International Bird Observatory Conference 2019

The first International Bird Observatory Conference (IBOC) was hosted by Falsterbo Bird Observatory in Sweden over four days in August of 2014. This was the first attempt to bring together representatives from the world’s observatories at a single event. Over 100 participants representing 40 bird observatories from six continents gathered to share their knowledge and develop relationships that would often lead to collaboration over subsequent years. The second IBOC took place in October, 2017, at New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory, and attracted more than 130 participants from all over the world.

The International Birding and Research Center Eilat (IBRCE) and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) will be hosting the third IBOC in 2019 in Eilat, Israel. Located on the northern tip of Eilat, the IBRCE bird sanctuary was built on the former site of an essential salt marsh for migratory birds that had been destroyed earlier by human activity. Due to its strategic geographic location, which puts it within the Eurasian-African migratory flyway of millions of birds each spring and fall, the IBRCE is a hot spot for birdwatchers from all over the world. Migrating songbirds and astounding numbers of birds of prey fill the sky over Eilat during migration periods.

The IBRCE puts a lot of effort into keeping the avian migratory flyway safe and to exposing people to the beauty and peculiarity of birds. Through our annual spring and autumn migration counts and ringing, community events and environmental education, our staff and seasonal volunteers are working to connect people to nature and to act as stewards of the nature of today for the people of tomorrow. The conference will focus on monitoring and research, public outreach, and conservation challenges and victories within the context of bird observatory operations. Each day will include presentations from thought-leaders across many disciplines, lectures and lightning talks, workshops and small-group events aimed at encouraging collaboration and networking. Evening social gatherings will further enhance the collaborative nature of the event. The final day will be filled with various field excursions to the region, highlighting the importance of the area for migratory birds.

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