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Ever Experienced 30,000 Cranes Flying Overhead?

Updated: Oct 30, 2020

This is the season for experiencing the incredible bird migration and it is the number one topic of conversation in the LoveLoveIsrael community right now!

Video Credit: Debbie Ziering of Yalla Israel Adventures

Where can you see the bird migration?

This question comes up a lot! There is a lot of confusion about the two Hula sites. LoveLoveIsrael top contributor, Leiah Elbaum explained it clearly:

The Shmurat Hahula is smaller and has a walking trail that includes boardwalks with hides over the water and a tower that affords views of the whole area. It has a small visitor center with a mini-museum and 3D moving seats multi-media experience (I think currently closed) There is great wildlife watching to be had, plenty of birds, mammals and more.
The JNF (KKL) manage the Agmon site which is huge and has many trails for which you can hire bikes, golf carts and more. It used to be free and you only paid for renting vehicles. Now they have built a brand new visitors Centre (closed due to covid) and are charging this NIS35 admission fee. There is a mobile hide (עגלת מסתור) and guided birdwatching tours - which are operating again now according to MOH guidelines. The site is huge so attracts much larger mass flocks of birds like cranes and pelicans.

As mentioned above, this site is run by the National Parks (free if you have membership - Matmon). You need to book online to reserve spaces. Click here for our helpful guide on doing this!

The Hula Nature Reserve is first and foremost a home to a wide variety of birds, animals and flora, but it is also a time capsule of history and nature in the north of Israel. At this time of the year, Lake Hula becomes a major stopover for migrating birds flying from Europe to Africa and back (and also a major birdwatching site!). Pelicans, cranes, storks and other birds stop here on their long journey. Put "Hula Nature Reserve" into Waze.

Agamon Hahula

Last week, tour guide Debbie Ziering visited Agamon Hahula and described the experience:

I can only describe it as a religious experience to sit in the midst of 30,000 cranes coming to rest in the lake for the evening.

You can rent bikes (see below) or golf carts to take you round the lake - or bring your own. Note that there is an entrance fee (even if you bring your own bikes) of 35 shekel per person.

They are running guided tours using their open observation trucks - highly recommended, especially at sunrise or sunset! Click here for details.

Video Credit: Debbie Ziering of Yalla Israel Adventures

Lookout and Observation Stock Mishmar Hasharon and reservoirs Emek Hefer

In Emek Hefer, you can catch the pelicans coming to rest by the reservoir in the afternoons. Ideal time is end of October until mid-November. According to their website, the average pelican population, nesting in Europe, is more than 30,000. This population migrates mostly to Africa. They all go through Israel during the migration seasons, mainly between September and November and between March and May. In recent years a few hundred pelicans have remained in Israel.

Check out this video below, from 2018! Put ציפור וויקר into WAZE. This is a free KKL site.

LoveLoveIsrael Tip: Remember that these are all natural sites, so what, and how many birds and animals you see are impossible to predict! However, sunrise and sunset are the ideal times to catch the most action. Also, even if you can't go now, you are likely to catch some beautiful sites all year round.

Please let us know how your experience was!!

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