OUR TEAM
The leaders are the most important feature of all birding tours. Our leaders are professionally educated ornithologists, carrying out active field research in their own regions or on particular species or bird associations. Their field research activity is widely acknowledged. Sakertour is strongly committed to bird protection and nature conservation, we campaign for, plan and support habitat restoration projects. We have raised and are raising funds for bird community studies, as well as for the education and field training of our tour leaders. Sakertour keeps a close watch on environmental issues both in general and in the areas and habitats you visit during our tours. We are among the first to generate initiatives and to prepare project proposals, feasibility studies and restoration plans, and do everything we can to support local research and conservation efforts in protecting endangered habitats. This activity keeps the Sakertour group of young ornithologists professionally responsible for the bird habitats you visit during our organised tours.

Prof. János OLÁH
The founder of Sakertour. He was also the managing director of the company until 2006. Author of over three hundred scientific papers and 15 books as well as many feasibility studies on zoology, mineral cycling, landscape ecology and habitat restoration. He became a keen birdwatcher as late as 1993, but has visited many countries in all continents since then. However, his main interest is caddish flies.

János OLÁH Jr.
One of the most experienced leaders and at present the managing director of Sakertour. He is a graduate of the University of Debrecen, Department of Ecology, and continues his PhD studies in Ecology. His thesis work was on Mineral cycling guilds of aquatic birds and the subject of his PhD study is The impact of grazing on breeding shorebirds in Pannonic grasslands. He has published several scientific papers. He was a co-author of the handbook titled The Birds of the Hortobágy. Now he is working (together with Zoli) on an even larger scale handbook, The Birds of the Carpathians. This book will share all knowledge on this biogeographical region, which is more or less the same area where Sakertour operates. He speaks and writes perfect English and is learning Spanish. He started birding when he was only 14 years old. In 1993 he spent six months in the Queens College, London, improving his English and studying the birds of the diverse habitats of the British Isles. He is fond of bird photography, and has travelled with a camera and a telescope in many countries of most continents. He was a member of the Hungarian Rarity Committee (1998-2008) and was the operator of the Hungarian Birdline in the late 1990s. At present, he is also a staff leader for Birdquest. János is married to Gabriella and has a young daughter named Enikő Júlia. They live in Debrecen.

Zoltán ECSEDI
Zoltán is one of the most experienced leaders of Sakertour. He graduated at the University of Debrecen, Department of Environmental Management. His thesis work was on The Ecology of Avocet in the Hortobágy. He speaks perfect English and began birding when he was only 13 years old. In the late 1980s he educated birders of his home town, Balmazújváros where a young generation of knowledgeable birders emerged with his help. His field ornithological work started on the steppes of the Hortobágy National Park and later he became acquainted with nearly all bird habitats in Hungary. Zoltán has also participated actively in several nature protection and habitat restoration projects. He is also the founder and leader of the Hortobágy Environmental Association, one of the recent activities of which has been to restore and create wetland habitats for shorebirds breeding in or migrating through the Hortobágy. He was a member of the Hungarian Rarity Committee. Zoltán started his birdwatching trips in 1992, and has visited Israel, Egypt, Morocco, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, Scandinavia, Slovakia, Turkey, Romania, Serbia, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Venezuela, South-Africa, Namibia, Ethiopia, Borneo, Chile, Yemen and Indonesia. He became a regular tour leader in Hungary in 1993 and has led over a hundred tours for Sakertour ever since. In 1995 he founded the Hungarian Society of Field Ornithologists and they established the Hungarian Birdline. He is conducting research on the Hortobágy shorebirds and he is the author of seven scientific papers as well as editor and co-author of the handbook The Birds of the Hortobágy. He is also a co-editor with János to the forthcoming handbook The Birds of the Carpathians. Zoltán is married to Regina and has three young daughters named Ajsa, Aletta and Ankissza. They live in Debrecen.

Gábor SIMAY
He joined Sakertour in 2005 and has guided over twenty groups since then as a professional tour leader. He has been interested in birds and nature conservation since his first years in primary school. During his studies at the University of Debrecen he deepened his knowledge on birds, carried out research on ground-nesting birds of the Hortobágy National Park, spending most of his time in the field. His favourite area is the Bihar Plain and the Hortobágy. In 2008 he started to work for the Hortobágy National Park as a full time warden in the Bihar Plain area. He is also a member and currently one of the secretary of the Hungarian Rarity Committee. He frequently visits other parts of Hungary as well as many sites of the Carpathian Basin to study birds. As a keen birdwatcher and photographer, he has visited several different Western Palearctic countries (e.g. Turkey, Spain, Egypt, Jordan), as well as Namibia, Mexico, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and India. He speaks perfect English and some German. Gábor is married to Tünde and has three children named Krisztián, Gábor and Tünde. They live in Földes.

