awareness and primitive skills. Fascinated with interpreting “bird language” as a survival skill, he eventually realized that birding was much more dynamic and challenging than botany, and he could still forage while skulking after Swainson’s Warblers anyways!

Steve first fell in love with wood warblers in Western North Carolina, where he still owns land and grows rare native woodland botanicals such as American Ginseng and Goldenseal. However, he got his wings by working on the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas II, hawkwatching in Eastern Pennsylvania, and surveying for the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher along the Arizona/California border. He now spends most of his time as a Bird Guide and Environmental Consultant in San Diego, California, but migrates back to North Carolina each fall to molt, take care of his plants, and enjoy fall migration. In basic plumage, you can find him gazing at gulls and rarities in Southern California, stalking sparrows in Southeastern Arizona, or trampling through temperate Texas.