Scientific Discovery: Long-legged Buzzard Migrates Backwards

What can the raptors of the coastal plain teach us about the state of open spaces in Israel, the importance of responsible management of these areas, and finding a balance between the need for development and the need for environmental protection?

December 28, 2011 11:36

KKL_281211_D. (photo credit: KKL-JNF)

A research study on this topic, undertaken by postgraduate student Gilad Friedman in cooperation with KKL JNF and other organizations, was presented at the 32nd Annual Bird Watching Conference, December 26, 2011 at Tel Aviv University. Friedman’s research received much attention, because it revealed a surprising discovery. The Long-legged Buzzard, which is considered a stable bird (one that does not migrate), does in fact migrate. Furthermore, it migrates in the opposite direction from most bird species - from south to north!

The conference was organized by the Tel Aviv University Zoology Department, the Multidisciplinary Center for Bird Migration Research in Latrun and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI). About one thousand people, experts as well as bird lovers, came to hear a variety of lectures about the winged world.The speakers included Dr. Yossi Leshem on Hoopoe Foundation Activities, Ohad Hatzofe (Pelican Migration), Yoav Perlman (Nesting Survey in the Negev), Roni Malka and Roni Levana (Harassment by Photographers), Dan Alon (Bird Watching Tourism), Alon Rothschild (Nature Preservation), Dr. Eran Levine (Insect Bats in the Jordan Valley) and Amir Ben Dov (The Yellow-legged Gull), and there was an exhibition of spectacular bird photographs for the participants to enjoy in between the presentations.

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