Birdwatching and KKL-JNF

KKL-JNF is forming a master plan for the establishment of a network of bird-watching sites nationwide under the aegis of its organization Kanfei KaKaL (KKL-JNF Wings), making KKL-JNF one of Israel's leading birdwatching organizations.
As part of its masterplan for its birdwatching network, KKL-JNF will develop birdwatching sites throughout Israel. It will hold instructional and educational activities at these sites on birdwatching topics and promote monitoring and research in the field of birdwatching.

Below is a list of several birdwatching sites that are being developed, together with others that are open for the general public to enjoy:

Hula Lake Park

Hula Lake Park, Israel’s largest birdwatching site, has an international reputation in the birdwatching field. KKL-JNF was in charge of establishing the site from its conception to its development and operation according to a unique and innovative model.

KKL-JNF has been hard at work over the past year constructing a new, modern visitors’ center in the park. A great deal of thought has gone into its planning, and it will upgrade the experience of visiting the park for the hundreds of thousands of people who go there each year.

Location: Upper Galilee

KKL-JNF Wings at Nachsholim

The fish ponds of Kibbutz Nahsholim on Hof HaCarmel are a wonderful place to see plovers (short-billed wading birds) and waterfowl. The same flock of flamingoes visits every winter as well. KKL-JNF is building a birdwatching site there together with Kibbutz Nahsholim that will include hides for birdwatching and blinds especially for photographers. Access to vehicles has already been closed, and the hotel at Kibbutz Nahsholim will rent out quiet means of transportation for touring there in the future.

Location: Carmel

Rosh Tzippor Park

Rosh Tzippor Park is an urban birdwatching site that spreads out over 8 acres, located at the intersection of the Ayalon and Yarkon Rivers. The park’s physical development stage ended early in the summer of 2017, and KKL-JNF Wings is now operating it, in collaboration with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel’s Ornithological Center. The site was established with the support of Friends of JNF Australia.

Location: Gush Dan

Hefer Lake

The park’s physical development was completed in the spring of 2017, and the park is open for independently-guided tours. The park is an additional component of KKL-JNF’s many years of work to rehabilitate and care for Nahal Alexander (the Alexander River), in collaboration with the Emek Hefer Regional Council and the regional drainage authority.

Location: Sharon plain

The Vickar Birdwatching Site

The Vickar Lookout, established thanks to the support of JNF Canada friends Tova and Larry Vickar, is located on the banks of Kibbutz Mishmar Hasharon’s reservoir at the shore of Nahal Alexander, east of the Ein Hahoresh ponds. This reservoir is host to thousands of pelicans and large cormorants. This lovely birdwatching site, which is located near bicycle paths and the Kedem Park, which was built by KKL-JNF, is popular with cyclists and hikers, particularly in the autumn, when the pelicans are there.

Location: Sharon plain

KKL-JNF Wings at Ein Rimmon

KKL-JNF planted a grove of Pistacia atlantica trees in the southern fringe of the Lahav Forest during the 1980s. The grove turned into an important “refueling station” for songbirds migrating away from Israel in the autumn, and many studies were conducted in the 1990s on the basis of the ongoing bird-ringing that takes place there.

KKL-JNF resumed caring for the grove in recent years, added signage and fences, and began holding ringing workshops for groups that scheduled them in advance. KKL-JNF plans to plant more trees that are attractive to birds in order to provide for the needs of the birds that migrate in the spring.

Location: Northern Negev

KKL-JNF Wings at Beersheva River Park

KKL-JNF has been investing a great deal in the development of Beersheva River Park in recent years. A birdwatching park is planned for the eastern shore of the lake that is being built in the park. The park will be built next to a location that used to be one of Israel’s best birdwatching sites. KKL-JNF Wings will build several kinds of habitats in Beersheva River Park, together with three birdwatching blinds and a bird-ringing station.

A K-12 educational program for local schoolchildren that teaches about birdwatching and offers options for further study and research has been created in partnership with the Beersheva municipality. Construction of the birdwatching park is expected to be completed in 2018.

Location: Northern Negev

KKL-JNF Wings in Yeruham Park

Yeruham Park, which has a lake in its center that is managed jointly by KKL-JNF and the Yeruham Local Council, is an oasis that attracts many birds. Duchifat, a non-profit organization dedicated to birdwatching and ecology, began operating a bird-ringing station there in recent years, and offers instruction for pay. KKL-JNF Wings plans to run a birdwatching park, in collaboration with Duchifat, where bird-ringing will take place.

Location: Middle Negev