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THE YEAR OF THE DOVE!

Champions Of The Flyway May ’21 – May ’22

Be a Flyway Champion this year and help to save the iconic but perilously threatened European Turtle Dove… DONATE HERE!

Champions of the Flyway is now a well known fund- and awareness-raising event in global birding and conservation circles. Since our humble beginnings back in 2014, we’ve raised over $500,000 for projects tackling the illegal killing of birds migrating along the flyways. Over these past seven years we’ve shone the spotlight on the many challenging issues birds face, helping nine different Birdlife International partners in their ongoing struggle against the slaughter of migrants on the ground.

This year, we’re aiming even higher – as of now, it’s The Year Of The Dove! The Champions Of The Flyway family is coming together for a bumper 12-month campaign, during which we’re dedicating all efforts to saving one of the most iconic and threatened species on the flyway – the European Turtle Dove….

More details to follow here soon, but we’re focusing on three main, simultaneous elements:

Spotlighting the plight of the Turtle Dove across its range via a global publicity campaign

Pressurising and lobbying decision-makers to change & reinforce legal protection on the flyway and beyond

Raising vital funds for our partners across the East Mediterranean flyway – in Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, and Malta – to combat the slaughter of Turtle Doves via innovative, on-the-ground initiatives and projects

The campaign launch will coincide with Turtle Doves returning to their breeding grounds this spring, and will follow their nesting season and autumn migration later in the year – when COTF Race #1 will kickstart the second and most vital part of the campaign. This first race, aimed mainly (but not exclusively) at Israeli teams, will take place in the north of Israel on 30th Sept 2021.
Then, it’s all systems go, as we build up through the winter towards the finish line – Race #2, aimed at international family, on 5th April 2022! There will be a ‘traditional’ race in Eilat, but importantly also a global race, for teams and individuals, wherever they want to race across the globe….
More to follow soon – but be sure to join us on Facebook here, and Twitter here!
Turtle Dove photos by Richard Bennett and Nathaniel Jordan Dargue – North Yorkshire Turtle Dove Project

A bird race with a difference:

  1. We celebrate the miracle of migration and the joy of sharing outstanding birding experiences
  2. We operate on a global scale.  Millions of birders from every corner of the world participate – whether bird-racing, fund-raising, spreading the word  following events live online.
  3. Teams generate funding that results in direct conservation action for birds on the Mediterranean flyway and beyond

As race teams post their adventures in real time, anyone, anywhere in the world can follow the race live on Twitter, Facebook or on this website, participating virtually and cheering their favourite team on to victory…

In concert with The Eilat Bird Festival

לוגו-פסטיבלאילת-נקיוגדול_1430237748The Champions of the Flyway bird race is staged as part of the Eilat Bird Festival by The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (BirdLife’s national Partner in Israel) and is a BirdLife International Migratory Birds & Flyways Programme initiative.

Everyone can be a Flyway Champion! Here’s how:

Enter a team

Champions teams come from many different backgrounds, countries and cultures and the race is open to all who register. The whole event, including the white-knuckle adventure of the race itself, is incredibly inspiring and great fun – and you’ll be raising money to save the very birds you travel to see! If you’d like to join us in Eilat this spring, don’t delay – now is the time! Places are limited so you need to register now.….

Sponsor a team

Many of our race teams enjoy the support of commercial sponsors. Some participants are young birders with limited resources, others are would-be fundraisers from small, cash-strapped non-profit organisations. All could really use your support as a team sponsor! If you are interested in providing them a leg up please contact us here. 

Make a donation

Every team that participates raises conservation funding from their friends and contacts. Here are the team pages where you can see who is racing, who you might like to support and how to make a donation to their fundraising page. All teams are in competition to see who will raise the most to stop the illegal killing of birds.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook   #YearOfTheDove #COTF22

Together we make a real difference for the birds of the Mediterranean flyways and beyond – join the Champions family and help us turn the tide!

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