Migratory Birds - Overview


A Web Documentary about Migratory Birds


Many of us who are lucky enough to live along the migration routes often look with envy at the mass of birds rising up early at dawn, directing themselves south, or north, being able to complete, within days, their journey of a few thousands of kilometers to their destination.

Migratory Pelicans

The truth of the matter is that migration and nomadic existence is found among many other species. Each of them is interesting and exciting by itself.  But the core reason for all is the same -  the battle for survival. This is true for birds, for marine life as well as land-living creatures and human beings.


Birds without Boundaries - Why do birds migrate? How do birds navigate?

Bird migration routes mostly follow the longitudinal lines of the globe. The location of the migration routes depends on the topography of the land that forms the air currents which help the birds rise high and glide hundreds of kilometers with minimum effort.

This docuweb relates particularly to the migratory birds over the Syrian - African Rift, which lies under two main flyways: The West Asian/East African Flyway and the Black Sea/Mediterranean Flyway.

Nine major bird flyways were identified around the globe.... Read more about migration of birds...



How do Birds Fly - We look at birds flying, often asking ourselves the basic question: What allows birds to fly?

Nature granted birds the characteristics necessary for flight: hollow light bones, a variety of feathers that serve different functions during flight, wings that provide them with a large surface area compared to their size and weight, strong muscles and the ability to utilize them to fly.

Read more about how birds fly....

Lake Hahula


Passerines and Songbirds - Passerines, also referred to as perching birds, are small to medium sized birds that make up more than half of approximately 10000 bird species known to us today.

Species like sparrows, shrikes, starlings, warblers, finches, black birds and crows all fall into the category of passerines, which are members of the order passeriformes.

The passerine sub-order is divided into about 70 families which are considered to be the Song Birds.

Read more about Passerines and Song Birds....



Birds of Prey - Predators and vultures have always stimulated our imagination and are associated in our minds with terms like power, strength, struggle, survival, heights, depth, life and death.

Many different types of birds kill in order to eat. Some eat rodents; others eat fish, worms or other living creatures. However, birds that use their beaks in order to hunt do not necessarily fall into the category of 'birds of prey'.

During our exploration, searching along the Syrian-African rift, we found vultures and predators in the north at the Golan Heights, across the rift and down around the city of Eilat. One spot particularly captured our attention. This was in the Golan where we encountered the vultures of Gamla.

What are the characteristics of birds of prey? Read more....

Pelican in Magaan Michael

Birding in Eilat  - Every year, during the peak of the migration season, the city of Eilat, in the south of Israel, hosts an international crowd of bird enthusiasts as they watch a wide assortment of migratory birds travelling between three continents - Europe, Asia and Africa.

Many hundreds of millions of birds fly over this area annually. Among them are migratory passerines, wading birds and raptors. What is impressive is not only the number of birds, but also the variety of species that flies through.

Read more about birding in Eilat....

 Flamingo in salt pond of Eilat



The Story of the Migratory Birds of Hula Valley - Man’s intervention with nature has a great potential to save and improve life around the globe, but at the same time can cause damage that may affect our lives for years, maybe generations, to come. Industrialization, urbanization, deforestation in the Amazon, are only a few examples.

One case of man’s intervention with nature, which relates to our docuweb about migratory birds, is the story of the drying up of the swamps of Hula, a valley in the northern part of Israel.

In an attempt to remove swampland to make way for agriculture, man inadvertently interfered in the migration paths of many birds. In the case of the Hula swamps, however, the story took an interesting turn, and is now in the process of moving towards a happy ending.

Read more about the story of Hula Valley....


Flamingo in salt pond of Eilat

International Cooperation - Research on bird migration and birds as a whole crosses continents. It requires a great deal of resources, standardization, cooperation between countries and exchange of knowledge.

This need for knowledge, the love of nature, the care for wild life and the great interest in birds have resulted in the establishment of many ornithological organizations that are working towards international cooperation and regulations.  The United Nations has acknowledged a World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) to raise awareness and hopefully to encourage cooperation between the nations.

Read more about international cooperation...

Flamingo in salt pond of Eilat


Collage of Birds - While crossing the country collecting materials for this docuweb we stumbled upon a variety of birds – many of which were migratory. We decided to display a collage showing a mixture of the birds that we encountered, which represent only a fraction of what was seen and documented.

Click here to view more pictures of birds…

Flamingo in salt pond of Eilat

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Overview | Migration | How Birds Fly | Passerines & Songbirds | Murmurations | Birds of Prey | Wading Birds |
Birding in Eilat
| Hula Valley| International Cooperation | Collage of Birds

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