JBO/Manomet Rocking Redstarts

RR logoThe Rocking Redstarts was formed to celebrate the friendship agreement between the Jerusalem Bird Observatory and Manomet Bird Observatory in Plymouth, Massachusetts in the US. Although we work on different continents and different flyways, both sites have experienced first-hand the decline in migratory song birds and it hurts our hearts!

In our lifetimes, many of the birds that used to be common are becoming very hard to see today including the Quail who we are racing to save this year.

The redstarts that we chose as our name represent two different birds – in the US, the American Redstart, and in Israel, the Common Redstart.  We are banding together to ROCK THE FLYWAY!!! 

With a car full of Bamba, lots of coffee and music to keep us awake, we are aiming for the win!

But most important of all – we need YOUR support to raise the money to help with the most important aspect of the race – saving the birds!!!! 

Meet the Team:

Alena Kacal

Team leader Alena Kacal has been birding from age 10 when she caught the bug in her homeland of Trinidad while handfeeding Motmots from the veranda. After spending her teen years birding in Trinidad, she headed to New England to see some new birds while getting a degree in Wildlife Biology.  17 years ago she escaped the cold and moved to Israel where she started to work at the Jerusalem Bird Observatory.  Starting as a guide for the JBO’s bird club, Alen is now the Director of the JBO.  She loves nothing better than to introduce people to the wonder of birds and says that the best sound in the world is the “aah” of someone who truly sees a bird for the first time.

Although computers, budgets and meetings have claimed most of her time, Alen grabs whatever time she can to go birding and is looking forward to the Champions race.  As the main driver for the day, her main challenge will be staying awake – so bring on the caffeine and the rock and roll!

Avner Rinot

Avner Rinot is a passionate birder from the Beit Shean Valley who started his birding career at age 6.  He did his 2 year national service with the Jerusalem Bird Observatory and has continued to work as a ringer and as a guide with our educational staff ever since.   Avner also works with the team conducting ecological surveys around the country for SPNI .  He is also active in working for conservation in the Beit Shean Valley.  Avner lives and breaths birds and when he is not out birding he can be seen at the University where he is just finishing up his first degree.  Avner is well known for his ability to mimic many bird calls – ask him for your favorite bird when you meet him.  We are counting on his enthusiasm and energy to take us through the day and help us find the birds.  He will really only be happy though if we can find him some of his beloved pratincoles!

Evan Dalton

An “accidental” birder, Evan became interested in feathered animals while studying Herpetology in college. Realizing that birds were an even better excuse to get outside, he got hooked on Ornithology. He loves the riddles and mental exercises that birding puts the human mind through, but migration has always been one of his favorite aspects of the bird world. He has worked as a bird bander and educator at Manomet Bird Observatory since 2008. Over these 9 years he has enjoyed studying and teaching the marvels of migration to children, students and adults. Through education, he hopes to change minds and foster greater respect for the natural world that surrounds us all.

After visiting the Jerusalem Bird Observatory as part of an exchange in September 2017, he has been anxiously awaiting another epic, Bamba-fueled birding adventure. He is looking forward to tasting victory (and he’s pretty sure it tastes like peanut-butter)!

Alan Kneidel

Alan’s love for birds has been the driving force in his life for as long as he can remember. Growing up in North Carolina in a home of travel hungry ecologists, he has embraced that influence and devoted his adult life to bird conservation and research. Following his time at university, Alan spent six years traveling throughout the Americas contributing to bird-related research projects, ranging from guarding the nests of endangered Blue-throated Macaws to tracking wintering warblers through the hills of Jamaica. His current work for Manomet centers around shorebird demographics research on the North Slope of Alaska and the use of satellite transmitters to reveal the migratory patterns of Whimbrel on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. If you were to ask him, Alan is most at home out in the elements, whether it’s wading through chest deep mud or walking face first into a raging blizzard. Throw in the possibility of some wildlife encounters, and you’ve got the makings of an Alan sort of day.

This will be Alan’s first time in Israel, and he can’t wait to hit the ground running. He is super enthused about the partnership between Jerusalem Bird Observatory and Manomet, and is certain we will be a force to be reckoned with. To Alan, the Champions of the Flyway presents the perfect storm of excitement – non-stop birding for a great cause.