Jerusalem Bird Observatory – BITE SIZE

The Jerusalem Bird Observatory plays an important role in Jerusalem’s urban nature preservation. Hear about their summer activities, bird ringing workshops and more when we interview the Director.


Too busy to read? Just click the play button to listen to our BITE SIZE interview with Alen Kacal the Director at the Jerusalem Bird Observatory on BITE SIZE with Yoni Pollack.


Here are some of the “Interview Highlights”

  • The Jerusalem Bird Observatory is a small urban nature reserve right next to the Knesset & the Supreme Court.
  • The center focuses on researching wildlife and migrating birds.
  • It is a member of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI).
  • The JBO was Israel’s first urban wildlife site founded 25 years ago.
  • There is a large amount of bird migration over Jerusalem as birds fly to and from Europe & Africa. The green patch of land on a Jerusalem hilltop is an ideal place for the birds to land to get a drink.
  • Because the JBO is right on the route of bird migration, during the Spring and Fall they observe thousands of birds passing over Jerusalem. There are about 700 million birds passing through each season!!
  • While the birds are flying through the city, they see the green patch of grass and land at the JBO to eat and drink and rest.
  • After their rest, they continue on their path – in the Spring to Europe and in the Fall to Africa.
  • While Jerusalem is surrounded by deserts, the city of Jerusalem, is built on a mountain top – and therefore a welcoming place for birds to pass through.
  • In order to gather information about birds, the JBO participates in a process called Bird Ringing.
  • The process begins when birds are trapped for a short time in order to put on a ring, marked with an id number, on its leg. Then the bird is released to fly out into the world.
  • Information is then documented, via a international database/registry. Information includes where the birds fly to, how long it takes them, how many birds are flying together etc.
  • The JBO has been a part of this research process for 25 years and Israel has been doing it for over 100 years!

About the Birds

  • Over 200, out of the possible 530 Israel bird sighting species, have been seen at the JBO.
  • Interesting Sighting – A Green Warbler passed through last week – the first time this bird was ever seen in Jerusalem – and only the 8th time it has been seen in the country.
  • Interesting Sighting – A few years ago there was a siting of an Eye Browed Thrush – a bird who is from Siberia – who’s normal path of migration – is no where near Jerusalem!
  • The National Israel Bird is the Hoopoe. These birds are mostly seen by large grassy areas because they like to eat the bugs from under the grass.

Summer Activities at JBO

  • On the Night Hikes, hikers will learn about the different animals and their behavior at night. They will be surprised at the animals they will find! Porcupines, hedgehogs, owls, bats and more… Kids will love to be out at night searching for animals with with their flashlights.Great activity to do at night – when it’s too hot to be outside during the day!!
    **FIJ Tip
    – Email jbo@funinjerusalem.com to arrange an English Tour in advance.**
  • Bird Ringing – click on the events tab of the JBO page for more info.
  • In August there are family activities every morning and every afternoon including art activities, bird detectives and more.
  • Teen workshops include nature photography, sketching, and science workshops.

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