International Bird observatory Conference in Eilat
This March, several special events took place in Eilat at the same time – the International Bird Observatories Conference along with the annual Spring Migration Festival, the Champions of the Flyway and the Arts and Nature community event. Through all these events, people were enabled to see birds and their habitats in a very direct and clear way.
A wonderful time with many positive outputs – for example, the Champions of the Flyway raised a record sum for one Birdlife partner, over 75,000$ for conservation of Vultures in Kenya. Never before so many birders came to watch the wonder of migration in Eilat and at the same time supported the efforts to keep it safe.more
Nature saved me
In the birding scene he is internationally well-known as he hosts one of the globally most popular events: The Champions of the Flyway event in Israel. Noam Weiss is director of the International Birding and Research Center, the Bird's Sanctuary in Eilat.
Nature has supported Noam in his life significantly, that is why he protects it with tremendous dedication. This article isn't just about Eilat as important spot for migratory birds between Europe, Asia and Africa. It also gives you some privat insights.more
Champions of the Flyway 2018
Once a year birdwatcher from all over the world meet up in Eilat (Israel). All of them trying to protect the migratory flyway from Africa to Europe and Asia.
The event is a birding race to collect money for campaigns against illegal killing of birds on the flyway.more
Challenges for observers and optics
For their passion of birdwatching lots of birders all around the world often take on great challenges and bring themselves and also their optical equipment to its limits.
Michaela Sulz gives us exciting insights into "Extreme Birding" and impressively shows that even under harsh conditions, you can rely on premium optics from ZEISS.more
Champions of the Flyway - Winner 2017
Imagine being in one of the world’s best spots for visible migration, in right time, surrounded by talented and inspiring birdwatchers and doing this for good cause – doesn’t that sound good? Well, this is what Champions of the Flyway is about. It is a fund raiser against illegal killing of the migratory birds around the Mediterranean Sea and a famous bird race, which takes place in southern Israel each March. The Zeiss Arctic Redpolls is one of the teams that Zeiss Sport Optics has supported during many years.
We are a group of 4 birdwatchers from Finland. We had scored the 2nd place on 2015 and 1st place on 2016, so the burden of winning had worn off. We aimed to have a nice intensive day of birdwatching and lots of good time. We were also putting the new Gavia Conquest spotting scope on a hard test.
Will it be an asset in the game or should it be dumped? Well, we got what we aimed for and more – here is how it all rolled out.more
Champions of the Flyway is an international bird race for conservation. All teams are competing to raise the greatest amount of conservation funding. Its primary purpose is to celebrate the extraordinary miracle of bird migration. The teams arrive in Eilat a few days prior to the race day.
There is one full day of touring the best sites in the Negev and the Arava Valley enabling all participants to get a good feel of the “playing field” and practical and logistical issues, led by Israel’s top birders. The following days, the teams explore the field on their own to plan their route for the race day.more
Eilat, in southern Israel, is one of the most exciting birding sites of the western Palearctic region. The only overland bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa acts as a bottle-neck hosting hundreds of millions of migratory birds. Moreover, the birds passing through Eilat, are preparing themselves for the strenuous task of crossing the foodless and hostile Saharan desert.
The first sight you will probably get here in spring is the steady stream of Raptors hovering over the beautiful desert mountains that surround the town of Eilat. Raptor counts conducted here in the spring documented up to 20,000 Steppe Eagles, 50,000 Levant's Sparrowhawks (almost all the world's population), 500,000 Steppe Buzzards and 850,000 Honey Buzzards.more
A Champions’ account
The Zeiss Arctic Redpolls was one of the three teams sponsored by Zeiss Sports Optics in the famous Champions of the Flyway bird race and conservation event, on 29th March in southern Israel. Our team of four enthusiast birders and ornithologists (team captain Roni Väisänen, Jarkko Santaharju, William Velmala and Vilppu Välimäki) from Finland,
at the northern end of the Eurasian–African flyway, hooked up for the second time in this year’s race. With silver medals in our pocket from last year, some pressure for winning was put on our shoulders by other contestants.more