The Jerusalem Post
By Sharon Udasin, February 8, 2015
Spring bird migration is already well on its way in Eilat, despite the fact that it is only February, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel reported on Sunday.
Staff members at SPNI’s Israel Ornithological Center in the southern city have already spotted significant flocks of eagles making their way from Africa toward western Asia.
Meanwhile, for the first time, the center is counting the number of eagles that pass through, in order to determine how many of the birds pass through annually, SPNI said.
The eagles, which are birds of prey of an impressive size, spread their wings to a span of 2 meters, making use of an “air lift” of hot air, and turn in the eastern direction toward Mongolia and Kazakhstan, according to SPNI researchers. Every year, thousands of these eagles pass over Israel, they said.
“It’s not clear why these eagles are passing through here so early this year, because the plains of Asia will start to thaw only in a few weeks,” said Noam Weiss, director of SPNI’s Ornithological Park.
In addition to the eagles flying over Eilat, hundreds of millions of birds of various species “will in the coming months land in Israel for a moment of rest and refreshment, and will return to Europe and Asia for nesting season,” Weiss said.