Risto Skjelnes (20th of July 1973) is born in Kemijärvi, Finland, but grew up in Fredrikstad in the south of Norway. Started birding rather intensely here at the age of 14 and later also doing field work at Lista Bird Station. At the age of 18 an interest in global birding started with longer trips around Europe and to China and this interest has only been growing. Since 1999 he has broadened his scope to also include South and Southeast Asia, Africa and Central and South America.
From 2000-2004 Risto was also organizing different birdtrips to India, China and Kenya and lead these trips as a naturalist guide. Some of these trips were organized for the Norwegian Ornithological Society, but for the most part for his own birdwatching company, Calidris Travel. This business was discontinued in 2004 as he had to commit himself to full-time work elsewhere.
Since 2001 Risto lives in the Netherlands with his three children. After 2004 mainly employed in the hightech industry and currently working as an engineer for SMART Photonics in Eindhoven. At this time less active in the field than he used to, but still feeling passionate about birds and birdwatching and use Globalbirder.eu as a platform to help other keen birders to plan their birdwatching trips.