In the early 1980s, Josep del Hoyo, a country doctor from Catalonia, shared an idea with his friend Jordi Sargatal: a comprehensive work covering all the world’s birds. After initially questioning his friend’s sanity, Sargatal eventually agreed to take on the project. Since both men lacked the funds for such an endeavour, they approached Ramon Mascort, a lawyer and entrepreneur with a great interest in books and nature. Mascort promised them financial backing. With the recruitment of Scotsman Andy Elliott—not only an ornithologist but also an expert linguist—the epic project was underway.