A dream postcard, half a million birds flying in the skies of Israel

Galilee and Eilat, north and south of the country respectively, are the two best areas for this precious activity

(Source: Israel Ministry of Tourism)

Israel is known to be one of the best places in the world to witness and experience bird migration. Half a billion migrants of hundreds of species pass through Israel along the Black Sea-Mediterranean Route, one of the busiest and most impressive migration routes in the world.

That is why, from mid-March, and in the following months, the skies of Israel become a transit area for millions of birds that take flight to their breeding areas in central and northern Europe from the Sahara desert. In total, between the two migratory currents of the year, you can get to see 500 million birds.

In addition to being a land bridge between the African continent and the Eurasian landmass, Israel is characterized by a wide range of habitats and, as a result, presents a rich and diverse bird life during spring and autumn.

The south of Israel is mostly arid and its interesting deserts are the extreme northern breeding range for many African and Near Eastern bird species. The Eilat Bird Park is one of the most important points in the world for migratory birds. Located on the only land bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa, it is a 'bottleneck' that welcomes hundreds of millions of migratory birds; It is also the last refuge before the Saharan desert, hostile and without food.

The north of Israel, with its high mountains and fertile green areas, is the southern tip of many birds of European and Asian origin. The Hula Nature Reserve is both a national park and an important wetland within the Middle East region, home to all kinds of flora and fauna. Also worth mentioning is Mount Hermon, which is home to some regional specialties hard to find elsewhere.

Along the axis of the migration that flies over southern Israel there are several main sighting stations, from the Hula lagoon in the Upper Galilee, through Kfar Ruppin in the Beit Shean Valley, Jerusalem, the Arava and even reach Eilat. In these centers, telescopes have been arranged for the public's convenience and excursions and guided tours are carried out.

The spring migration is in full swing in April and the volume of migration in southern Israel and Eilat can be overwhelming. A wide variety of passerines, shorebirds, and raptors traverse the Great Rift Valley on their way back to breeding grounds. The yellow wagtail, pipits of various species, the eastern blond wheatear, the snake eagle, the blue-necked bee-eaters, the sandpiper and the white-throated robin, among many others. 


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