Champions of the Flyway - 2017

Jonathan Meyrav 29/11/2016 00:00

The Champions of the Flyway is an innovative and exciting bird race for conservation.

Big days and Bird a thons are known from various places worldwide. These events draw a lot of attention and add a competitive spin on birding that appeal to large crowds. The idea behind the Champions of the Flyway is to utilize the “buzz” that is generated from a large scale Bird race towards conservation and fundraising actions.


Following a successful start in 2014 the project is now well established and in only 3 years has already raised close to $180,000 for conservation. The Champions focuses on the biggest threat migrating birds face today, illegal killing on migration. In previous years we have worked on projects in Georgia, Malta, Cyprus and Greece. The 2016 race highlighted the illegal killing in Greece and together with the Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS) we were able to raise over $70,000 to combat the illegal killing of birds.




The 2016 Champions of the Flyway race was well attended and impressive. Over 30 teams from 12 nationalities assembled in Eilat in late March 2016 and went head to head in attempt to log as many species as possible during a 24 hour period.  The teams combed the deserts of Southern Israel during the peak of the spring migration, shared information and reached out to their crowds, all in attempt to raise money and awareness to the widespread illegal hunting of birds along the migration routes.

Following a hectic day of birding the Zeiss Arctic Redpolls from Finland were crowned champions, having seen a whopping 174 species in 24 hours!




We are proud to present the official film of the 2016 Champions of the Flyway project featuring many familiar faces and a fantastic live performance of "river of birds" the Champions of the Flyway anthem written by Bill Thompson III and "The Rain Crows"





The 2017 race will take place on March 28th 2017, we already have teams registered for what promises to be another exciting race for conservation.

We are proud to announce the new conservation cause for 2017. This year we have chosen to work with Doğa Derneği (Birdlife in Turkey) focusing once again on the illegal killing of birds on migration. DD have proposed several projects all aiming to deal with illegal persecution of migrant birds.


Because of its geographic location Turkey is a natural choice and it give us great pleasure to be able to work together to protect birds that share the East Mediterranean flyway. We are very happy to be working with our Turkish colleagues in 2017, we feel that this once again proves that birds know no boundaries and that together we can transcend political barriers and achieve great things for bird conservation. Find out more information on






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