From the Portuguese city of Coimbra, Rui Machado works for SPEA, a Portuguese NGO whose mission is to support the conservation of birds and their habitats. From an early age, Rui has been interested in nature and wildlife and a time came when the passion for birds lead him to invest more in learning about them. Working for their conservation was a short step, which allowed him to further explore birds in Portugal, as well as in other European countries. He has been involved in several projects, including the III Portuguese Breeding Bird Atlas, Birds and Power lines and LIFE Rupis. Throughout he has maintained a strong interest in natural history and his knowledge extends through the flora and fauna of his native Portugal.