The Marsh Aviary
The Marsh Aviary exhibit is home to an abundance of aquatic birds which can be viewed from an observation tower within the aviary (similar to the one in the Hula Valley, probably the most famous of the endangered Israeli wetlands areas); as well as from “hides”. Marsh birds generally come from three different habitats: ducks with short legs, who swim in the water; birds with long legs, who walk through the muddy waters and who also have long beaks for "fishing"; and those who live in the lush wetland vegetation.
The exhibit has two main objectives: wildlife conservation and education. The wildlife conservation aspect of this exhibit will be centered on a wetland aviary serving as a nesting and breeding center for the Diving Ducks - among the most beautiful ducks in the world with very distinctive plumage. They excel in diving up to a depth of 10 meters (30 feet). They are declining across most of their range and have nearly disappeared in Israel due to habitat destruction, pollution of water sources, and nest disturbance.
Another important objective of the exhibit is education and awareness – raising awareness of the serious existential threat posed to Israel’s wetland habitats. Aside from the observation factor, the tower in the exhibit is spacious enough to conduct explanatory classes and guided workshops. In addition, the exhibit utilizes a biological process for water purification - the “wetland method” – where water is filtered and cleaned as it flows through the vegetation, which eliminates the need to replace the water too often and also educates visitors regarding environmental sustainability.