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Chris Merkord

New research center and bird observatory in Israel

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The planned new building for the International Center for the Study of Bird Migration in Latrun.
It's all about the birds in Israel

Israel is building more birding centers, a new conservation center, and an urban wetland in the heart of Tel Aviv to protect birds, and attract international bird-watchers.


“Israel sits on the junction of three continents,” Prof. Yossi Leshem, director of Israel’s International Center for the Study of Bird Migration (ICSBM), tells ISRAEL21c. “Politically, it’s a disaster, but for bird migration, it’s heaven. We have a huge bird bottleneck — it’s a superhighway.”


The new $3 million ICSBM, to be shaped like a bird, is meant to raise awareness for the country’s bird tourism, education, conservation and research projects. The center will include an observation roof, two auditoriums, a museum, an education center and nesting boxes. The expanded center has been a dream of Leshem’s for over 20 years. Back in 1991, when he and Leonid Dinevitch, a former Soviet general and expert in weather forecasting, converted a weather radar to track bird migration, Leshem decided that he wanted to build a museum and scientific center. The existing ICSBM, a joint initiative of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and the Tel Aviv University, has classrooms and dormitories for bird-watching educational programs, migration research, flight safety and international cooperation.


The country’s most famous ornithologist bubbles with excitement when he speaks of the proposed Tel Aviv Bird Observatory at Rosh Zippor (Bird Head) in Yarkon Park. It will comprise a wetlands and urban nature site, along with an observatory.


Read more: http://israel21c.org/environment/its-all-about-the-birds-in-israel/

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