• Parrots
  • Poultry
  • Birds of Prey
  • Pigeons
  • Passerine
  • Bird Accessories and feed
  • Game Birds
  • Wading birds
  • Sea Birds
  • Other birds
  • More
    All Categories
    • All Categories
    • Parrots
    • Poultry
    • Birds of Prey
    • Pigeons
    • Passerine
    • Bird Accessories and feed
    • Game Birds
    • Wading birds
    • Sea Birds
    • Other birds
    • Events
    • Services
    • Other Animals

    For millions of birds and watchers, Israel's Hula Valley is paradise

    NewsBird NewsWednesday 23 November 2011
    Share:
    Israel

    About 100 million bird watchers wander the globe with binoculars hanging round their necks, trying to add another rare specimen to their lists. Dan Elon is excited because a black-winged kite was sighted nesting in Israel - for the first time. The black-winged kite, a white bird with piercing red eyes and yellow legs, generally nests in the southern hemisphere, but apparently climate change has led it to nest here.

    A Winter of Birds, the Hula Valley International Bird Festival, opens tomorrow and its events, centering on migrating birds, will continues for weeks. Elon, who heads the bird-watching center of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, says the festival's scientific conference will focus on the migrant birds' stopover sites. These are key areas or hot spots, Elon says, on their routes, and scientists invest much effort in understanding their tremendous significance as places where hundreds of millions of birds concentrate in high season, at the beginning of winter and summer.

    The number of migrating fowl is constantly declining, a trend which worries researchers. The number of birds overall, in contrast, is rising swiftly. In the U.S., 20 million people have declared bird watching their favorite hobby, and that figure is expected to soar as the baby boomers retire.
    Birds use their rest sites to eat and prepare for their arduous journey, covering thousands of kilometers from northern Europe or North America to the southern hemisphere. The Hula Valley, says Elon, is one of the most important of them. Millions of birds - some say hundreds of millions - stop there for short period. Elon is cautious about numbers, but is specific about some of the migrant visitors to the Hula: 90,000 cranes, 60,000 pelicans and 600,000 storks. Numbers of smaller birds are less exact but amount to many millions.
    "This is really a unique place," Elon says. The Hula is unequaled in the number and variety of birds that visit, he says.

    Bird watchers point out several migration routes: Birds going from Western Europe to North America stop in Panama and Costa Rica. Birds flying from Western Europe to Africa stop in southern Spain. And those migrating from Eastern Europe, the Baltic states and even Scandinavia, stop in Israel. Statistics indicate more birds visit Israel than Spain. Smaller "refueling" stations may also be found in Cyprus and Malta.

     

    Source: Haaretz - read more

    News
    Subscribe to our newsletter
    //