Hundreds of millions of migrating birds, representing over 300 different species, pass over Israel twice a year, in the autumn and spring. The autumn migration of these migratory birds is currently at its peak, both in terms of the variety of bird species migrating through the region and the sheer number of winged creatures.
White storks, ospreys, tiny songbirds that weigh mere grams, soaring eagles and more – they all grace our skies and green landscapes, refuel for their journey, and continue south to Africa.
Avner Rinot, a senior researcher at the Nature Surveys Unit of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, recently scouted the Valley of Springs, near Beit She'an, documenting gatherings of white pelicans, glossy ibises, cormorants, and other species of birds that spend the night in the water to shield themselves from predators.
In recent years, the Israeli Birding and Nature Center in Kfar Rupin, located in the Valley of Springs, has been promoting a nature restoration plan, with the aim of reclaiming agricultural land for wildlife habitat. According to Dr. Yoav Perlman, the director of the Israeli Birding and Nature Center at the Society for the Protection of Nature, fish ponds where water is combined with natural vegetation regeneration provide a focal point for many bird species.
"The continuation of this project and its expansion to additional wetland areas, while preserving the habitat and carrying out essential monitoring activities, provide refuge for many bird species, including passerines, waterbirds, and raptors. One of the major challenges in safeguarding migratory birds is that they share their annual cycle over vast geographical areas, spanning many countries. These hundreds of millions of birds – songbirds, waterfowl, raptors and more – can be observed in nature reserves, open spaces, urban parks, and even in backyard gardens. The Israeli Birding and Nature Center of the Society for the Protection of Nature is dedicated to conserving breeding grounds that serve as rest stops and refueling stations for these global travelers. Only through a global effort can we preserve these migratory species," he says.