Did you know Israel sits squarely beneath a major migratory route for over 400 species of birds making their way back and forth between Africa, Asia and Europe? In fact, Israel’s Hula Valley features not only lush farmland, but also dozens of watering holes that serve as perfect rest stops for huge flocks of migratory birds.
A few days ago, officials counted over 35,000 cranes in Israel’s Agamon Hula Park, on their way south to Ethiopia and Sudan for the winter. Currently, Israel is experimenting on how to protect local agriculture while avoiding harm to the birds. How does a nation provide rest and recuperation without inviting the birds to stay permanently?
Experts have discovered that limiting food sources seems to do the trick. When rations of peanuts and corn, placed in strategic places to draw birds away from agricultural areas, are depleted, the birds continue their flight south.
Cranes are only one of 400+ species of birds that crisscross Israel each year. In fact, the Hula Valley is a bird watcher’s paradise. If checking bird species off your list is a hobby of yours, plan a trip to Israel during migratory season and you’re sure to be amazed at what you find!
Here’s a glimpse of what it looks like when 35,000 cranes gather in the Hula Valley: