Hi Lorna & netters,
In the late eighties - early nineties (I think) when violence in Israel,
Lebanon and surrounding places was raging, I read an article in a European
birdwatching magazine about the effect of this on migratory birds.
The eastern shores of the Mediterranean (Israel, Lebanon, etc) are among the
three main migratory routes for European birds on their way to Africa.
Especially Israel is famous for its congregations of storks, raptors, cranes
and other large birds migrating through, but also numerous smaller species
take this route.
The article described how the army, and everyone else in possession of a
gun, was in the habit of using birds for target practice! Apparently, the
country was eerily devoid of birds after years of shooting. I still remember
being shocked to read that soldiers would shoot (at) birds out of plain
boredom, or for target practice.
However, when migrating, different species have a preferred flying altitude,
and so after a number of years, species that used to fly at altitudes within
shooting range, moved higher. The article described how many different
species of birds flew at their desired altitude until they hit the troubled
areas, they then flew as high as they could and avoided landing until they
were past the trouble zone.
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