Desert Swallows


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Meet the Team:

Uri Stoffman

My name is Uri and I am 15 years old from Tel Aviv. I love birds and nature from a very early age, and at age 10 I joined to Tel Aviv youth birding group, and there I was quickly hooked on the amazing world of birds. My favorite birds are the European Robin, Hawfinch, Long-eared Owl and Golden Eagle. The last one would be a lifer for me and I really want to see one of the last ones we have in Israel, during the race. Winning the race is not the reason that I am taking part – I’m competing in order to save our birds, and also to have a great birding experience.

Haim Baer

My name is Haim, I’m 16 years old from Jerusalem. Since I was 9 years old, I’ve volunteered at the Jerusalem Bird Observatory. I like to know as much as I can about birds, therefore I read books and watch movies about birds. At school I’m learning geography as major class and I always try to find the connection to birds. I am be happy to take part at the Champion of the flyway 2019, usually I go birding in my neighborhood or at the bird observatory, and the race is a great opportunity to explore the Negev desert. Especially, I am looking forward to watching the Arabian Babblers – they are such a friendly bird and I hope to see some during the race this year, since I can’t watch them near my home regularly.

Liza Chepurko

My name is Liza, I am 18, from Petah Tikva. My interest in bird watching has begun when I was 10 years old. Despite this long period of birding, I have never participated in Champions of the Flyway but I am sure it will be a very special experience! I like the ideas behind the race – I dearly hope that it will provoke greater public interest in nature conservation. Additionally, the financial donations to the help the disappearing vultures is very important!

Moran Laloya

My name is Moran and I am 15 years old, from Kibbutz Revivim. It is my fifth year as a birder and the fourth year I’m participating in Champions of the Flyway. As a resident of the Negev and a student in the high school for environmental education at Midreshet Ben-Gurion the area of ​​the race is very important to me. This year I’m also participating in this competition to emphasise the importance of the conservation of the vultures in Africa so that they will not become extinct and continue to function as ‘natural janitors’ for many years to come.

Alona Kasher

My name is Alona and I am 16 years old from Midreshet Ben Gurion. I started birding half a year ago (a new birder!). It all started because of Nitay Haiun (part of the Spectacleds group) suggested me to join him on a trip with the youth birding club. Since then I went every week birding with the club, learning more and more about new birds and expand my knowledge about them. A few months later I started birding on my own. Since I discovered the world of birding I fell in love with it more and more. I hope that in my first COTF I’ll see lots of new birds, and also my favorite bird is ‘lilith’ – the little owl! I am very proud to take part in this important project and take part in helping the vultures in Kenya.

Yael Lehnardt

My name is Yael and I am the coordinator of Birdwatching Clubs for Children and Youth in Israel, SPNI. I started birding when I was 11 years old, thanks to a birding summer camp at the Jerusalem Bird Observatory. After years of birdwatching with the Bird Watching Club, I enjoy being on the other side: being the coordinator of the youth groups (for the fifth year thus far). After several years of guiding the Jerusalem youth birding club I now live in Midreshet Ben-Gurion and guide here a new group of youth birding club during the past two years. Happily, two of the promising birders in this club joined three other very promising young birders from other parts of the country to create this dream team!