Common chiffchaff makes rare visit to Israel

20 pairs of nesting common chiffchaffs found the winter foliage of a remote valley in the Hermon.

June 20, 2013 01:53
1 minute read.
A chiffchaff is nesting in a remote valley in the Hermon region.

Chiffchaffs 370. (photo credit: Yosef Kiat/SPNI)


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Birders in the Hermon region have for the first time ever discovered a community of nesting common chiffchaffs, a type of leaf warbler that typically is found 700 kilometers north of this spot.

Bird experts from the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel found a population of 20 pairs of the chiffchaffs nesting in the winter foliage of a remote valley in the Hermon.

Until now, the southernmost point at which the chiffchaffs have been identified is 700 kilometers northbound, in Turkey, according to SPNI.

The discovery was made in the context of a survey – funded by the Hoopoe Foundation – to detail the presence of incubating birds in the region.

The common chiffchaff is a tiny songbird, weighing only about 7 grams and found commonly throughout Europe, SPNI said.

Identifying the birds was very difficult, as they spend most of their time in the foliage and their appearance very closely resembles that of many other species.

“The discovery underscores the tremendous importance of natural sensitive systems in the Hermon and the need to maintain them strictly,” said Yoav Perlman, of SPNI’s Center for Ornithology.

In addition to identifying the chiffchaffs, the Hermon incubation survey showed that about 17 species of birds that lay eggs in Israel do so in that region of the country only, SPNI said.

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