International Migratory Bird Day

The event from 11:00-15:00 includes guided tours with activities for families along a trail passing through a series of Bell Caves* with the highlight of releasing rehabilitated migratory birds (Black Kites, White storks, Eurasian Bee-eater, Steppe Buzzard) emphasizing on the factors that endangered these individuals:
persecution, power lines, etc.

The activities will include stations with explanation on migration, threats to migratory species and the need of AEWA, methods to study migration (with cooperation of the International Birding & Research Center Eilat), story tellers about birds, film on migrating birds (Family Album - Migrating Birds by Afikim Productions), bird watching day tour looking for migratory & resident birds in Judea foothills - an IBA and more all around the national parks of Beit Govrin.

The 1,250-acre Beit Govrin National Park lies in the Judean plain, an area with rolling hills rising some 400 meters above sea level. Most of the ground here is chalky and this soft but relatively erosion-resistant stone is ideal for caves. Very early, people began to dig caves in the Beit Govrin area, which they used as quarries and burial grounds, storerooms and workshops, hiding places and spaces for raising doves. Hundreds of caves were dug in the area, some of which form a huge, astonishingly complex underground maze.
Tel Maresha stands in the highest part of the national park. This was the site of the city in Judea fortified by King Rehoboam after the campaign of Egyptian pharaoh Shishak.
The city came into its own during the Hellenistic period (third to second centuries B.C.E.). During the Hasmonean period, John Hyrcanus captured the city and forced its residents to convert to Judaism. In Roman times, the residents abandoned Tel Maresha and established the nearby city of Beit Govrin, which became the capital of western Idumea. Beit Govrin was important in Crusader times as well.

* Bell caves - A series of 80 large caves connected by passageways. The ceilings of the largest caves are fifteen meters high. Because the caves have narrow mouths in the hard nari rock and become wider in the soft chalk below, they are shaped like bells. Most of the caves were dug during the early Arabian period (seventh to tenth centuries B.C.E.).
Saint Anne's Church - The ruins of a colossal Crusader church named for Saint Anne.
Sidonian burial caves - Hellenistic-period (third to second centuries B.C.E.) burial caves at the foot of Tel Marasha. The frescoes on the cave walls have been restored to give visitors a sense of their former glory. Visitors will also want to see the network of water cisterns; the restored oil press, which illustrates the process of manufacturing olive oil; the columbarium cave (dovecote); and the Roman amphitheater.

Beit-Govrin National Park 31° 36' 5.8716" N, 34° 53' 43.6704" E
Start date: 
Saturday, May 10, 2008 - 00:00
End date: 
Saturday, May 10, 2008 - 02:00