Who are we?

Renee Rubin and Michael Delesantro (photo below) are from Weslaco, Texas, deep in the heart of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Renee is a retired college professor who taught reading education courses at the University of Texas in Brownsville. Prior to that she worked as an elementary school teacher and a newspaper journalist. Michael is a retired high school science teacher who taught at the Science Academy of South Texas. Prior to that he was the owner and operator of Vamonos! Nature Tours and an environmental scientist with the US Department of the Interior. He also has done quite a bit of nature photography.

Following retirement and after their Big Year, Renee and Michael are expecting to resume their nature tour and guide service that was in operation in the 1990s and 2000s. Birdingonabudget.com is the result.


Photo by Allan Delesantro




6 thoughts on “Who are we?

  1. From the Sierra Foothills, CA. I am new to your site, and am very happy to have discovered it. I am fairly new to birdwatching as a hobby, and certainly can see how it can become a passion! The information you provide, the set-up of your site, the successes/temporary failures you write about, the photography are all worthy of my time. I look forward to reading about more of the adventures on your Lower 48 Big Year.

  2. Howdy, Renee and Mike. We met briefly at Madera in mid-Feb. and birded the lower area. Love what you’re doing with your big year. My wife and I will eventually do a variation on what you’re up to, once we move past some present obligations. A big year seems like the perfect way to frame an extended bird adventure, keep your travels focused, and hold an almost mind-boggling array of sweet dreams in your head all at once (I like to start my travel adventures several months before I actually leave). Best of luck with your journey. I’ll be keeping up with your adventures. If you’re ever near Flagstaff, give me a shout.

    By the way, your Nutting’s photo is first-rate, showing the gradations of secondary edges about as good as a photo can. Nice job on that one and many others.

    • Hello, Dennis. Thanks for writing and thanks for following our blog. We hope our paths cross again during the year. If you are in the Rio Grande Valley when we are home we’ll be glad to help you find some of the Valley specialties!

      • Well, you’ve inspired me. Still doing S. Florida in mid-April, and now I’ve added Magee Marsh and eastern OK in early and mid-May (I always mix birding with business trips), and probably LRGV in the fall, and then….

        Stay safe and warm–I know you’re cozy in that rig–and have a great time.

  3. Hi Mike. If u want people to hit ur sight from facebook they have to use the full name in the comment below the one u asked people on. Also if u know how to I think u could make a page in fb and then have a link for the website on that page. Hope I count as a hit!! Yours in envy since Im still a working stiff with teenagers at home, Rhonda

Leave a Reply