Birding Israel

Half a Billion Birds’ Favorite Vacation in Israel

Bird watching in Israel

Human beings have gathered here for almost 800,000 years to witness the field covered with hundreds of bird species of all sizes. They’ve seen the birds play in the water, search for fish, and take off above the mountains to faraway lands in mass groups, singing at the top of their lungs.

Humans named this paradise Hula Valley. It’s located in northern Israel and on the Great Rift Valley, a 25 million year old, 6000 kilometers long fracture in the ground that spans some of the Middle East and Africa.

The First Fight for Nature

king-fisher birding tour in IsraelHula Valley knows fractures. It was the subject of Israel’s first major ecological fight in 1951 – only 3 years after the country was founded – when almost 15,000 acres of shallow-water lake and swamps were dried here so locals can practice agriculture, causing the disappearance of many flora and fauna species from the country.

Thanks to the environmentalists’ efforts, approximately 790 acres were saved and the Hula Nature Reserve was created – Israel’s first ever nature reserve.

In the 1990s, another step was taken and 247 additional acres of lake were recreated with the intention to bring back some of the flora and fauna that was sacrificed in the 1950s. Healing work is still being done today.

 

 

Hula Valley Today

Despite the challenges, approximately half a billion birds visit the Hula Valley every year. Among others, you’ll find coots, ducks, storks, cranes, cormorants, kites, seagulls, eagles, egrets and pelicans hanging around the valley.

Besides the “usual” birds, you might also catch a glimpse of some endangered species, such as the Basra reed-warbler. But that’s not all. Animals that are not exactly birds, like otters, like to hang out here too.

It’s their temporary resting place, especially for the birds. It’s their favorite vacation spot, if you will – between Europe and Africa. Come fall, they leave Europe and head to Africa for some warmth. In the spring, they head back to Europe. On the way, they stop in Israel to indulge in this small yet nutrition-rich area of the holy land.

Some of them spend the entire winter in Israel, helping many travelers from around the country and around the world indulge in this piece of beauty for a while longer.

Half a Billion Birds’ Favorite Vacation Spot in Israelr birding tour in Israel

Human beings have gathered here for almost 800,000 years to witness the field covered with hundreds of bird species of all sizes. They’ve seen the birds play in the water, search for fish, and take off above the mountains to faraway lands in mass groups, singing at the top of their lungs.

Humans named this paradise Hula Valley. It’s located in northern Israel and on the Great Rift Valley, a 25 million year old, 6000 kilometers long fracture in the ground that spans some of the Middle East and Africa.

The First Fight for Nature

Bird watching in IsraelHula Valley knows fractures. It was the subject of Israel’s first major ecological fight in 1951 – only 3 years after the country was founded – when almost 15,000 acres of shallow-water lake and swamps were dried here so locals can practice agriculture, causing the disappearance of many flora and fauna species from the country.

Thanks to the environmentalists’ efforts, approximately 790 acres were saved and the Hula Nature Reserve was created – Israel’s first ever nature reserve.

In the 1990s, another step was taken and 247 additional acres of lake were recreated with the intention to bring back some of the flora and fauna that was sacrificed in the 1950s. Healing work is still being done today.