Birds migrating through Lebanon made dazzling formations in the sky and first sighting for the endangered Egyptian Vulture

Birds migrating through Lebanon made dazzling formations in the sky as it moved south on Wednesday. While sources of food abound in the spring, making the northern climes ideal for raising their young, sub-zero temperatures, snow and shorter days in winter render their search for nourishment much more difficult. Migratory birds are therefore almost genetically predisposed to fly off to warmer climes. When migrating, they use the sun to navigate on a clear day and the stars as their guides during nighttime flight. Their innate sense of direction shows them the way in bad weather – especially when traveling short distances.

In Hammana also the birds are passing safely as our president General Micheal Aoun promised in his peace treaty with nature and birds. Lebanon will stop being a graveyard for migrating birds Mrs. Claudine Aoun Roukoz, the special advisor to the president of Lebanon promised. It’s happening after four decades of massacres of migrating birds.

A big day today for Birdwatching in Lebanon.The first sighting and picture of the endangered Egyptian Vulture for the season. The picture is still in the camera of Valentin Moser from Switzerland who took it in Hima Anjar while, ironically, being guided by SPNL’s focal point for the New Life project for the Egyptian Vulture in Lebanon Maher Osta. The young Vulture continued its journey unharmed over the protected Hima on its magnificent migration towards its wintering grounds in Africa.

Big cheers to our president, the special advisor, and our Hima communities and the Lebanese internal security forces and responsible hunters and environmental NGOs.

A special thank you for making Hima Hammana safe haven for migratory birds and birds in general, Mayor Fadi Slaiby, previous Mayor Bachir Farhat, vice mayor Jihad Nasr, all the municipal council of Hammana, all the dedicated municipal police all the responsible hunters of Hammana, Hammana community, Homat Hima Hammana.

All birds have an innate migratory pattern specific to their species: they are guided by their senses. In central Europe, peak migration season is in early October. Many more birds can be seen during the fall migration than during the spring migration. In the fall, countless young birds join the older birds, which is why twice as many birds migrate after breeding season in the summer.

Each year, the long-distance migrants begin their journey at the same time each year, flying even further afield than the Sahara. Conversely, short-distance migrants only journey as far as western Europe or the Mediterranean, where winter sunshine is theirs for the taking. They are experts at adapting their flight times to prevailing weather conditions.

All other bird species that can be observed over the course of the year are termed resident birds. Many of them are partial migrants, and some populations residing in cold regions to the north or east of Germany travel south- or westwards.

No need for GPS: birds have a biological compass
The birds have a natural sense of direction – and as such, no need for a compass or a map: each species has been found to have a migratory instinct. Departure period, direction and distance are qualities that most bird species inherit.

Regular breaks and “fuel stops” make for a smooth migration
Birds require an enormous amount of energy to migrate. This is particularly true for species that must cross large bodies of water or deserts; it’s essential that they have enough fat stores. This innate behavior is also known as migratory fat deposition, which is what enables bird species to be guided by their body clock during migration.

Depending on the species, successful migration hinges on the stopovers made during the long journey; the birds need these breaks in order to recharge their batteries.

SPNL (BirdLife National Partner) raises awareness for poaching and teams up with national associations to organize campaigns against illegal killing in Mediterranean countries. The organization also designates Important Bird Areas (IBA), i.e. areas crucial to the birds’ survival during their migration. Across the globe, national nature conservation associations manage 12,000 IBAs under the aegis of BirdLife International to ensure that the miracle of migration lives on.

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