28 teams, 24 hours, four winners – five if you included our beloved and endangered Turtle Doves – and here they are…..
An amazing effort in challenging conditions and comfortably ahead of their older, more experienced peers!
Absolute heroes who again ran their race entirely by bicycle. An example to us all!
GUARDIANS OF THE FLYWAY – Kowa Sporting Optics Women in Steppe for raising over $11,000
For the second COTF running, WiS run away with the fundraising prize. We, and the doves, thank you hugely!


For spreading the word of the Year Of The Dove far and wide!

And a very special thank you to ZEISS – who sponsored teams, challenges and the race itself!



Our 2020 campaign, to help save Steppe Eagles on their breeding grounds, was a great success – despite the pandemic, which hit us just as we were reaching the final and most vital stage of our campaign. Thanks to teams fundraising and racing around the world, we raised a fantastic $40,00 for the cause – an amazing $15,000 of which was raised by the Kowa Women In Steppe!

This inspiring, unstoppable team didn’t let the pandemic – and the cancellation of Eilat Race Week – stop them; an incredible feat in any year, but without the climax and extra push of the race week, a phenonenal achievement. They were also awarded the Knights of the Flyway prize, for successfully spotlighting the issue worldwide. True champions – we salute you Alena Kacal, Lisa Schibley, Hannah Buschert, Amy Summerfelt and Lidiya Jurborsky-Skhinas!


With the dust having just settled from the 2019 Champions of the Flyway campaign, birders from all over the world are still recovering from months of fundraising followed by long days in the field, and of course, the frentic bird race itself….
On March 26th, 31 teams of birders from 14 nationalities took to the field for an amazing 24 hours of birding and adrenaline, tallying over 230 species of birds! Our teams consisted of birders of varying levels, aged 6-74! The race was amazing as usual, but most important is the fact that the fundraising campaign was incredible – with close to $80,000 raised for Nature Kenya’s Vulture projects.
This year the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) and Birdlife International decided to heed the call of our African brothers and sister in order to raise funds for an urgent conservation cause there. Following five years of projects based in Europe, the Champions of the Flyway family directed our efforts at an important and urgent call, the plight of the Rift Valley’s vultures. We are hopeful that with the help of the substantial amount of money raised Nature Kenya will be able to achieve a lot on the ground, to the benefit of the Vultures of the Mara region.


Spectacled winners

The Champions of the Flyway
The 2018 Champions of the Flyway are TEAM SPECTACLED – a team of Israeli teenagers that logged an amazing 173 species in 24 hours! Team Spectacled are: Dvir Rudnicki, Ori Davidor, Klil Zaitlin and Nitay Haiun with driver Oded Ovadia.

canucks winners

The Guardians of the Flyway
The 2018 Guardians of the Flyway are the CANUCKS from Canada! Stu Mackenzie, Jody Alair, Peter Davidson and Yousif Attia raised over $15,000 for the project, a fantastic effort!

blackcaps winners

Israeli Guardians of the Flyway

The Israeli team that raised the most money for the cause are the BLACKCAPS –  the first ever team of Orthodox kids! The Blackcaps did a green big day on bikes and pedaled around 50 km during the day! On top of all this the youngsters raised over $4000 for the cause! Congrats to Moshe Zinger, Levi Yitzhak (Levitz) Gross, Moishy Glazer and Ron Faibish

The Bill Thompson III Knights of the Flyway award
The BT3 Knights of the Flyway award also goes to the CANUCKS! Stu Mackenzie, Jody Allair, Peter Davidson and Yousif Attia did the most to promote the cause, to help spread the word and showed great creativity and generosity before, during and after the race. Well done Canucks!


The COTF 19 Green Champions
The 2019 Green Champions are the BUNTINGS! Well done to Lior Kislev, Noam Kirshenbaum, Ohad Avraham and Ran Markus for logging an amazing 113 species while walking over 30 km!

Champions of the Flyway 2019 – Top 10
This year the rankings were incredibly tight – just look at the final list!
1. Team Spectacled – 173 species
2. The Little Bastards – 172 species
3. Swarovski World Youth birders – 170 species
4. Leica CTT Keep Calm and Carrion – 168 species
5. JBO/Manomet Rocking Redstarts – 166 species
6. Leica Birders without borders– 165 species
7. Unlimited Birdwatchers – 161 species
8. Mission of Mercy birders– 155 species
9. Team Heligoland– 154 species
10. Team VCF – 152 species

We would like to thank all Champions of the Flyway participants for a monumental effort this year; you are all true ambassadors for the Vultures of Africa! A warm thank you to our colleagues in Birdlife International for believing in our dream and giving us the tools we need to make it happen. Finally the biggest thanks go to the thousands of people worldwide that donated money to the cause. It is thanks to all of you opening your hearts and wallets that we can truly make a difference in the long battle for bird conservation. You are all a powerful voice that speaks out for those that cannot be heard and this is what makes you true Flyway Champions!
There is a lot more that needs to be done – see you next year!
Jonathan Meyrav, Champions of the Flyway coordinator (on behalf of the whole team)

North beach teams

Champions of the Flyway 2018 – Award winners and final standings

The dust has not yet settled from the most impressive Champions of the Flyway campaign to date. Birders are still recovering from long days in the field, some heading home and others getting in some last hours of birding in Israel.

On March 26th, 32 teams of birders from 14 nations took to the field for an amazing 24 hours of birding and adrenaline, tallying over 240 species of birds! The race was amazing as usual and we will share the results shortly but most important is the fact that the fundraising for Champions of the Flyway 2018 was the strongest and most productive ever!

The teams managed to raise $100,000 for conservation! Money that will be split between the Birdlife partners in Serbia and Croatia, for projects tackling the illegal trapping and hunting of birds on migration!

Congratulations to the 2018 Champions of the Flyway award winners!

  • The Champions of the Flyway:

The Birding Ecotours World Youth Birders (John Kinghorn, Toni Geddes, Jean-michel Blake and James Shergold) – with a whopping 186 species! ( a new race record)

  • The Guardians of the Flyway:

The Zeiss Yorkshire Terriers (Mark James Pearson, Darren Woodhead, Jono Leadly and Rich Baines) raised over $28,000 for the project, an unbelievable fundraising record!

  • Israeli Guardians of the Flyway:

Team Spectacled (s) (Ori Davidor, Asaf Leurer, Dvir Rudniki, Klil Zaitlin) 

  • Knights of the Flyway:

The Leica Welsh Red Kites (Alan Davies, Arfon Williams, Marc Hughes, Robin Sandham, Rob Jones)

Champions of the Flyway 2018 – Top 10

  1. Birding Ecotours World Youth Birders – 186 species
  2. The Little Bastards – 183 species
  3. The Palestine Sunbirders – 181 species
  4. The Holy Chickens – 170 species
  5. JBO/Manomet Rocking Redstarts – 169 species
  6. Team Spectacled – 163 species
  7. Zeiss Rockjumpers – 161 species
  8. Birdingtours Hoopoes – 160 species Tied with Maltese Falcons – 160
  9. Leica Welsh Red Kites – 159 species
  10. Leica Cape May American Dippers – 155 species