Levant sparrowhawks fly over Eilat
Levant sparrowhawks fly over Eilat Tim Jones

Forty thousand Levant sparrowhawks, representing two-thirds of the species' global population, flew over Eilat and landed in the bird-watching park and palm plantations in the southern Arava.

CEO of the Eilat Birdwatching Center Noam Weiss said, "This week, Eilat saw one of the most beautiful bird-watching weeks she has ever seen. In less than 36 hours, 40,000 Levant sparrowhawks flew over our city."

"Early on Friday morning, the sparrowhawks began to fly in groups of thousands, low over the ground. As the day got warmer, they flew higher in the sky, until they looked like flies, and only experienced birdwatchers could make them out.

"Towards evening, they landed in the Eilat Birdwatching Park and at the palm plantation in the Arava. As more groups of a thousand arrived, they made a tumult in the usually silent plantation."

According to the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), little is known about Levant sparrowhawks because of the regions it populates and the fact that it nests in the Balkan Mountains forests.

Most nature scientists believe the species' numbers are declining as a result of hunters, competition with the northern goshawk, and harm done to its natural habitats.

Most of what is currently known about Levant sparrowhawks is learned from their migration patterns. Israel's SPNI counted approximately 60,000 Levant sparrowhawks flying over Israel, which are estimated to represent the species' entire global population.

More Levant sparrowhawks are expected to fly over Israel in the coming week.

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