After more than a decade, a flock of nine singing swans was spotted in the Hula Valley on Monday. The swans came from northern Europe, and are considered one of the largest species of flying birds.
The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel said this was a rare sight, since these birds usually nest during winter in Europe and around the Caspian Sea. Israel is the southern-most point they reach. The last time these swans were spotted here was 2001.
The swans are named so for their loud call, which is used for courting and to strengthen the ties between the adults and the young. Nadav Yisraeli from the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel said “these are really extraordinary calls, like a trumpet victory tune. This is a very auspicious event, it is always fun to see such a rare bird.”
“So far they’re very happy here,” Yisraeli added. “At nights they go into fish ponds, where the water protects them from predators. In the morning they move to the wheat fields, where they find their food. Shmil, the local farmer, is very happy they’re here and is keeping an eye on them in the hope they stay as long as possible.”