Birding in Eilat – Volunteer Birders

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Birders at the Birding Festival in Eilat

A birding festival, held by the Israel Society for the Protection of Nature and the IBRCE, annually attracts bird lovers from around the world.

Question: When is the birding festival in Eilat?

Answer: The birding festival in Eilat takes place during the spring when migration to the north is at its peak. The festival often also includes seminars and photography workshops for amateurs and professionals, enabling enthusiasts to take bird watching to another level. Read more about the festival

While searching for migratory raptors, serious birdwatchers can sometimes spend hours waiting for the chance to spot them. If, however, they look up at the right time of day during the raptor’s migratory season, they can see waves of hundreds and sometimes thousands of these birds overhead.

Raptors are birds of prey that have sharp eyesight, curved beaks, and most have strong talons (claws). These enable them to grab and capture their food. They are meat-eaters and are able to spot small animals from a distance while in flight. Some raptors, such as vultures, are scavengers and feed primarily on dead animals (carrion). Read more about predators…

Steppe Buzzard
Steppe Buzzard (31)
Black Kite
Black Kite (32)

There are birders who travel around the world in order to experience as many of the unusual spots for bird watching as possible. Eilat, as a result of an interesting funnel effect between continents, attracts a large number of these dedicated birders each year.

Birders from England in Eilat
Alastair Henderson from Oxford and Gary Player from Bedford, while visiting Eilat. Both have travelled around the world as birding enthusiasts.
Pied bush chat (male-black)
Pied bush chat (male-black) – Passeriformes>Passerie>Muscicapidae>Saxicola>Saxicola Carpata

The pied bush chat above is a rare migratory bird for this area. By March 2014, only 7 incidences of this bird were sited in this location. When a participant in the Eilat Birding Festival spotted this bird, the phenomena triggered many other enthusiastic birders to rush to the spotted site, beside the agricultural town of Neot-Smadar, in order to add the bird to their list for this specific season.

Birders north of Eilat looking at the pied bush chat - rare for this area
Birders north of Eilat looking at the pied bush chat – rare for this area

Eilat Ringing Station – An Interview with a Volunteer Birder

Birding in Lotan – Interviews with Volunteer Birders

Lotan is an ecological kibbutz located north of Eilat, in the Arava Valley. As a member of the Global Eco-village Network, Lotan is dedicated to natural building as well as solar energy utilization. It has developed a unique neighborhood that is constructed from earth-plastered straw bales, and hosts a center for holistic health and eco-tourism, including bird-watching.

The following interviews are with volunteer birders in Lotan.

Jan, a birding enthusiast from Holland, talks about his passion for birds as well as his experience ringing in many birding stations around the world

Jan describes the process of ringing birds.

This interview provides information about the fat that birds require in order to make their migratory journeys.

David, a resident of the kibbutz, describes how he became a bird enthusiast.

Related links:

IBRCE Birding Center Israel


You can also find our videos on our Wysinfo Youtube channel.