Hula Valley Birdwatching Center
Even in the Bible the phenomenon of the birds annual migration through the land of Israel is recognized: “The stork in the heaven also knows appointed times; and turtle and the swallow and the crane observe their time of coming.” Jeremiah 8,7
In 1991, JNF, together with the Israel Land Authority and the Ministry of Agriculture, undertook the Hula Restoration Project in the Galilee. Together with local farmers, JNF worked with these agencies to create a rich habitat that would attract cranes needing rest and nourishment in the course of their winter migration. The major goals of this re-flooding project were to protect the water quality of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) by stopping erosion and preventing water with nitrous and phosphorous compounds from streaming into Israel’s primary source of freshwater. This upgraded the agriculture and rejuvenated the ecosystem of the area. The project brought back riverbank vegetation like reeds and papyrus, and in its wake came birds and many of the animals that make their home among the plants.
To protect the farmer’s crops, approximately 280 acres have been set aside to be scattered every day with two tons of corn seed for the cranes. Seeing the valley acting its part as a fulcrum for worldwide bird migration, thousands of visitors now are drawn to the Hula Valley Crane Lookout, which was built through contributions made to JNF.
Visitors can enjoy bicycling or driving carts through the park, or viewing the visiting birds from specially situated bird blinds, or on a tractor-pulled trailer that pulls right up to the feeding sites. The educational center offers videos and information about the history of the Hula Valley and the many kinds of wildlife that inhabit it.
Get involved and Donate to Hula Valley Birdwatching Center. For naming opportunities call your local office at 888-JNF-0099.