Attila SZILÁGYI
Attila joined Sakertour officially in 2007 when the hide photography section was launched, but has been helping our company since 1994. He has finished his studies at the University of Debrecen, Department of Environmental Management. His thesis work was written on the Red-footed Falcons of the Hortobágy. Also a member of the young birder generation from Balmazújváros where he was born. Nowadays he also teaches young birders just like Zoli taught him some twenty years ago. Attila has worked as a full time warden in the Hortobágy National Park since 2001. He has been photographing birds and landscape in the Hortobágy since the early 90’s and has an intimate knowledge of his local area where some of our hides can be found. He has also worked as a volunteer in several NGOs such as the Hortobágy Environmental Association and has assisted in research and several surveys. He regularly contributes to bird ringing projects like the Spoonbill, Pygmy Cormorant and Caspian Gull colour ringing programme. He has published several papers on birds and was a co-author of The Birds of the Hortobágy. Attila has widely travelled in the Western Palearctic to watch birds. He has been to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Turkey, Georgia and Tunisia. Attila is married to Dóri and has two young daughter named Anna Füzike and Boróka. They live in a house in the centre of the Hortobágy National Park.

János TAR
János has been guiding for Sakertour since 1994 in the Hortobágy area. He is also a member of the young birder generation from Balmazújváros who were educated by Zoli about twenty years ago. János is working as a full time warden in the Hortobágy National Park since 1995. He contributes to several LIFE projects but his personal ambition is to keep track of the Lesser White-fronted Geese on passage in the Hortobágy and he is a well-known expert of the species in Hungary. He is a keen photographer too and has an intimate knowledge of his local area where some of our hides can be found. He has done volunteer work for several NGOs such as the Hortobágy Environmental Association and assisted in many surveys. He contributes to bird ringing projects like the Spoonbill, Pygmy Cormorant and Caspian Gull colour ringing programme. He has published papers on various bird species and was a co-author of The Birds of the Hortobágy handbook. He is currently the top lister in Hungary with over 355 species and has found several new birds for Hungary and many more to the Hortobágy area. He is also a member of the Hungarian Rarity Committee. János has also travelled in the Western Palearctic to watch birds. He has been to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Finland, Norway, Spain, Morocco, Greece, Turkey and Georgia. János is married to Izabella and has a young daughter and a son named Orsolya and Gergő. They live in Balmazújváros.

Tamás ZALAI
Tamás joined Sakertour officially in 2007 when the hide photography section was launched, but has been helping our company since 1994. He is a graduate of the University of Debrecen, Department of Ecology where he finished his studies in 1997. He wrote his graduate thesis on The monitoring and protection of the birdlife in the Heves region. He speaks perfect English and began birding when he was a child. After his university studies he worked for the Körös-Maros National Park and later moved to the Hortobágy National Park where he is currently working as a regional manager. His main research area is the Tisza Lake where he has led and participated in several projects related to birds and their protection. After the cyanide pollution hit the Tisza in 2000 he conducted several monitoring surveys to asses the damage. He has contributed to several LIFE projects (Imperial Eagle, Red-footed Falcon, Saker) but his main interest is to protect the breeding birds of the vast agricultural fields in his home patch (Heves Plain and Jászság). Tamás has an intimate knowledge of his local area where some of our hides can be found. He is a member of several conservationist NGOs and he was the secretary of the Hungarian Rarity Committee. Now he lives in the middle of the Hortobágy National Park and organizing the bird monitoring work in the national park from 2011. He has been one of the editors and authors of the recently published and most up-to-date Hungarian bird checklist titled An Annotated list of the Birds of Hungary. Tamás has also travelled in the Western Palearctic to watch birds. He has been to Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Finland, Norway and Turkey. Meanwhile he also began to take an active interest in watching birds of more exotic places and since 2000 he has visited many Asian countries such as India, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia and New-Guinea. His trips abroad also took him to other parts of the world for example to Canada, Venezuela, Peru, South-Africa, Namibia, Ethiopia and Australia. Tamás is married to Adrienn and has a young daughter named Kincső. They live in Balmazújváros.

Zoltán BACZÓ
Zoltán joined Sakertour officially in 2008 when the hide photography section was launched, but has been helping our company in the Transylvania region for many years (as he was working for our partner AvesTours previously). He speaks good English and began birding when he was 13 years old. He is based in Székelyudvarhely (Odorheiu Scuiesc) and his local patch is the Hargita Mountain and the various wetlands around his home town. Zoltán has an intimate knowledge of his local area but he has also travelled extensively in the Danube-delta area. He started his bird and nature protection work when he joined the Aves Foundaton in 1998 where he carried out surveys and monitoring works. He has been one of the authors of the Romanian bird checklist. Zoltán has also travelled in the Western Palearctic to watch birds. He has been to Slovakia, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.

