Half a billion birds stop at Israel’s Hula Valley as they migrate every fall and spring between Europe and Africa. Israel lies directly on the Syrian-African Rift Valley, its territory a bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa.
Hula functions as a much-needed way station for cranes, which fly about 6,000 miles from Finland or Russia to southern Africa, crossing about a quarter of the world’s surface. In the surrounding areas of the Mediterranean, the birds are shot at for sport, and in some cases for food.
“Israel is the only place along the entire route where it is safe for them to land now,” says Nadav Israeli, one of the reserve’s managers. “In places where humans are killed, who cares about birds?”
Israel hosts about 400 species of birds, and, in the last decade, a growing flock of birdwatchers.
(Click on the article’s title to see the video…Ed.)