Swifts Welcomed at Western Wall
The Common Swift, a unique bird that spends most of its life on the wing, returns to Western Wall for a short vacation from Africa. Nature-lovers are planning a welcoming ceremony Monday.
The Friends of the Swifts Association, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, and Tel Aviv University are working together to save existing nesting sites of the special bird. Its arrival at the Western Wall also symbolizes the approaching spring, said the sponsors of the welcoming ceremony.
They said that a special study to map the nests was conducted in 2002 by researcher Ulrich Tigges and by the late Prof. Mendelssohn, during which 88 nests were noted. This study map served as a guideline during the work of strengthening the Western Wall, keeping the nests unblocked.
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Birds have been making their nests near the temple ever since the psalmist wrote, “Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young, a place near your altar....Blessed are those who dwell in your house” (Psalm 84:3-4).
Pigeon perched in hollow of the Western Wall