Birding in Israel
Israel is well known as being one of the best sites in the world to enjoy migration. Millions of migrants from hundreds of species pass throughIsraeltwice a year, making it one of the world's busiest and most impressive flyways. Besides being a terrestrial bridge between the African continent and the Eurasian landmass,Israelis characterized by a wide range of habitats and as a result presents a rich biodiversity all year round.
Southern Israel is mostly arid and its interesting deserts are the northern tip of the breeding range of many African and near eastern bird species. Northern Israel with its high mountains and fertile green areas is the southern tip for many birds of European and Asian origin. Mt. Hermon in Israel's extreme north is the tip of the vast Syrian mountain range and as such hosts some regional specialties that are hard to find anywhere else.
Israel's mild winter hosts over 150 species of northern breeders, that choose to pass the winter months here, including some very rare species.
In conclusion,Israel offers excellent birding year round with every season hosting its own specialties.
Year Round Birding
Israel hosts a wide range of interesting breeding and non-breeding resident species. Common birds like Yellow-vented Bulbul, Palestine Sunbird, Laughing Dove, Hoopoe and Syrian Woodpecker can be found in metropolitan areas year round.
Highly coveted near-eastern species like Black francolin, Long-billed Pipit, Syrian Serin, Graceful Prinia and Clamorous Reed Warbler are easy to find most of the year in the right habitats.
Israel's diverse desert regions are home to regional specialties like: Macqueen's Bustard, Spotted, Black-bellied, Crowned and Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse, Western Reef Heron, White-eyed Gull, Nubian Nightjar, the enigmatic Hume's Tawny Owl, Namaqua Dove, 3 species of Wheatears, Blackstart, Streaked Scrub Warbler, Desert, bar-tailed and Hoopoe Larks, Arabian Warbler, Desert and Trumpeter finch and many more. Most of these species can all be found year round if you know where to go.
In recent years we have put in a lot of effort towards our international ecotourism projects.
Besides the introduction of large scale events such as the Eilat Bird Festival (www.eilatbirdsfestival.com) we now regularly provide services for several bird tour companies from Europe and in the near future the US and Canada as well.
Every autumn we hold the International Hula Bird Festival, (www.hulabirdfestival.org) which includes a wide range of international events and with broad international coverage.
The Israel Ornithological Center's (IOC) tour leaders are professional birders that spend most of their time in the field and as such have an intimate knowledge of the country's birds and wildlife.