I never dreamed I’d see this magnificent bird!

The Griffon Vulture is a large and awesome bird of prey, one of the largest and the highest flying of all birds (Nature’s Song, Slifkin, p.222). It is believed by many to be the Nesher (נֶשֶׁר) of the Torah, a bird very often translated instead as Eagle. (As in the moving verse where G-d tells the […]

The Chassidah חֲסִידָה – the spectacle of Stork migration

We just returned from an amazing 3 weeks in Israel, where we attended the Eilat Migratory Birds Festival . On the first morning, we were lucky enough to see huge flocks of migrating Storks soaring overhead.They seemed to sail along effortlessly, heading northward, taking advantage of the high, warm thermals between the mountains of Judean Desert […]

Hai Bar . . . Arava Ostriches

Did you ever play Animal Lotto as a kid, the Memory game of matching picture pairs?  That’s where I first learned about the Ostrich, the Platypus, and many other unique curiosities of the animal world.  Many years later, I saw Ostriches for the first time in the wild at the Hai Bar, a large preserve established in the 1970’s […]

Starting in Jerusalem

We started in Jerusalem, and travelled south through the Judean Desert, the Negev, and on to the Arava. More to come soon about the southern views. While in Jerusalem I made a quick stop at the Jerusalem Bird Observatory, with its new Visitor Center. Its wonderful schedule of events, exhibits, bird banding, and tours included […]

Eilat Birding, Part 2 …. More from the IBRCE

It was such an amazing feeling to stand so close to this beautiful Little Bittern featured above, as our host and his team member measured  and discussed its size and general condition.  I had an even greater thrill when the IBRCE (see last week’s post about the International Birding & Research Center Eilat) director Noam Weiss let […]

Birding in Eilat, Part 1 – incredible!

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. […]

“Don’t forget to sing!”

Tucked away in a little courtyard off HaRav Kook Street in Jerusalem, is the Museum of Psalms. This tiny building houses a collection of massive paintings by Rav Moshe Tzvi HaLevi Berger – the Museum was established under the patronage of the former Rabbi of The Kotel, R. Yehuda Meir Getz. Inspired and encouraged by […]

“. . . and I carried you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Me.”

…וָאֶשָּׂא אֶתְכֶם עַל כַּנְפֵי נְשָׁרִים וָאָבִא אֶתְכֶם אֵלָי (Shemot 19:4) This is my favorite verse in the Torah. The wings of eagles provide other examples of powerful yet loving imagery in the Torah: Devarim 32:11. “As an eagle awakens its nest, hovering over its fledglings, it spreads its wings, taking them and carrying them on […]

The Sparrow

The Sparrows’ boisterous song reverberates through the narrow winding stone streets of the Old City of Jerusalem, and seems to grow louder as you approach the Kotel. Its lively sound is nearly as ever-present along the shores of the Yarkon River, near where the River flows into the Sea, part of a loud, mixed chorus […]