Gautam (19) is a birder and aspiring field ornithologist studying Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife Science at The Ohio State University. Born and raised just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, his parents fostered a deep connection with the outdoors from an early age, which led to a strong interest in birds and the natural world. Since he started seriously birding after joining the Ohio Young Birders Club at age 12, he has developed a strong interest in not only birds, but also mammals, reptiles, and other wildlife. His primary interests include watching migrating waterbirds on Lake Erie in the late fall and winter, as well as searching local parks and preserves for migrant warblers and resident breeders in the spring and summer.
Gautam is the Vice President of Conservation for The Ornithology Club at Ohio State, and helps lead the Lights Out Buckeyes project, which collects data and specimens from avian window collisions on Ohio State campus. He is involved with several other ornithological research projects on campus. He enjoys not only birding, but also working with bird research and contributing to the scientific community. Gautam also enjoys rock climbing and watching football and basketball. He sees traveling to Israel for Champions of the Flyway as a fantastic opportunity to support conservation and experience different species, climates, and culture, and he’s looking forward to returning to the Eilat area and enjoying the fantastic migration Israel has to offer.