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10 Birds to Watch in Golan

Birds have captivated us since the dawn of time and remain one of the most fascinating creatures on Earth. From the mighty Bald Eagle to the tiny Hummingbird, Golan is home to a wide variety of birds that inhabit the region’s diverse habitats.

From the lush hillsides of the Golan Heights to the vast open deserts of the southern Golan, birds of all shapes and sizes can be found here. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced bird watcher, Golan offers something for everyone.

With its lush landscapes, diverse habitats, and varied bird species, Golan is a bird watcher’s paradise..

1. Egyptian Vulture

Egyptian Vulture


The Egyptian vulture is a unique species of bird found in various parts of the world. It is a member of the Old World vulture family and the only one of its kind in the Neophron genus.

Its common names include white scavenger vulture and pharaoh’s chicken. The species is widely distributed across the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa, and India. It is a small-sized bird that has a white body with black facial plumage and a yellow beak.

Its wings are long and tapered and its legs are relatively short. The Egyptian vulture is an omnivorous species that feeds mainly on carrion and eggs.

It has been observed scavenging on carcasses of various animals, as well as raiding the nests of other birds to feed on their eggs.

It has also been observed feeding on fruits, small mammals, and reptiles. The species is usually found alone or in pairs, and its preferred habitat is open grasslands and semi-arid areas.

It is a migratory species and can be seen in Europe during winter. The Egyptian vulture is listed as an endangered species, mainly due to the destruction of its habitat and food sources.

Conservation efforts are being made to protect the species, including the reintroduction of captive-bred birds.

SpeciesN. percnopterus

2. Vulture


A vulture is a large bird of prey that feeds on the carcasses of dead animals. Vultures are found all over the world and there are currently 23 species of them. These species are divided into two distinct groups, Old World vultures and New World vultures.

Old World vultures are found in Europe, Africa, and Asia, and there are 16 species of them. New World vultures are found in North and South America and there are seven species of them. All of these species belong to the Cathartidae family.

Vultures have powerful beaks and sharp talons that they use to feed on carrion. They have a keen sense of smell which helps them to locate their food. They are important in the ecosystem as they help to recycle nutrients and keep the environment clean.

Vultures play a vital role in keeping the balance in nature.


3. Long-legged Buzzard


The long-legged buzzard is a bird of prey that has a wide range in Eurasia and North Africa. It can be found from southeastern Europe to East Africa and up to the northern part of the Indian subcontinent.

The long-legged buzzard is a member of the Buteo genus, which is a group of larger species of birds. The long-legged buzzard is a predator bird that feeds on small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects.

It has a long wingspan, strong legs, and sharp talons that are used to capture and kill its prey. The long-legged buzzard is a solitary species, and it typically nests in trees or on high cliffs. The bird has brown and white feathers, a black tail, and yellow legs and feet.

Its diet consists of small animals, such as rodents, birds, and insects. The long-legged buzzard is an important species in its range, as it helps to keep the populations of small mammals and other prey species in check.

SpeciesB. rufinus

4. Great Bustard


The great bustard is a large bird belonging to the bustard family and is the only living member of the genus Otis. It has a broad distribution across much of Europe, North Africa, and parts of East Asia.

This bird is found living in open grasslands and farmland, from northern Morocco, stretching across much of Central and South Europe, up to temperate Central and East Asia.

This species is most commonly seen in agricultural areas, where it can find plenty of food to sustain itself. The great bustard is a highly social bird, often seen in flocks of up to 50 individuals.

It is an omnivore, feeding on a variety of different items including insects, small rodents, and even small reptiles.

During the breeding season, the males of this species become very vocal and perform elaborate courtship displays to attract potential mates. The great bustard is a species of conservation concern due to its declining population.

It is threatened by habitat loss and degradation, as well as hunting and egg collection. Conservation efforts have been made to protect this species, such as creating protected areas and prohibiting hunting.

Despite these efforts, the great bustard is still at risk of disappearing from parts of its range.

SpeciesO. tarda

5. Sociable Lapwing


The sociable lapwing, also known as the sociable plover in the UK, is a species of wader bird belonging to the plover family.

It is a migratory species, breeding in Kazakhstan during the summer months and traveling south to winter in the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent, and Sudan. This bird was mentioned in historical literature as the Black-bellied lapwing, due to its distinctive black belly patch.

The sociable lapwing has a white face, black crown, and black wings with white stripes. Its back and wings are grey, while its underparts are white.

The most noticeable feature of this bird is its long, black-tipped yellow bill, which is used to feed on insects and invertebrates. It is also known to feed on seeds and berries. Sociable lapwings are usually found in open fields, grasslands, and wetlands.

