Our group sprouted from an innocent conversation between three of us (Moshe Singer, Levitz Gross and Moishy Glaser) at the high school yeshiva where we studied. Hours of serious thought and a lot of help from the Jerusalem Bird Observatory brought the unlikely idea into reality. At last year’s Champions of The Flyway 2019 Competition, we, The Blackcaps, participated as the first Jewish ultra-Orthodox group ever in this race. Our main goal was (and remains) to protect nature, in two ways:
1. By raising money for nature conservation
2. By involving ultra-Orthodox Jews in nature conservation activities
Thank God, we met with success in both of these goals! In last year’s competition, we won the Israeli Guardians of the Flyway award for having raised more money than all the other Israeli groups ($4000). And we are on the way to achieving the second goal: several other ultra-Orthodox Jewish birdwatchers have contacted us, wanting to join our group in the coming year. To that end, we are happy to publicly welcome two new members, David Baievsky and Rafael Ganz.
This year, we’re continuing with our goals. We want to raise as much money as possible to promote nesting amongst the Steppe Eagles in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Funds will specifically be devoted to preventing electrical shock, increasing available nesting bins and raising public awareness about preventing local fires. The Steppe Eagle is a great and impressive eagle, and about half of the population migrates to and from Africa, through Israel. Seeing Steppe Eagles in the Israeli sky is an amazing experience that the danger of extinction is sadly threatening. Unless we do something substantial, the Steppe Eagle will be a thing of the past.
So please help us help them, by donating and supporting our group in this competition.
In keeping with our nature protection efforts, we will not use a vehicle during the race to avoid polluting the air. We will take a ‘green’ route and ride bicycles during the 24 hour bird identifying competition. Last year we cycled over 50 kilometers and plan to go even further this year!