Winter of Birds Festival and Tourism
The Winter Bird Festival in the Galilee, Golan and valleys of northern Israel, opened on Monday with a gala evening at the Dubrovin Estate in the Hula Valley, which included an exhibition of rare photographs from the KKL-JNF photo archive and a concert performed by the Israel Chamber Orchestra. Over the next month, there will be tours and excursions in Hula Lake Park and in other major bird watching sites, as well as the Crane Race around the Hula Lake. Several photo exhibitions featuring birds and nature are opening this week at the Tel Hai Photography Museum and at the Dubrovin Estate Museum.
The annual Winter Bird Festival, taking place for the fourth time, is a joint project of a number of environmental and tourist organizations including KKL-JNF. “The birds have succeeded in uniting the different organizations to make this festival happen, which is no simple matter,” said Zeev Kedem, Director of the KKL-JNF Fundraising Division, with a big smile on his face.
The exhibition being shown at the Dubrovin Estate Museum, Hula – Lake and Surroundings, includes pictures documenting the history of the Hula Valley from the early twentieth century to the present. These historic pictures show the marshes in the 1920s, the land acquisition and Jewish pioneers in the 1930s, the battles against the Syrian army in the Israel Independence War, the draining of the Hula in the 1950s, the creation of the lake in the 1990s, and the transformation of the site into a focal point for nature, bird watching and tourism today.
Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to attend the Winter Bird Festival events over the next four weeks. They will be joining the many birds that visit Israel at this time of year, escaping the cold of Europe for the warmer climate of Arica - a true celebration of nature and humans working together.