JONATHAN MEYRAV Monday 11 May 4.30pm BST

Jonathan started showing interest in birds when he was 10 years old and by the age of 14 earned his banding license and started participating in elaborate monitoring projects in Israel.

While a young environmental studies student at Ben Gurion College, Jonathan fell in love with the desert and desert birding. He would spend entire days monitoring migrants and taking part in surveys and research and rapidly grew to appreciate the more complicated families such as larks and wheatears and the incredible birding hotspots of southern Israel.

Today, Jonathan is the most experienced birding tour leader in Israel, with sharp identification skills and a keen interest in desert birds, migration and vagrancy patterns. Jonathan spends the migration seasons in Israel and serves as an ambassador for birding in Israel all over the world.

Since 2010 Jonathan serves as the Tourism Director of Israeli Ornithological Center (IOC). He still spends around 90 days a year guiding foreign birdwatchers, donors and birding tour groups. Jonathan and his team have developed several large-scale international events; the Hula and Eilat Birding Festivals, seminars around bird conservation and more.

In recent years Jonathan devotes most of his time to “The Champions of the Flyway” project. COTF is an international bird race that takes place in Eilat, Israel every spring. To date, Champions of the Flyway has raised close to $500K for bird conservation, specifically projects tackling the illegal killing of birds on migration.

Jonathan is a gifted speaker that promotes birding in Israel and around the world, tutors students and works with many tour companies, magazines and various organisations in the international birding scene. As Champions of the Flyway project coordinator Jonathan also trains colleagues in other countries that want to develop birding related tourism activities as “fuel” for conservation. Jonathan has a strong following on social media and writes for several magazines, blogs and podcasts.

Facebook: Jonathan Meyrav and Jonathan Meyrav Birds and Birding
Twitter: @JMeyrav
Instagram: jm2bird