A birding festival, held by the Israel Society for the Protection of Nature and the IBRCE, annually attracts bird lovers from around the world.
The festival takes place during the spring when migration to the north is at its peak. The festival often also includes seminars and photography workshops for amateurs and professionals, enabling enthusiasts to take bird watching to another level. Read more about the festival.
While searching for migratory raptors, serious birdwatchers can sometimes spend hours waiting for the chance to spot them. If, however, they look up at the right time of day during the raptor's migratory season, they can see waves of hundreds and sometimes thousands of these birds overhead.
Raptors are birds of prey that have sharp eyesight, curved beaks, and most have strong talons (claws) enabling them to grab and capture their food. They are meat-eaters and are able to spot small animals from a distance while in flight. Some raptors, such as vultures, are scavengers and feed primarily on dead animals (carrion). Read more about predators...
Steppe Buzzard (31)
Black Kite (32)
There are birders who travel around the world in order to experience as many of the unusual spots for bird watching as possible. Eilat, as a result of an interesting funnel effect between continents, attracts a large number of these dedicated birders each year.
Alastair Henderson from Oxford and Gary Player from Bedford, while visiting Eilat. Both have travelled around the world as birding enthusiasts.
Pied bush chat (male-black) - Passeriformes>Passerie>Muscicapidae>Saxicola>Saxicola Carpata
The pied bush chat above is a rare migratory bird for this area. By March 2014 there had been only 7 incidences of this bird sited in this location. When a participant in the Eilat Birding Festival spotted this bird, the phenomena triggered many other enthusiastic birders to rush to the spotted site, beside the agricultural town of Neot-Smadar, in order to add the bird to their list for this specific season.
Birders north of Eilat looking at the pied bush chat - rare for this area
Eilat Ringing Station - An Interview with a Volunteer Birder
Lotan Ringing Station - Interviews with Volunteer Birders
Lotan is an ecological
kibbutz located north of Eilat, in the Arava Valley. As a member of the Global Eco-village Network, Lotan is dedicated to natural building and solar energy utilization. It has developed a unique neighborhood that is constructed from earth-plastered straw bales, and hosts a center for holistic health and eco-tourism, including bird-watching and a ringing station.
The following interviews are with volunteers in Lotan's ringing station.
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Video 1: Jan, a birding enthusiast from Holland, talks about his passion for birds and his experience ringing in many stations around the world.
Video 2: Jan describes the process of ringing the birds.
Video 3: This interview provides information about the fat that birds require in order to make their migratory journeys.
Video 4: David, a resident of the kibbutz, describes how he became a bird enthusiast.