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.
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.
ZEISS and the "International Birding and Research Center" in Eilat
Eilat is famous for its International Birding and Research Center. As the only land bridge connection between Eurasia and Africa it's a hotspot for birdwatching in Israel. Birds can stop there safely before they continue their flight through the foodless Sahara desert.
Noam Weiss, the director of the IBRCE in Eilat, tells you about his passion for birding and how he finds peace through nature observation. One of the most important things is to be well equipped with professional optics. Noam relies on ZEISS binoculars.
ZEISS supports nature conservation and education in Israel
Established in 1953, The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) is Israel's leading environmental non-profit organization. For over 60 years SPNI has been dedicated to protecting and preserving Israel's natural resources, environment, natural assets and unique landscape.
In October, ZEISS and SPNI signed a partnership. Three of Israel’s most important Birdwatching Centres will now represent ZEISS products helping to support the local employees and volunteers in their research projects, but also visitors to experience nature from a different perspective.
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.
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.
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.