Bird-Watchers Flock to Israel

Fourth Eilat Spring Migration Festival appeals to bird-watching enthusiasts

By: By Lisette Mejia

Bird watching // © 2009 Ankit Solanki

 Bird watching // © 2009 Ankit Solanki

From March 18-25, 2010, bird-watching aficionados can experience the fourth Eilat Spring Migration Festival in the resort town of Eilat, Israel. In past years, hundreds of participants from more than 15 countries have gathered for the event.

During the week-long event, clients will be able to witness the flights of more than 500 million migratory birds — including rare raptors, pelicans and cranes. Thanks to Israel’s unique location as the only land bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa, it is a premier bird-watching site.

“The Eilat Spring Migration Festival is a special event that attracts nature lovers to one of the world’s prime bird-watching locations in the south of Israel,” said Arie Sommer, tourism commissioner for the Israel Ministry of Tourism, North and South America. “The combination of the spring bird migratory spectacle and the location of the beautiful resort town of Eilat will make for a truly special experience.”

A basic festival tour package, offered through the festival’s Web site, includes seven nights at the Isrotel Agamim Hotel (which will operate a Birder’s Pub specifically for the event); free entrance to the opening banquet; evening workshops and lectures; free entrance to the Eliat ringing and research park throughout the week; and daily guided birding tours. For an extra fee, longer specialty tours that target specific bird species or regions of southern Israel are also available. Prices for the basic tour start at $985 per person, based on twin room sharing.