Flying visit on journey south

A flock of pelicans gathering at a water reservoir at Emek Hefer in northern Israel this week.

According to the Israeli National Parks Authority, about 45,000 pelicans stop over in Israel every year while making their way from Europe to Africa.

Pelicans migrate from Europe to Africa during autumn and then return to their European breeding grounds in spring.

Israel, despite its small size, is a bottleneck into which a large part of the European population of this species - about 70,000 birds - concentrates during the autumn migration. Most of the pelicans stop over in Israel for several days and then continue south to Africa, but several hundred stay for the winter.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2015, with the headline 'Flying visit on journey south'. Print Edition | Subscribe