It is an Israeli thing to leave your windows open (at least a bit) in the winter. People prefer to bundle up with an extra sweater in the fresh air rather than breathe the same old dank stuff circulating through the house. I suspect that this custom is a hang-over from the days of neft (kerosene) heaters. (We used kerosene until about 5 years ago, at which point I made it clear to my spouse that I was not going to suffer another winter of fume-induced headaches.) With kerosene heaters, it is imperative to ventilate the room, even if the wick is clean and clear, and all the more so if it is not!
The interesting thing is this: If the window or porch door is open a bit, not only does the air come in. So do the birds. And the downside is that once inside, they go from room to room, looking for some crumbs, and then they can’t find the way out to escape if you enter their “maze”.
We have a big plain glass window in the living room, usually closed in the winter. Whenever I cross the living-room‘s threshold, and a bird is there (having entered from a different room’s window), havoc reigns.
The bird, petrified by my arrival, makes a bee-line for the nearest “exit” (or so he thinks). He crashes into the closed window pane, and usually drops to the floor. As I near him (I have to go past the bird to open the window for him), he will often try again, seemingly unaware that this tactic doesn’t work. [The (don’t-you-dare-say-it) phrase “bird-brain” doesn’t come from nowhere. They really don’t seem to have much cerebral matter….] This tactic failing for a second time, they will take a wild swoop towards the room’s door, often making their flight path inches from my swiftly-ducking head. (And afterwards, if I go to the back of the house , I may still encounter them looking vainly for an exit.)
I have nothing else to add here- just wanted to give you a glimpse of live in Israel….