Call us today!



Bird migration to Israel

Bird migration to Israel

Israel – a crossroad between 3 continents – is situated on one of the busiest bird migration routes in the world.
Twice a year, over 500 million birds fly across the Israeli skies on their journey from distant winter habitat to their summer home and back.
Blessed with a comfortable Mediterranean climate and a wide range of geographical zones, Israel has a bit of everything – high mountains with snowy peaks, green and lush nature reserves, humid valleys, and arid deserts.
This diversity welcomes over 400 species every year that have a wide choice of feeding ground, and can fulfill your deepest desires of seeing some of the most colorful birds in the world. 

Among the many birds found in Israel, one can observe the white-spectacled bulbul, which loves the Mediterranean climate and migrates from the region of Turkey to the Arabian Peninsula; the Eurasian Hoopoe – Israel’s national bird, called after the sound it makes – “oop oop oop”; and the Palestine sunbirdthe national bird of Palestine: it feeds on flower nectar, and its male is easily recognized by its metallic blue and turquoise colors.

Autumn and spring are the main seasons for bird migration.
Autumn migration is busier. It starts at the end of June and continues until January, with a peak in October-November.
Spring migration starts at the end of February and continues until June. It means that bird-watching is possible the entire year. The last birds flying north at the end of spring can be seen at the same time as the first birds of autumn fly south.

The migrating birds can be divided into three main groups.

  1. Birds that pass through Israel, like storks and cranes.
    They leave Asia and Europe towards the end of summer, stop for a break in Israel around autumn and continue south to Africa.
    They can be seen again during the spring, flying back to their original habitats.
  2. Winter birds that arrive from Europe and Asia and spend their winters in Israel, for example, the famous wagtail, whose arrival symbolizes the beginning of autumn.
  3. Summer birds that arrive from Africa and spend their summers in Israel. For example, the bee-eater.

Where is the ideal place to see all of those beautiful birds?
There are 9 bird-watching centers in Israel and many more are under construction.
As mentioned before, the country is blessed with a wide range of climates and geographical areas. Each area offers a different experience and specific birds that can be seen only there.

For example, the flamingos can be seen mostly along the Mediterranean and Red Sea shores, because they prefer the humidity and saltiness of the coast.
We brought you the 5 Top places for bird lovers in Israel:

1 . Hula Valley Bird Watching Center

A world-renowned bird-watching center, wedged between the Golan Heights, Galilee, and Mount Hermon, the Hula Valley story began in the 1950s when it was decided to drain its large body of water for agricultural purposes. 
This move raised an uproar against the farmers, and soon the government allowed to restore a small portion of the lake, and proclaimed the area around it a nature reserve.
Today, the park is an important habitat for waterfowl, birds of prey, and songbirds, and it hosts an annual festival around the autumn migration season.
As for the farmers, they eventually understood the importance of cooperating with the ecologists. They provide the park with over 2 tons of maize daily during winter to feed the cranes that otherwise will graze on their crops.
Additional fascinating visitors of the park are the black storks, spoonbills with their interesting looking beak, black francolins, and many more.

2 . International Bird Watching and Research Center, Eilat (IBRCE)

The Southernmost city in Israel is located in what was once a saltmarsh on the shores of the Red Sea. 
For thousands of years, it was the birds’ key “refueling spot” before their journey towards the vast Sahara Desert. However, in recent decades, the habitat was severely diminished due to the industrial growth of the port city.
Today, the Eilat observatory puts efforts in keeping necessary conditions to maintain this natural habitat and promotes its importance in the global ecosystem. 
Among the 480 bird species that were recorded passing through Israel are the Nubian nightjar that comes from Africa, Spanish sparrow, and flamingo.
The flamingo arrives from Turkey and Iran and enjoys the salt pools north of Eilat.
The best time to visit the park is during the Eilat Birds Festival held in March.

3 . Jerusalem Bird Observatory (JBO)

The Jerusalem Bird Observatory is situated adjacent to the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) and the Supreme Court. It is an urban wildlife site that spreads over an area of one hectare, with a tiny pond that attracts magnificent birds throughout the year.
The observatory has a bird ringing station that is open throughout the day and helps to identify and study the birds and their migration routes.

4 . Ramat HaNegev Birding Center

With many majestic birds of prey soaring over the magnificent Zin Valley, Ramat HaNegev Birding Center offers a unique bird-watching spectacle in the heart of the Negev Desert.The ideal time to visit is during March and April, when the migratory birds fly back from Africa to Europe.

5 . Jordan Valley Bird Watching Center

Located in one of the hottest and most humid areas in the country, the Center is situated perfectly on the main bird flyways between Asia, Europe, and Africa.
The climate and abundance of springs set the perfect background for thriving agriculture, which attracts local and migratory birds to feed here throughout the year.

Contact Us

    Related articles

    Tours and Activities