The Western Wall is for the Birds

When the swifts come back to Jerusalem’s Western Wall this week there will be rejoicing as bird watchers and the religious welcome them home to Judaism’s most sacred site.

The common swift, which spends is entire life flying or sitting its nest, returns from wintering in South Africa to nest between the cracks in the ancient wall. For over 2,000 years, the crevices between the wall’s massive limestone blocks have served as the perfect nesting location for the swift (Apus apus).

“The big story is that the swifts are coming almost on the same day every year to the Western Wall,” Yossi Leshem, director of the Israel Ornithological Center for the Study of Bird Migration, told The Media Line. “We believe that in the Western Wall is maybe the oldest common swift nesting site in the world.”


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