The Golden Eagles

Slide1We are a youth birdwatchers team participating in this race for the second time. Birdwatching is not just a hobby for us, it’s the thing that we love every day! The deserts of Israel are the best places in the Middle East to see and enjoy spring migration birds – but, as well as having fun and enjoying the desert birding, the main purpose of this race is to help save the vultures.One of the main causes of extinction is poisoning – humans are destroying the vulture’s populations, but, it can change. So, what is the solution? We need to raise money for conservation efforts that target the place where vulture populations are in danger, to ensure the survival of vultures for future generations.

And now is the time for the the race! We’re competing against many other youth teams, and even though we’re from the North of Israel (and one of us on the border) we’re still confident we can win!

Meet the Team:

Ido Schneiderman

I’m 14 years old, from Kiryat Tiv’on, northern Israel. I’ve been birding since I was 7 years old. My regular birding patch is the Jezreel Valley and sometimes in the Hula Valley and Bet Shean Valley. This is going to be my second time participating in the race.

I started birding from an early age as a hobby when travelling with the family. At the age of 9 I started to have a conservation and birding lessons, and from there I began to develop more in these respects. In recent years I’ve started to photograph and draw birds, and my favorite bird is the Common Crane. I fell in love with them when I was with the family in Hula Valley for the first time in age of 8. For the race, I hope we will be able to raise a lot of money for the vultures and I hope we are going to find many species and win.

Sagi Chicurel

My name is sagi Chicurel, I’m 15 years old and I live in a small village near Haifa, northern Israel. I’ve loved birds and wildlife since I was born, and by the time was ten I was obsessed with geography, plants, and wildlife in general. These days I’m birding mostly by myself around the northern valleys of Israel, only occasionally going to other areas – so I’m very exited about these three days at Champions, and I’m gonna see a lot of lifers!

Hopes for the race: Lifer for namaqua dove (yes I said that) and Sinai rosefinch.

Dreaming to see Vereaux’s eagle. And a golden eagle (of course…)

… but I would be more then happy to help save the vultures of Africa.

Yossef Cohen

My name is Yossef Cohen, I’m 18 years old and I live in Netanya, central Israel (not very far from Tel Aviv…). I’ve loved birds and wildlife since I was born, and by the time was eight or nine I was obsessively reading books and the internet (mostly about birds) and caring passionately about the environment – and saving up to go for trips with my father. Today I’m taking part in Israel Youth Birding course of Hahevra Lehaganat Hateva (The greatest group of nature teaching in Israel) and think of birds and nature more than everything else! Today, I birdwatch near my house most of the time, with a park and swamp nearby.

Hopes for the race: Lifers would be the two rares nightjars of the Arva valley (Nubian and Egyptian) and a better view of Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Golden Eagles (of course…) and the ultimate lifer of the trophy and the succes… But at the end of the day, and the most importantly, to help save the lovely vultures of Africa.

Adam Rosenfeld

My name is Adam Rosenfeld, I am 17 years old, and I live in Jerusalem, Israel. My interest in birds began when I was a small kid, maybe four or five years old, when doing nature hikes with my mother. I did my first research on birds when I was in first grade. It was about the structure of the feathers of different birds. I still keep it in my drawer. As a child, we used to go birdwatching several times a year at the Hula Lake and at the fish ponds and nature reserve at Kibbutz Maagan Michael, near the beach. It is in these sites where I became familiar with herons, cranes, pelicans, kingfishers, gulls, and so many other species, and where I first learned about the migration flyways.

Later on I became especially interested in birds of prey, particularly the Short-toed Eagle, the Golden Eagle, and the Osprey and I followed these birds at several sites in Israel. When I was in 9th grade I joined the Jerusalem Zoo’s youth movement and shortly after began to work as a volunteer at the Zoo’s birds’ department. During 10th grade I spent most of my free time volunteering there, especially at the birds of prey exhibit, where we have different species of eagles, the biblical vulture (at risk of extinction) and more. Now at 11th grade, I continue to volunteer on weekends and also work there as a part time job.

In recent months I go birding almost every day at the Jerusalem Bird Observatory. I come there early in the morning and wait for the birds. I cannot wait for the Champions of the Flyway; it is such a great opportunity to watch the birds and, of course, to help save the vultures of Africa.