The woodlands and open spaces managed by KKL-JNF provide a wealth of habitats for an enormous range of plant and animal life. At the top of this ecological pyramid are the large diurnal raptors such as the snake eagle (Circaetus) and the long-legged buzzard (Buteo rufinus), both of whom have chosen KKL-JNF forests and open spaces as their preferred nesting sites.
In the first project of its kind in Israel, Kanfei KaKaL (“KKL-JNF Wings”), the organization’s nationwide bird-watching network, revealed the world of Keren and Yisrael – a pair of snake eagles who have built their nest at the top of a pine tree in a KKL-JNF forest in the Judean Plain. Keren, the female, is larger and darker than her mate.
Special high quality (HD) on-line cameras installed near Keren and Yisrael’s nest broadcasts directly to the Internet twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and thus relay the entire nesting and incubation process, the care of the new-born nestlings and the chicks’ eventual flight from the parental home. Infra-red lighting enables broadcasts to continue throughout the night. We also plan to create a fascinating film library that will document every stage of the nesting process, which should continue until the end of August. The films will be accompanied by in-depth explanations of all the various processes underway in the nest.
The project, which lasted for 2 years, is based upon information gathered
by Tel Aviv University student Gilad Friedman as part of his doctoral thesis, and it has been carried out with the support of KKL-JNF and other organizations. Gilad has followed the project very closely since its inception. Apart from showing the general public aspects of nature they have never before had the chance to observe, this film footage will also be used for further research into the biology of the snake eagle and will feature in schoolchildren’s biotope projects and elsewhere.
In March, Keren and Yisrael returned from Africa, where they had spent the winter, and have renovated their nest and engaged in behavior designed to renew their relationship. Yisrael courted Keren by demonstrating his prowess as a hunter and brought her snakes to feed on. Keren laid an egg on Saturday night, March 26, 2016. The egg was ejected from the nest a few days later, a practice of the mother bird when the egg is defective.