Rob Clay

Director of the Executive Office

Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN)


Rob Clay is the Director of the Excecutive Office of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN), which is housed by Manomet, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that champions better practices in conservation, business sustainability, and science education. Prior to joining Manomet, Rob worked for BirdLife International as Senior Conservation Manager in the Americas Secretariat, where he led the development of conservation programs for grassland birds, migratory birds, and globally threatened birds. Rob is the current Chair of the Waterbird Conservation Council and the Co-Councilor for Birds for the Convention on Migratory Species. Prior to working for BirdLife International, Rob worked for the lead Paraguayan conservation NGO, Guyra Paraguay, an organization he helped found in 1997. Rob received his B.A. and M.A. in Zoology and his Ph.D. in Behavioral Ecology from the University of Cambridge (U.K.). He is a native of the United Kingdom but has called Paraguay home since 1997 (except for two years spent in Ecuador). With a life-long passion for birds, his interest in neotropical birds and conservation began during an undergraduate expedition to Paraguay in 1992 and led to Ph.D. studies of manakins in Costa Rica and Panama. However, his true love is shorebirds, and he has watched them from the windswept estuaries of Patagonia, to High Andean wetlands at over 13,000 feet, Central American mangroves and mudflats, to the Boreal Forest.



Why We Care

  • Several years ago I was enchanted by Alfred Lambourne’s romanticized paintings of the Great Salt Lake, so began my own quest to explore its islands and capture what I saw in quick, plein air, oil sketches.

    I made many day-trips to Black Rock and spent a significant amount of time camping on Stansbury and Antelope Islands, climbing their trails and swimming in their bays. My paintings became my diary as I observed the changing light and shadow on the rocks and water. The brine flies and gnats often hovered over my shoulder anxious to immortalize themselves in the sticky colorful oil paint.

    Kirk Henrichsen, Alfred Lambourne Prize Participant