Nest boxes located in Beit Shean Valley located not far from Jordan (villages located on the mountains).
In Israel, an innovative system of controlling destructive rodents has been developed by encouraging barn owls and common kestrels to nest in the agricultural fields where the pests typically consume enormous amounts of valuable crop species. This is done by simply installing and monitoring nesting boxes in ideal locations and at frequent intervals in the fields so as to encourage the raptors to reside, breed and raise families in the fields. When this happens, they naturally diminish the rodent populations by hunting them on a very large scale. Up until now, most nest boxes have been purchased by farmers themselves. Nest boxes are very expensive for farmers to purchase, yet they do so at the cost of approximately $250 each. At this time, there have been about three thousand bird boxes erected in fields throughout Israel, from the north to the south and the east to the west, and the vast majority of them have been financed by the farmers themselves, which is a huge expense.
In recent decades, there has been a general trend towards phasing out agriculture and replacing it with other kinds of enterprise, which is a sad end to the Zionist dream of cultivating the land of “milk and honey. The project is geared towards assisting and advising farmers and monitoring the nest boxes, but, to a much lesser extent, covering expenses for materials (nest boxes, etc). The idea behind Project Bird Box Israel is to assist farmers by providing information that we learn from our scientific and also to assist with farmers in purchasing the nest boxes. We do not pay 100% of the funds required for the nest boxes, but rather to participate in the cost of providing them to farmers.
Adding barn owl nest boxes does not only bird tenants of your box and the farmers, but also the hordes of migrating birds which pass over the Syrian-African rift, one of the most heavily-traveled flyways in the world. It is estimated that as many as 500 million birds fly across Israel each spring and fall on their way to and from Africa, Europe and Asia. Many of these migrating birds stop in Israel to rest and recharge their batteries before continuing on their long route between continents. They arrive here exhausted and very hungry, and they are in need of large amounts of food to replenish their lost reserves. Many of these species are vulnerable to primary (direct ingestion) and secondary (indirect exposure) poisoning from pesticides, and conservationists are working hard to protect them from toxic substances that may cause them harm and even death.