Children engage in birdwatching at Rosh Tzippor .
(photo credit: YOAV DEVIR KKL-JNF)
The Rosh Tzippor Birdwatching Centre opened only a few months ago but is already attracting groups of school children, nature lovers, birdwatchers and the general public. Families from all over Israel attended Birds and Tweets, a 2-day happening organized by KKL-JNF during Chol Ha’mo’ed Sukkot. The children and their parents were invited to tour the park, learn about birds and participate in a bird drawing and painting workshop. The development of the park was made possible thanks to the support of Friends of JNF Australia from New South Wales, Victoria and from Western Australia.
Eight-year-old Segev from Be’er Ya’akov came to the event with his mother, Adva: “Thanks to this park, people who love birds, can watch them, close to home. I really hope I get to see some rare birds today. I have this special book that helps me identify what I see”, he said. Segev told us that his dream was to spot a curlew, a large bird with a long, curved bill.
Rosh Tzippor Park includes a 1.5 acre man-made lake, 1 acre of green wetlands, a winter pond, water canals with varying current speeds, and a diversity of native vegetation, in order to foster different bird habitats. Certain parts of the park are closed off for visitors, in order to provide the birds with a safe and peaceful sanctuary. The lake has also become home to local fish, some species of which are at risk of extinction.
Hides for observation have been built all over the park, enabling visitors to follow the birds without disturbing them. Some of the hides are for watching the birds above water level and one of them enables to watch the birds at water level. The group instructions are done in open classrooms, built around the lake.
In one of the open classrooms, KKL-JNF Chief Ornithologist Yaron Charka provided the visitors with some background on what they were about to see: “At the heart of the urban jungle we have created a peaceful sanctuary, where birds can rest, eat and gather their strength for the remainder of their journey to Africa. There are about 10,000 bird species in the world, and Israel is located on one of the most important migration routes between Asia, Africa and Europe. If we don’t protect these birds here, they will be harmed elsewhere in the world as well.”
Read more about the Rosh Tzippor Birdwatching Centre in the heart of Tel Aviv