Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Whole Lotta Cranes

I managed to do some bird watching while in Israel and I will admit, it's quite mesmerizing. The shot above is of the Hula Valley Nature Reserve, a valley that once was a swamp, was drained by the Israeli government only to become an ecological mistake, and then was promptly reflooded to return to its happy swampy state. There are still lots of farms in the Hula Valley and, turns out, cranes love to eat all the tasty crops, hence Israel is now home to over 20,000 cranes that pass the winter hanging in the Hula en route from Europe to Africa. To solve this problem, the farmers have teemed up with JNF and the Society for Protection of Nature in Israel for a crane-feeding project whereby they distribute 200 tons of corn over areas where the cranes congregate. It's a good deal - the cranes get fed, the farmers are happy, and tourists flock to the nature reserve to observe these graceful creatures.

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