Champions of the Flyway Counts Migrating Birds

Champions of the Flyway is SPNI's newest annual event.

Champions of the Flyway is a new birding competition from SPNI's Israel Ornithological Center. Teams from across the world will travel across southern Israel to count the number of birds seen or heard in the region. 

The event was organized to raise funds for bird preservation activities along the migratory route between Africa -- Europe and Asia. Migratory birds make this trecherous trip twice each year, south in the autumn and north in the spring. These birds all pass through Eilat on their way. Eilat is the last place they can refuel before they cross the Sahara on the way south. In the Spring, Eilat is the first place they can rest and regain their strength after crossing the Sahara on their way north. Depending on the bird, the trip across the Sahara can take several days and even a few weeks.

SPNI Director of our Israel Ornithological Center, Dan Alon, explains,

“In recent years, we have become aware of the extent of the downward spiral of bird hunting in countries around us,

“Millions of birds are hunted each year along the migration route. Countries like Egypt, Malta, Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus, and Georgia are shutting their eyes to unrestrained hunting of birds that arrive on migration. Hunters do not distinguish among birds and are catching everything in sight, from small songbirds to raptors, storks, pelicans, and everything else.”

Read the full article >>