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Huge groups of migratory birds flock to Eilat for annual visit

Israel is seeing a huge influx of new feathered guests flying into the country, as huge flocks of birds returned to Eilat for annual migration patterns.

The birds, which come from a wide variety of different species, come once a year to the shores of Eilat, Israel's southernmost point, around April 20.

The annual stopover is an important part of bird migration cycle, where they fly from their winter homes in Africa to their breeding grounds in Northern Europe and parts of Asia. According to Noam Weiss, director of the International Birding & Research Center, Eilat (IBRCE), this is for two reasons.

The first is that the area is a bottleneck – a land bridge connecting Europe, Asia and Africa, and most migrating birds don't like flying over the sea, so they use this passage in their migration north.

The second, and more crucially, is that this is what lies south of Eilat: The Sahara desert, 30,000 meters of barren desert these birds need to cross.

These birds are important for the environment, they provide ecological services like pollination, pest control, moving seeds and other things that forests need," Weiss explained. "It's a sad story - not just because of the birds, but because nature and life are getting weaker and more difficult to sustain. The system that runs the world is still nature. If we can identify a problem, we need to do something about it."

From an article in The Jerusalem Post Read the rest of the article here

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