I visited Ein Afek Nature Reserve many times before. But this time, it was different since we attended the Bird Ringing event.
- See the full guide about this nature reserve at Ein Afek.
- For additional info about animals and wildlife, check out Zoos and Aquariums in Israel.
Stroll at Ein Afek
But let’s start at the beginning. We arrived early and had time before the bird ringing session, thus decided to take a stroll. Here are several photos:
And it was time for the bird ringing event. In the beginning, our guide explained the migration process (aimed at adults and children). As you can see on the map, northern birds migrate to Africa through Israel or Spain.
Why do they migrate? Food. Finding food in cold winter and under snow is hard. Then why do they return? Because by Spring, there is plenty of food in the north, and there is no rivalry.
Do you want to guess how many birds fly through Israel every year? Around 500 million birds, and the numbers are growing each year.
Our guide specializes in small birds. Here is the first one:
He and his assistant put traps at Ein Afek. Then they add rings to birds and update data in the computer system.
There is a particular system to which people from over the world enter the ring number and other parameters, like bird weight and wingspan.
This way, they can track bird movements and learn their behavior. For example, they can now determine how long each bird type lives.
Even with today’s technology, the ring is a metal with a serial number. The reason is size and weight. Some birds are tiny and weigh only 5-6 grams. The smallest electronic device would weigh at least a couple of grams. That is half the bird’s weight. That’s too much. And this simple ring weighs 0.2 grams.
And this process was repeated several times.
Have you seen how they weigh birds? They put a small plastic box on top of the weights – like the one you had for the camera’s film. And then put the bird into the box upside down.
But the most crucial principle of bird ringing is not to hurt the bird. As soon as the fingers are released the birds fly away:
Visiting Tel Afek
After bird ringing, we went to Tel Afek (the highest point in this nature reserve). Park on our way:
The cloud is positioned as if the tree has an idea balloon:
From the Tel, we descended to the parking lot and drove home.
That’s all for today. I hope you liked this Ein Afek post, and I’ll see you in future travels!
Additional ResourcesHere are several resources that I created to help travelers:
- Israel Trip Planner is the page that will help you to create your perfect travel route.
- National Parks And Nature Reserves page lists and put all national parks on the map. There is also a top list, information about ticket types and campsites.
- If you are looking for things to do, here are the pages for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Sea Of Galilee, and Makhtesh Ramon.
- Wondering what events are there in Israel? Here is the Events And Festivals By Season guide.