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Josep del Hoyo

Barcelona, Spain

Josep started out as a medical doctor in a small village in Catalonia, Spain. His patients knew, if they didn’t find him in his office, to look for him in the forest surrounding the village, as he spent lots of time there watching the local birds. In 1980, he and two of his friends, one of whom is now his wife, took a 13-month trip through 15 African countries in a Land Rover. That trip changed his life and by the time he returned to Spain he had decided to leave medicine and dedicate his professional life to something related to birds. During the necessary transition period from medicine to birds he earned a living publishing books and articles and conducting programmes on radio and television about health education. However, all the while he was thinking about how to make the important change to birds.

He was very keen on the idea of having a treatise where all of the birds of the world were covered, and when his search for one came up blank, the idea of the Handbook of the Birds of the World was born! To get the project into motion he counted on the invaluable help of dozens of people. Thanks to this great effort, in 1988, Josep along with Jordi Sargatal and Ramón Mascort, began the publishing company Lynx Edicions and in 1992 the first volume of the Handbook appeared. Furthermore, in 2001, he came up with the concept of the Internet Bird Collection (IBC), which was developed over the following years and today is one of the most visited bird websites in the world.

During 6 years he was president of DEPANA, the Catalonian network for the defence of nature and then, from 1994 to 2008, he was the Vice President of the Spanish Society of Ornithology, SEO/BirdLife. During two terms (2005-2013), he has been a member of the Global Council of BirdLife International.

Since 1980 he has travelled in the pursuit of birds to over 110 countries and has seen more than 7,900 bird species. In 1998 he bought his first video camera and began taking video sporadically during his ornithological trips. On a trip to Chile in 2003 he was inspired to dedicate himself much more intensely to taking video. This got him hooked and led him to buy a higher quality camera and to start always using a tripod. Now taking bird videos is the most important objective of his trips!

IBC Personal statistics:
  • First material posted on 10 April 2002
  • Number of videos posted: 28485 covering 4968 species (49.74%)
  • Number of photos posted: 5144 covering 2674 species (26.77%)
  • Number of sounds posted: 3100 covering 1756 species (17.58%)

Material by Josep del Hoyo on IBC