His eye is on the sparrow

Porcupines are bigger than you think.  You think they are about the size of a loaf of bread, right?  I did too, until I saw one in real life.  Where do you see them in real life?  At the Jerusalem Bird Observatory, of course, but you have to go after dark.  Porcupines are nocturnal animals, and easily the size of a Labrador.   A friend of the bride who works at the JBO (you’re welcome Lo) took us around on a night hike this evening.

She also told us a little something about birds in Israel.  Basically, birds have to fly through Israel to migrate from Europe and Asia to Africa.  Between the Mediterranean to the west and the arid landscapes to the east, Israel is the place they have to stop over and eat before they finish out the trip.  Some birds double their body weight while they are in Israel.  I can understand how that happens.

Apparently, there are issues with birds.  I’m not sure what all of them are, but the issues require tagging and tracking and all of this stuff.  The people at the JBO are a big part of this effort for Israel because they are the only spot in Jerusalem where the birds can stop over (the rest being built upon.)  So they have communication with all the surrounding countries.  They may be the only organization in the country that does.  Birds, apparently, don’t really care about maps.  Neither do people who care about birds.