Fauna, etc., in Israel

Today we made a trip to Masada, the site of the Jewish zealots last stand (AD 73) after the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem. Tristram’s Starling, also called Tristram’s Grackle, were in abundance.

Tristram's Starling at Masada. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Tristram’s Starling at Masada. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

This species is named after Henry Baker Tristram.

The males have glossy iridescent black plumage with orange patches on the outer wing, which are particularly noticeable in flight. The bill and legs are black. Females and young birds are similar but duller and with a greyish head, lacking the plumage gloss.
It is gregarious and noisy, with a call that resembles a wolf whistle. They are omnivorous, feeding on fruit and invertebrates, and can also be observed grooming Nubian ibex and domestic livestock for parasites. (Wikipedia)

We also saw En Gedi, the site where David hid from King Saul, who was pursuing David with the intention of killing him (1 Sam. 23:29ff.). Here we photographed an ibex, the biblical “wild goat”of Psa. 104:18: “The high hills are for the wild goats; The cliffs are a refuge for the rock badgers.”

Ibex at En Gedi. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Ibex at En Gedi. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Tour member Mike Eison shared this photo he took this past Friday at Nazareth, at the Nazareth Village. The shepherd, his sheep in the fold behind.

Shepherd at Nazareth Village. Photo by Mike Eison.

Shepherd at Nazareth Village. Photo by Mike Eison.

Thanks for following our travels. Tomorrow is a walking tour in Jerusalem.

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