 

 

 

Sándor BORZA
Sándor offically joined Sakertour in 2011 although he has been helping our company in the Hortobágy region for many years. He is one of the ’new generation’ birders from Balmazújváros where he started birding in the age of 11. His hometown is located in the eastern edge of the Hortobágy National Park and always been a stronghold for birders. He is still studying ecology in the Debrecen University and his thesis work is on the Breeding ecology of Red-footed Falcon where he is studying the nest selection and preference towards artificial nest boxes. He is also a keen member of the Hortobágy Environmental Association spending most of his spare time to help nature conservation projects. Sándor has also travelled extensively in the Carpathian Basin and knows the best birding places very well.

 

 

 

Zsolt BABOS
Zsolt is Wildlife Management Engineer from Zetelaka (Zetea). He has joined the Sakertour team in 2011 when the bear photography section was started. He has an intimate knowledge of these large carnivores as well as the extensive forest of his homeland (the mighty Hargita Mountain). He has already been interested in Wildlife from a very early age while growing up in rural Transylvania. After graduating at the University of Western Hungary where he did his Msc thesis on the possible use of digital camera-trapping in Wildlife Biology he settled in his home town. He has been studying the Carpathian Brown Bears since 1998 but especially focusing on them since 2008. He was the founder of the Zetelaka Hunting Society and nowadays he is the gamekeeper of a 4000 hectare area on the Hargita Mountain. He is also linked with birds as an avid racing pigeon fan. He has been winning local and Romanian competition with his fine selection of pigeons! Zsolt consider himself a very happy and satisfied man as he does his passion for his living: being out in nature! He will be helping and organizing all logistics of our bear-photography tours.

 

 

Zoltán Gergely NAGY
Zoltán is a young nature photographer from Marosvásárhely (Targu-Mures), Romania, who has joined the Sakertour team in 2013. He achieved a BA degree in ‘Wildlife and Environmental Photography’ at the University of Lancaster in Blackpool, England, and has been passionate about the outdoors from a very early age. He is a member of Naturart - The Hungarian Nature Photographers' Society, and his images won numerous awards including in the GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition where he was the first photographer to represent Romania in 2011 when one of his images got highly commended in the Birds category and also in 2012 when he won the Fritz Pölking Junior prize. Zoltán's work has also been featured in several magazines and publications across Europe, such as National Geographic Romania, NaturFoto, or Romfilatelia. He is currently involved in photography and conservation projects of the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, and is constantly expanding his knowledge of the entire Carpathian Basin and the Danube Delta. Zoltán will be leading some of our Danube Delta tours plus custom tours of different variety in Romania. You can learn more about Zoli’s photo work on his homepage: http://zoltan-nagy.com/

Tamás NAGY
Tamás has been guiding for Sakertour since 1995 although he had a considerable gap in guiding when he was working for the Kiskunság National Park. However since 2013 Tamás decided to start again guiding of birdwatching tours. Tamás was interested in birds from a very early age and spent most of his time on the various wetlands around Szeged town in Southern Hungary. He finished his studies at the University of Szeged, Department of Ecology. His MsC thesis was on the migration of shorebirds on the Soda Lakes of Southern Hungary. He was also member of the Hungarian Rarity Committee for ten years. Later he has worked as a warden in the Kiskunság National Park for 10 years. Now he is working in an Eco-Village in Southern Hungary. He is a very experienced birder and guide who travelled extensively in the Western Palearctic as well as the Middle East. Tamás speaks perfect German and nowadays he is the leader for all our German-speaking groups.

József KECSKÉS
József joined Sakertour in 2013 after graduating at Debrecen University, and he is a full time staff member. He works in the hide photography section and most of our photography guests will get to know him. He is a core member of the transportation team in the early mornings but he also does a lot of maintenance and development on the hides. He is also an eagle-eyed birder and a member of the young birder generation from Balmazújváros town. He started birding in a very young age (11) and built up a superb knowledge of the Hortobágy region and the Zemplén Hills. He also does guiding for our birdwatcher guests when he has some time off from the photography section. During his university studies at the Department of Nature Conservation he completed his BsC thesis on ‘The eating habits of the rollers, around Balmazújváros’ and later his MsC thesis on ‘The importance of the cemeteries in the nature conservation’. József is also one of our best tree climbers and has been helping our continuous and successful nest-boxing project with his superb skills. He is also a member of the Hortobágy Environmental Association and works as a volunteer, spending his free time in nature too. He lives in Balmazújváros with his partner Zsuzsa.

Tiganov ROMICA
Romi was born and raised in the proper Danube Delta and he has learnt the traditional way of living of his unique homeland as a child. He is a skilful fisherman, knows the Delta `roads` intimately and able to drive safe in every weather and water conditions. He speaks perfect Russian and understand English. A key member of our team since he joined us in 2011. He is with us since the hide photography tours started in the Danube Delta area. He is the official driver of the `Borzas` photo-boat but Romi gradually built up an amazing knowledge and nowadays he is more than just a driver! He has superb skills and now lots of experience how to navigate close to birds and he really knows what photographers need. He has learnt a lot about birds, birding and photography. He is scouting for new places all year round as a fisherman and he knows the best birding places around his village. Recently he also started bird photography in his spare time.

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