Ryan Chenery

Born in Barbados, Ryan (aka the Bajan Birder) has been leading birding tours in the Caribbean for over 2 decades. Known for his infectious smile and terrific sense of humour, Ryan is very much a people person and always gets a tremendous rush out of sharing and showing the birds of these spectacular islands to fellow birding enthusiasts.

  • Before getting into professional birding full time, Ryan combined guiding with numerous and varied jobs in the conservation field. He was Chief Naturalist and Eco-guide Manager at the largest mangrove wetland in Barbados; Environmental Consultant for mangrove restoration projects in the Caribbean; Field Researcher with Global Vision International at their lab and base-camp in the Ecuadorian Amazon; Development Officer with the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) at one of it's flagship nature reserves in the UK; and finally, National Parks Officer with North York Moors National Park in North Yorkshire, United Kingdom.

    In addition to leading trips, Ryan also enjoys branching off to do other projects; in 2022 authoring the Birds of the Lesser Antilles – the first field guide to focus exclusively on the fascinating birds found in this southeastern corner of the Caribbean. He also works with US Fish & Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Service – most recently writing the episode scripts for their upcoming Nature Documentary on shorebird migration through the Caribbean. Ryan consults for various NGOs and is heavily involved in conservation projects aimed at saving the many critically endangered endemics of the Caribbean. 

    When not guiding Ryan spends his time between England and Barbados with his British wife and two young daughters – each of whom (at 3 years old and 1 year old) regularly join daddy and mummy on holiday...often brandishing their own binoculars!

  • PD, Lesser Antilles 2023

    This tour far exceeded our expectations. The pace was mostly fast, and many days were long with early starts, but we fully expected this for an endemic search tour; but we still managed lots of comradery, jokes, and cocktail time. We fulfilled our tour goal of finding all the endemic island species plus most of the endemic subspecies, including those that are most likely to be split in the future. We also got to sample the local culture and food of every island. Our tour was extremely productive and a very fun trip. We had a very experienced group of participants, and everyone was pleased with the tour. Our leaders were exceptional. Forrest Rowland and Ryan Chenery made an excellent team. Both are very knowledgeable, personable, and funny, as well as expert birders. Their knowledge of the species was profound. They worked hard to find each target and to make sure that everyone got on the birds. On several islands, we also had local leaders/drivers who were top-notch birders. They thoroughly knew their local species habits and vocalizations. The Lesser Antilles are Ryans domain; he expertly planned and conducted the tour. When you lead a group of people to ten different islands in 14 days via airplanes, ferries, and speedboats, you know that various matters will require attention and Ryan adeptly dealt with all issues that cropped up, most of which were not even apparent to us. Thanks, also, to Ryans wife Alexandria, who we got meet on their home island of Barbados, who ran the back-office logistics dealing with confirmations and handling real-time changes, as needed. The team of Forrest, Ryan, and Alex kept everything running smoothly and seamlessly. The Rockjumper home office also did a great job of handling the registration and payment processes and all associated travel paperwork and communications. This was our first Rockjumper tour, but it certainly wont be our last.

    RP - Lesser Antilles 2024

    This trip was exceptional. It exceeded our expectations in every way. The two guides, Ryan and Adam were outstanding in every aspect and greatly complemented each other. I highly recommend both of them. There is a fair amount of logistics involved in this trip and everything was well planned, with back up plans if needed. There was a great chemistry among the group, and even though our group varied from intense, hard-core birders to those that were a little more easy going, everyone got along great and the leaders worked well with everyone, helping everyone see all the birds and having a great time while doing it. This is a trip designed to see the endemics of the area and that is what the focus is. The total number of birds seen is certainly less than other trips, but the quality of the birds seen is amazing.

    LG - Lesser Antilles 2024

    A fantastic trip with Ryan Chenery and Adam Walleyn, just the logistics of this trip are mind blowing and seeing ALL the endemic birds out of this world.

    SL - Lesser Antilles 2024

    This was an excellent trip. Ryan and Adam were great at getting the birds, and handling all of the complicated travel logistics seamlessly. Best of all, they were fun! I had an incident where my passport fell out of my bag. I did not discover it until we were boarding the plane. They handled it so well and we were able to track the passport down.

    TC - Lesser Antilles

    When a tour leader like Ryan Chenery represents your company, you know you've got a good thing going. Sometimes you run across a leader who knows the birds and their songs, handles the logistics seamlessly, is always upbeat and has a sense of humor. Ryan has all those attributes and exemplifies what I want in a leader.