They often form large flocks and can be quite noisy. They are territorial during the breeding season, often chasing away other birds. They are also known to perform group aerial displays, which involve flying in circles and making loud calls.

SpeciesV. gregarius

6. Squacco Heron


The squacco heron is a species of small heron found in the Old World. It is a medium-sized bird, measuring 44 to 47 cm in length, with a body length of 20 to 23 cm and a wingspan of 80 to 92 cm.

It is typically found in wetlands, rivers, and other shallow water bodies. The squacco heron is native to southern Europe and the Greater Middle East. It breeds in these regions, usually from late spring to mid-summer.

During breeding season, the males can be identified by their chestnut-brown plumage, while the females are a bit duller in color. The squacco heron is typically a solitary bird, but it can also be seen in small groups.

It feeds mostly on small fish, frogs, and insects, which it catches by wading in shallow waters.

It is also an adept hunter, able to stand still for long periods of time until it spots its prey. In addition to its hunting prowess, the squacco heron is well known for its spectacular courtship displays.

During courtship, the males will stand erect, stretch their wings, and call out loudly. After mating, the pair will build a platform nest out of reeds or twigs, which they will use to raise their young. The squacco heron is an important species, both ecologically and culturally.

It plays an important role in wetlands, providing food and habitat for other species. It is also a symbol of grace and beauty, celebrated in countless works of art and literature.

SpeciesA. ralloides

7. Pygmy Cormorant


The Pygmy Cormorant is a member of the Phalacrocoracidae family of seabirds. This species is found in south-eastern Europe and south-western Asia, where it breeds and lives year-round.

However, some northern populations of the species migrate further south during the winter months, mostly within its breeding range. This species is also a rare migrant to Western Europe, however, it is not known how regularly it migrates in this region.

The Pygmy Cormorant is a small seabird, typically measuring between 33 and 37 cm in length. It has a dark brown head and neck, with a pale grey-brown body and a brownish-black tail. Its wings are long and pointed, and its legs are a yellowish-blue color.

The Pygmy Cormorant feeds mainly on fish, which it catches by diving underwater. It nests in colonies, usually near water, and can be seen roosting in large flocks during the winter months.

Overall, the Pygmy Cormorant is an interesting species of seabird that is found in many parts of Europe and Asia. It is partially migratory, with some populations migrating further south during the winter.

It is also a rare migrant to Western Europe, although its exact migration patterns are not fully understood.

SpeciesM. pygmaeus

8. Eagle


Eagles are large birds of prey from the family Accipitridae and are found on every continent in the world, except Antarctica. They belong to several genera, some of which are closely related.

The most commonly known type of eagle is the Aquila genus, which includes 68 species of eagles. The majority of these are from Eurasia and Africa. Eagles are known for their excellent eyesight, strong wings, and sharp talons, which they use to catch their prey.

They typically live in areas near large bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, and oceans. They are also solitary birds, only coming together to mate. Eagles are important predators in their ecosystems, helping to keep other animal populations in check.

They are also a symbol of strength and courage, often appearing on national flags or coats of arms.


9. Cormorant


Phalacrocoracidae is a large family of aquatic birds with around 40 individual species. Commonly referred to as cormorants and shags, these birds are found all around the world.

Different classifications of the family have been proposed by different scientific organizations over the years, but in 2021 the International Ornithologists’ Union (IOU) finally reached a consensus on how to classify the family.

The IOU proposed a taxonomy of seven distinct genera within the family. Each of these genera has its own unique characteristics, which are used to differentiate them from one another.

For instance, some genera are characterized by their large size, while others are known for their distinctive coloration.

By classifying these birds into distinct genera, scientists have a better understanding of the family as a whole and can better study the individual species.


10. Black-winged Pratincole


The black-winged pratincole is a type of bird from the family Glareolidae, which is commonly referred to as pratincoles.

The name of the genus is derived from the Latin word “glarea,” which translates to “gravel.” This refers to the typical nesting habitat of the pratincoles, which is usually a sandy or grave area.

The species name of the black-winged pratincole is an homage to the Finnish-born zoologist and explorer Alexander von Nordmann. Von Nordmann was an influential figure in the field of zoology and his research helped to further the study of different species of animals.

The naming of the species after him is a way of honoring his contributions to the field.

SpeciesG. nordmanni


Birds are an important part of the Golan Ecosystem. They provide essential services such as pest control, pollination, and seed dispersal, and their presence is a key indicator of healthy ecosystems.

Birds also play an important role in the cultural heritage of the Golan and are a source of inspiration and entertainment for many.

Ultimately, birds are essential to the conservation and stewardship of the Golan and must be respected and protected in order to ensure its future.

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