The Brown Boobies

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The Brown Boobies are a promising new team of young birders, who can usually be found chasing birds all over Israel. Our team believes that birding and the love of birds are more relevant than ever and aims to make young adults more involved in this field – whether they have been watching birds from a young age, or fell in love with them more recently. Help us as WE ALL STEPPE UP FOR EAGLES!

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Meet the Team:

Hila Shwartch

My name is Hila, and I’m 24 years old. I fell in love with birds 8 years ago and haven’t stopped learning about them since, either from traveling or from smart people who love them like me. I was born in Yokne’am and now I study in a college in the Upper Galilee. I live in Kiryat Shmona and I’m a guide at the Hula Lake, where I get to practice a lot for the race.
Birds are flying inside my head, I’m ready for the race!

Yuval Butbul-Shalem

Hi I’m Yuval and I will be 25 years old two weeks after the race. :)
I grew up in Jerusalem with a pet-loving family and had two imprinted Lovebirds that I trained myself (and a dog). I was absolutely fascinated with their learning abilities, and knew that I wanted to work with birds when I was older. I had absolutely no idea how much more there was to see and learn about birds (not just pets) until I started my national service year at the Nili and David Jerusalem Birds Observatory. I fell in love with nature and today I’m an enthusiast biology student, hoping to continue to a graduate degree in molecular behavior of birds.

Klil Shahar

I’m Klil, 23, originally from the the Lower Galilee and currently living in Be’er Sheva. I’ve been fascinated with birds ever since I can remember, but then about five years ago I began to realize what an incredible variety exists all around me. Since then birding has become my favorite thing in the world, with many amazing moments and awesome people I met along the way. I volunteered in the Batumi Raptor Count in Georgia in 2018 and this year I started studying biology in hopes to take part in research and conservation.

Alona Kasher

I’m Alona Kasher from Midreshet Ben Gurion. I am 17 years old (a high school student).
I started birding about a year ago, because my boyfriend Nitay Haiun, a birder himself, took me birding with him. And from then I just fell in love with birds & birding! I then joined our school birding club and countrywide youth birding trips. A few months later I started birding on my own as well, and it’s now my second time competing in COTF.
My favorite bird is the Goldfinch.

Oren Baum

I’m Oren, 30, from Jerusalem. Growing up on the outskirts of Jerusalem, I spent much of my childhood exploring nature just outside my backyard and was fascinated by birds, gazelles and foxes. But it’s only at 27 that I started thinking of myself as a birder, when I started working as a guide at the Nili and David Jerusalem Bird Observtory and the Gazelle Valley Park. Nowadays I also practice education as a daycare teacher.