Erik was born in Chilean town called Temuco, where he spent his formative years scrambling through bamboo thickets and flooded woodlands, discovering tapaculos, wiretails and rayaditos. These encounters inspired a curiosity for birds and their interactions with the environment, eventually leading him to pursue a career in science, specifically, studying ecology and evolution in birds – subjects that he is always keen to discuss when leading a group.
Since his late teens he has managed to travel extensively throughout Chile, exploring its myriad of stunning landscapes and habitats, in an attempt to see all the birds it has to offer - soaking in all the “postcard-perfect” scenery along the way. More recently, this drive has broadened to search for birds further afield, for which he has embarked on birding trips to Morocco, Western Sahara, Spain, Poland, Israel, Madagascar, Australia and North America.
During his undergraduate degree in biological sciences, Erik studied aspects of the ecology and conservation of the endangered Huemul deer in Patagonia. Then moving on to become a PhD candidate in the UK, studying the ecology and evolution of body size of island birds in Australia. He is also involved in eBird as a regional reviewer and is part of the Red the Observadores de Aves y Vida Silvestre de Chile (ROC). He is fluent in English, Spanish, and will eventually be able to hold up a conversation in French.
Erik Sandvig (Birding Guide)