Jonathan Meyrav started showing interest in birds at the age of 10 and by 12 was the youngest member of a junior birders’ club, where he also learned the art of bird ringing (bird banding). Jonathan earned his ringer’s license by age 14 and took part in many ringing projects since.
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 programs and rapidly grew to appreciate the more complicated families such as larks and wheatears and the incredible birding hotspots of southern Israel. After concluding his studies, Jonathan spent six months in the Dead Sea region of southern Israel and held raptor counts and daily census reports. Prior to his military service, he spent three months with a friend racking up an impressive list from remote areas of Greece and Turkey.
Jonathan has traveled the world extensively, from remote places like the African grasslands to the Amazon jungles and the frozen Canadian tundra. To date, he has seen more than 3,000 birds across 25 countries. He has intimate knowledge of southern Israel’s birds, and his ability to lead tours in English, French, Spanish or Hebrew is incomparable.
Jonathan holds down two posts in Israel. First, he is a Senior Birding guide specialising in desert birds. Jonathan spends the migration seasons in the desert either in Eilat or Lotan, leading tours for international clientele, and promoting bird education and conservation in Israel through various programs. The dedication he and his colleagues have made to these efforts has not only made Israel a comfortable place to bird, but won him an award for excellence in promoting birding education.
He is also Tourism Director of Israeli Ornithological Center (IOC), where he puts his exceptional skills to work guiding foreign birdwatchers, donors and birding tour groups, manages two large and growing international events (the Hula and Eilat Birding Festivals), and coordinating IOC activities with an ever-growing list of tour operators and birding tour companies.
The Eilat international migration festival, held every spring, now hosts hundreds of birders from all corners of the globe and is gradually rooting itself in the international calendar of not-to-miss events. Read more here: www.eilatbirdsfestival.com.
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