Robert S. Ridgely
Dr. Robert Sterling Ridgely (b. 14. January 1946) is an American ornithologist, specializing in the neotropics. He is the co-author of three books on neotropical ornithology: the field guide The Birds of Panama (with John Gwynne), The Birds of Ecuador (with Paul Greenfield), and the The Birds of South America (with Guy Tudor), of which two monumental volumes (out of four), covering the passerines, have appeared. He was long affiliated with the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, then Vice-President at the American Bird Conservancy until 2006. In 2001 he was awarded the Linnaean Society of New York's Eisenmann Medal. In 2006, he received the Chandler Robbins Award from the American Birding Association. He is currently working for Rainforest Trust and is one of the founders of the highly successful conservation NGO Fundación de Conservación Jocotoco, which owns and manages ten nature reserves in Ecuador.
Discovery of the bird that barks
Ridgely and fellow birder John Moore discovered a new antpitta during their trek through the Andes in Southern Ecuador near the Podocarpus National Park in November 1997. The bird is peculiar because of its unique call: it hoots and it barks. The bird was named jocotoco antpitta (Grallaria ridgelyi). Ridgeley's antpitta is one of the largest birds discovered within the past 50 years. He suspects that it went undetected for so long because either it has a very small range or it barks only during a short breeding season.