It is common knowledge among bird lovers that the Hula Valley in northern Israel is one of the most important stopover and wintering sites for southbound migrants through the Great Rift Valley. After last year’s success, the Second International Hula Valley Bird Festival is scheduled for November 11-18, 2012.

Second International Hula Valley Bird Festival

 

Cranes over the Hula Valley (Photo courtesy Ministry of Tourism)

(Communicated by the Israel Ministry of Tourism)

It is common knowledge among bird lovers that the Hula Valley in northern Israel is one of the most important stopover and wintering sites for southbound migrants through the Great Rift Valley. It is here that complete populations of birds stop to "refuel" before reaching the desert strip to the south.

The Hula Valley is at its best in late autumn as tens of thousands of Common Cranes and Pelicans are present as well as over 25 species of raptors. The region serves as a migration flyway for thousands of Common Cranes, White Pelicans, Ducks, Waders and Passerines every year. Over 300 species are seen here annually including some of the rarest European birds of prey. Species like Greater Spotted and Eastern Imperial Eagles, Pallid Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard and more winter in the valley. In addition, local species such as the Black Francolin, Pygmy Cormorant and three species of Kingfishers offer extraordinary viewing and photo opportunities.

Second International Hula Valley Bird Festival

The ground is covered with cranes (Photo courtesy Ministry of Tourism)

After last year’s success, the Second International Hula Valley Bird Festival is scheduled for November 11-18, 2012. Festival participants will enjoy tours led by the leading birders and tour guides in the country, all of them specialists with intimate knowledge of the area and the birds. Highlights will include mobile tours and ringing demonstrations. 

The festival is a joint initiative between the Israel Ornithological Center of the SPNI, the Israel Ministry of Tourism, the International Center for the Study of Bird Migration in Latrun, and the Hoopoe Foundation. (The Hoopoe was voted Israel’s national bird in 2008).