Smithsonian Journeys Experts

Pepper Trail

photo of Pepper Trail

Pepper Trail has traveled the world in the course of his studies on the ecology, behavior and conservation of birds. After receiving his Ph. D. from Cornell University, Pepper did post-doctoral research at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the California Academy of Sciences. An expert photographer and writer, his work has appeared in publications ranging from Science, Evolution and Conservation Biology.  He is also a widely published poet, and his collection Cascade-Siskiyou: Poems was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award.

For over 20 years, Pepper has served as the forensic ornithologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, work that has earned him the title of "the Sherlock Holmes of bird crime."  He is the creator of the leading feather identification website, The Feather Atlas of North American Birds.

Pepper enjoys leading tours to the world's top natural history destinations, including the Galapagos, Amazon, Antarctica, and New Guinea.  His enthusiasm and sense of humor always convert a few 'non-birders' to 'birders' every trip.  And his lecture in the persona of Charles Darwin is not to be missed!

What Our Travelers Say

He's tops in all he contributed to my enjoyment of the trip.  Thank you for choosing him. 

- Diane B., Amazon River Cruise

By the Expert

Upcoming Tours

Amazon River Cruise

9 days | Starting at: $5,295
Mar 12, 2022 - Mar 20, 2022

Round-trip from Lima Aboard the 36-guest Zafiro
Tour Details ››

Galápagos Islands

9 days | Starting at: $7,995
May 12, 2022 - May 20, 2022

Aboard the 48-guest La Pinta
Tour Details ››