There is a real gem of a sanctuary for birds in the south of Israel. The International Birding and Research Center Eilat (IBRCE) is a vital haven for literally millions of migratory birds crossing twice annually between Africa and Europe/Asia.How can I convey what an amazing visit I had there? Where to begin. . . ? ? . . . A good place to begin might be the Little Green Bee-Eaters. They were one of the first birds our host pointed out, and a bird I had never seen before in my life. What a delight to see them in ‘person’ for the first time ever! When we arrived, the Bee-Eaters were busily flying back and forth from fence to shrub, to the nesting holes they had excavated in the nearby dirt mound, dashing off to catch an insect, then flitting away to feed the little ones, then back for more action.
The International Birding and Research Center Eilat is an incredible place, and the pages above from their brochure describe their work best. Located just outside of Eilat, Israel, right near the Jordanian border, this sanctuary is an absolute MUST for birders to visit.
Having met the IBRCE Director, Noam Weiss, on his recent visit to Florida (see my post from May 17), we knew just who to call when we arrived in Eilat this week.
We were honored and privileged that Noam shared so much of his time and expertise with us the day before yesterday. He is unquestionably one of the most knowledgable and passionate birders I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet!!
Noam’s commitment to educating the public about birds and the significance of the Eilat flyway is captured in part, in the following two short video clips I made during our visit – The first about the history of the region as a stopover for migrating birds:
And the second, which illustrates Noam’s remarkable passion for teaching children:
There is so much to share about this visit that I am already drafting Parts 2 and 3 – stay tuned. In the meantime, to learn more, or plan a visit, please be sure to check out the IBRCE Blog: http://ibrceilat.blogspot.co.il