Yeray Seminario (pronounced “jer-eye”) has had a special affinity for birds and travel since he was a child growing up in the Canary Islands. This led him to become a veterinarian and work in wildlife rehabilitation. He began work with GREFA, a non-profit organization that operates one of the largest wildlife hospitals in Europe. This experience increased his awareness of the conservation issues, and returned to university to earn a Masters degree in Conservation Biology. He based his thesis on the causes of the disappearance of the Red Kite in the Canary Islands.
After some additional years of experience working in wildlife rescue centers, Yeray was invited to participate in an internship with the International Bird Rescue in California. Here he learned new treatments and rehabilitation techniques for seabirds and waterbirds. On completing the internship, Yeray was called to be part of an IFAW rescue team to take care of more than 600 birds in an unfortunate oil-spill in Argentina.
Yeray’s focus turned to field work after his many years spent in bird rescue and rehabilitation. His experience breeding raptors in captivity landed him a position with The Peregrine Fund, an American non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of birds of prey. He spent four years as a field biologist on the Orange-breasted Falcon conservation project in Central America. These four years in Central America provided an in-depth education on Neotropical birds and conservation issues in the region.
As a photographer, Yeray has published several pictures in books and other publications: Owls of the World, Raptors of Venezuela and Condor Journal, for instance. To see more of his photography, click here.
In 2011, Yeray co-founded a tour company in Panama focused on birding, with a special emphasis on conservation: Whitehawk – Birding and Conservation, which currently runs tours in several countries including Belize, Cuba, Panama, India and Madagascar, to name just a few.
His home-base is now Tarifa, where the number and diversity of birds in the Strait of Gibraltar captivates him. In 2014 Yeray co-founded Birding The Strait with field ornithologist and photographer Javi Elorriaga.