KKL-JNF: Record number of cranes visit Hula Lake

Watching the cranes is indeed a magnificent sight but besides the food placed for them in the lake area, they also eat seeds in nearby fields and cause a great deal of damage to local agriculture.

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January 10, 2010 17:56
2 minute read.
KKL-JNF: Record number of cranes visit Hula Lake

hula birds 224-88. (photo credit: )

 
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Cranes have become familiar guests at Hula Lake. During Israel's autumn and winter months - October to March - there are an average of 10,000 - 30,000 cranes at the lake every day. Recently, a new daily record was set at Hula Lake - 41,600 cranes in one day, as compared to last year's record of 32,000, a 30% increase! Watching the cranes is indeed a magnificent sight but besides the food placed for them in the lake area, they also eat seeds in nearby fields and cause a great deal of damage to local agriculture. With the increase of cranes remaining in the region, the importance of the crane-feeding project also increased, including leaving them food in agricultural areas earmarked for this purpose. Zamir Carmi, field crops coordinator for Upper Galilee, noted that the crane-feeding project is a joint endeavor of KKL-JNF and other green organizations, but there is a budget deficit of 400,000 shekels, and the farmers have to chase the cranes away from the fields by running after them, playing loud music and waving brightly colored flags. Efi Naim, KKL-JNF Hula forester, said on an optimistic note that "the feeding project is the best solution for the cranes and I am confident that funds will be allocated for it this year, also." The cranes migrate from Europe to Africa and back, passing through the Hula on their way. Their habitat is primarily swamp areas and quicksand, and the number of cranes who visit the lake increases annually. It is not by chance that in many traditions, the crane is considered a symbol of family life and fertility. Communication and behavior of a flock of cranes is very unique and reminiscent of human behavior in many ways. The crane is a monogamous bird and it is a known fact that cranes remain loyal to their mates even after their death. Both parents build the nest and they take turns brooding on the eggs for a month, jointly caring for the nestlings after they hatch and maintaining familial ties with their offspring for at least a year. Thanks to development and restoration work carried out in recent years by KKL-JNF, with the assistance of friends worldwide, the Hulah is now considered one of the primary locations in the globe for bird watching. Because entrance to the site is regulated, its ecology is preserved: the number of visitors is limited and in addition, visitors are directed to areas of the park where they cannot injure or endanger the animal life. There are daily guided tours of the lake: Sunrise tour: 06:30 daily Sunset tour: 17:00 daily Night safari: 19:45 daily There will also be bicycle treks on the new bicycle trail, golf cart tours and bird watching tours in hidden wagons. Call: 972-4-6817137 For more information, please visit our website at www.kkl.org.il/eng or e-mail ahuvab@kkl.org.il Sponsored content

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