My brother Gidon is three and a half years older than me. He started birding just before I did - we were both under 10. Thanks to his infectious enthusiasm about wildlife and birding, my childhood growing up in Jerusalem was all outdoors. We trained as birders and ringers together, and spent long periods together in the field. My brother was always up there for me, leading the way, pushing boundaries. He co-founded the wonderful Nili and David Jerusalem Bird Observatory, with Amir Balaban, back in 1994. He served as head of the Israel Ringing Center for many years. Here is Gidon, in the early 1990s, ringing an Eagle Owl near Jerusalem.
Here he is in eastern Turkey, in June 2013. We climbed up Mt. Ararat searching for Caspian Snowcock.
In 2015 Gidon was diagnosed with a horrible, terminal neurodegenerative disease, ALS. His disease develops in a medium, steady pace. When he was diagnosed he lived in Vancouver, where he worked as a fellow in a leading hospital (his main profession is cardiologist). In May 2016 I went to visit Gidon and his family in Vancouver, with Amir. Back then his disease was demonstrated mainly in weakness in one of his legs. This affected his walking and stability, but all in all his mobility was reasonable.
Here he is during a trip we took to Vancouver Island. He had just spotted our first Orca of the trip.
Saudades meu querido! I loved the article and appreciate the experience I had with you and your brother, it made me review and think a lot about how to make birding more accessible for everyone. It's not easy but very necessary. Abração! pic.twitter.com/j4UFe3N3iM— Observador de Bentevi 2.0 ressurrection (@EmasObservador) October 25, 2021