We are a team of enthusiastic birders and truly thrilled to finally take part in the Champions race for the first time. There are several reasons why this is going to be one of THE highlights of our birding year:
All of us have visited Israel before on several occasions and got to know it as a dream location for birders. The diverse local birds, the stunning migration spectacle, the excitement of possible rarities and the helpful birder scene guarantee a wonderful experience.
In a country where bird migration is so prominent you are bound to eventually think about the problem of illegal bird killing. Thankfully, due to the efforts of BirdLife and other volunteer groups the situation is slowly improving step by step. Very small steps, patiently year after year, but every step counts! One of the most important first steps is to raise awareness and let people know what is going on. BirdLife has published two reports so far (appropriately named ‘The Killing’), demonstrating that in the Mediterranean area alone, around 25 million birds are estimated to be killed. Every year!
Raising this awareness is one of the prime goals behind Champions of the Flyway and the event is doing a brilliant job. Birders from many countries come together, joining forces to light a beacon for birds and let people know about illegal bird killing. We regularly read about the decline in bird populations in so many countries. But we shouldn’t stop worrying at our local patch, our next holiday destination. We have to tackle this every step of the way. Starting at our local habitats, ensuring food supply and habitat functionality, maintaining and protecting wintering habitats but also ensure safe passage during migration.
It is easy to help and starts with spreading the message. If you can, consider spending the next 1 or 2 beers on birds. 5-10 euros, dollars, shekels… or more if you can, and appreciate the birds in your garden every spring. Every step and every contribution counts. This year all donations will go directly to supporting projects of BirdLife Croatia and Serbia.
If you consider supporting our team, we’ll keep you up-to-date from the race and you’ll be right there with us, in the Negev sands, at Eilat’s North beach, in the Arava valley… searching for and helping our birds.
Stay informed, spread the message, start here: