Welcome to hula-birding.com
Page previously owened by Hula Birdwatching Centre.
The Hula Birdwatching Centre is part of a network of regional birdwatching centres in Israel that operates under the wing of the Israel Ornithological Centre (IOC) of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI). The Hula Birdwatching Centre was founded to provide local environmental awareness and protection through research, conservation, education and ecotourism.
Situated within the heart of the Great Rift Valley, the Hula Valley in the north of Israel is one of the main wintering and migratory sites of over 300 bird species. The Hula Valley, once one of the largest freshwater wetlands in the Middle East, was drained in the 1950’s for agriculture. In the southern part of the valley, the Hula Nature Reserve was created to help offset the loss of the marsh and lake that were there in the past. However, today most of the valley, some 30 sq. km, is agricultural land. In 1994, a relatively large area of poor agricultural land has been restored to wetlands and marshes. The combination of the restored area, nature reserve and the surrounding agricultural fields has created over 60 sq. km with a variety of habitats attracting many birds and other wildlife. Today the area draws tens of thousands of waterfowl, raptors and waders.
Twenty Globally Threatened species are found in the valley including the endangered Imperial Eagle, Spotted Eagle, and Marbled Duck. Many more 'rare' species can be seen in the valley such as Pygmy Cormorant, Ferruginous Duck, Pallid Harrier, Black Francolin, White-tailed Eagle, Oriental Skylark and Siberian Stonechat to name just a few. One of the most amazing phenomena occurring here is the migration and wintering of tens of thousands of Common Crane.
During peak season, October through November up to 30,000 cranes can be seen at one time. Up to 20,000 cranes regularly winter in the Hula Valley every year since the early 90's. You can find some previous testimonials on the News from the Swamp section. The spectacle of seeing so many of those magnificent birds is something that will soften the heart of even the most cynical.
On your arrival you will be met at the airport, and transferred to your hotel. From that moment on, all you will need to do, is choose which activity you are joining and when (please remember that excursions can be filled very fast, so we advise to book in advance). Check out hte bird list so that you know what you can expect to see or not.
Other pages about birding: American Birding, About birding, Bird Watching