sábado, 28 de abril de 2018

Dear reader, 

I have started this blog to share with you my thoughts and worries about the birdlife of the Atlantic Islands of Macaronesia (Azores, Madeira, Salvagens, Canary Islands, Cape Verde Islands). I started my interest for birds when I was a teenager in Tenerife (Canary Islands). Back then the activity to go to the field and look for birds was undeveloped in the islands so my only way to admire and enjoy birds was by keeping them in captivity. When I was 18 years old I decided to study biology but after joining the mandatory military year I shifted to business. A few years passed studying business at the American University of Madrid before moving to San Diego (California) to finish the bachelor. It was in San Diego when I joined the San Diego Field Ornithologists and the San Diego Audubon Society and started birdwatching. Birds where still my passion, I remember seeing my first Black Oystercatcher while sitting on the surfboard at the K38 point break near Rosario (Baja California). After meeting a couple of keen birders I started to learn the birds by sound by having the headphones ready for every siesta I took. Almost before finishing my business degree I decided to study a biology major and so started to take some biology classes before moving to the University of Arizona in Tucson where I also took the ornithology class that this university was offering. Around 1994 and with my double major in business and biology (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) I went back to Tenerife where I started a birdwatching tour company called AVES ECOTOURS S.L. offering trips to Madeira, Cape Verde, Canaries, Gambia and Senegal. It was on one of this trips that I met my ornithology PhD (Dphil in Oxford) supervisor Dr Andy Gosler. While sitting in the van and after visiting the barranco de la Torre he suggested to me that I should do a PhD on the Ecology of the Canary Islands Blue Tits. I was not very good in science thinking but though that this was the opportunity of my life to become a professional ornithologist so after a week or so I sent him an email saying that I accepted. For years pass by enjoying my life as a true professional ornithologist, the career of my dream. My major field work was setting up hundreds of nestboxes on all the main islands (La Palma, El Hierro, Tenerife, Fuerteventura) and every 4-7 days inspect them to study the breeding biology and other important aspects. I was mainly in the Canary Islands between January and July and spend the autumns at the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithologists (Zoology Department, University of Oxford). In the mid 90s the Spanish Society of Ornithology (SEO/BirdLife) opened an office on Tenerife to work on birds so I started collaborating with them by volunteering in field trips and other projects with kids. In my opinion, this society was very badly managed by the coordinators so me and the late Guillermo Delgado (Museum of Tenerife) decided to start a new NGO called "Sociedad Ornitologica Canaria" (SOC). As president of this Society (still today) we helped the Canarian Government with several projects until Guillermo suddenly died. I was then when I decided to join ventures with other important EU teams as the one in Germany with Prof. Wink and the one at the Museum of Oslo with Prof. Lifjeld. More than 50 papers were published in science citation magazines and I was able to publish several field guides and books....It is from here that I will be talking about my life, experiences and future plans for everybody interested to enjoy....All the best and talk to you soon.