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Sunday, June 01, 2008

So, Do You Like Israel's New National Bird?

(Image: Israel's new national bird, the Hoopoe. Credit: Yossi Ashbol via Ynet)

Despite celebrating its 60th birthday, the Jewish state has lacked one item common throughout out many modern countries--a national bird.

After a brief election, it looks as if the Jewish state has remedied that problem by choosing the Hoopoe (of all creatures).

(Ynet News) President Shimon Peres announced the Hoopoe as Israel's new national bird. The Hoopoe won an election held by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, which concluded on Thursday after months of voting. 155,000 people participated in the nationwide election.

The road to choosing Israel's national bird was long but entertaining. Last December, over 1,000 bird lovers participated in a seminar held in Tel Aviv University, during which they were asked to select 50 nominees for the title out of a long list of various candidates.

That list was then narrowed down to the bulbul (Pycnonotidae), the red falcon, the goldfinch, the biblical vulture, the spur-winged plover, the honey-sucker, the warbler, the white-chested kingfisher, and the white barn owl.

According to Ynet, the Hoopoe received over one third of the votes, with 35% preferring the bird over its many rivals. While the bird is not officially kosher (at least according to some) the Hoopoe is highly praised throughout Asia--mainly for its beauty.

Note: Ynet also reported that Peres wanted the vulture to be chosen as the national bird.

Fortunately the Israeli's were wiser than him, as a vulture is universally detested by most (sane) minds, and would not have helped Israel's image in my honest opinion.

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