Monday, May 21, 2007

Stork Cam Log May 21

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May 21 00:10 a.m. (Ray) Midnight. Pa is standing preening himself a bit and then all of a sudden goes over and starts picking at Ma. Preening and picking a few bugs, I would guess. All of a sudden Ma stands up, looks down at the four eggs (still) stirs them a bit, then plunks right down on them again.

http://www.storchennest.de/en/index_779.html This is a brief log of storks at a site in Germany south of Berlin in 2006. Not for the sensitive or those who tend to fall in love with “baby animals.”

4:06 a.m. (Ray) Pa’s still standing up and preening. Dawn coming.

4:30 a.m. (Ray) Pa messed around preening for a while and then, almost stepping on Ma in the process, turned around and then took off, without so much as a chattering “C U L8R”, took off in a southeasterly direction. First time I have seen that route taken. Ma looked up, and then snuggled back down.

Interesting Facts

Why don't storks fly over the sea?

It is generally known that on their way to wintering sites storks fly over Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Why don’t they take a shortcut and fly over the Mediterranean, straight to the Nile? Even small birds, like flycatchers and garden warblers, do not fly round the sea, but cover great distances flying over water for several hours.

Stork’s wings are built in a way, which allows them to take advantage of the streams of upward moving air. They are long and, compared to other birds, very wide – similar to these of vultures, condors, pelicans and the closest relatives of storks. Large wings of a stork “catch” the up going streams of air. Storks travel like gliders, taking advantage of the air movement. However, the resistance caused by such large wings makes it impossible to flap them (Try to flap a glide!) Gliding with wings spread wide means "flying for free", while every flap of a wing costs a lot of energy.

Before noon, especially on sunny days, the surface of the earth warms up. Warm earth causes the air to warm up and warm air moves upwards. If a stork finds such a stream of hot air, it can travel for hours without a single flap of wings.

It is easy to find warm air over the desert territories of Asia Minor and the Middle East. So, even if the journey is longer, it is energy saving. Meanwhile, there are mainly horizontal winds over the seas, so storks traveling over water would be forced to flap their wings a lot. They are not adjusted too such a way of flying. This is why storks fly over the land – it takes longer but is energy-saving and save.

10:17 a.m. (Ray) Really tight color shot of ? nesting. Good indication that something has happened. Nope! I had no sooner typed that than ? stood up, showing four eggs. A bit of shuffling the eggs around and back in “the position.”

1:25 p.m. (Ray) Still four eggs. With the tight camera shot I can’t tell who’s who today, but there was just a beautiful switch of duties. The greeting chatter alerts me when somebody returns. I quickly activated the picture. All I could see was the four eggs and two sets of stork legs. After a few seconds, one stepped away from the eggs and the other stepped up to them. It couldn’t have taken more than fifteen seconds.

3:45 p.m. (Ray) There’s a dark mark on one of the eggs. Could it be the start of a hole? I think it’s Ma, and she’s been up and down all morning. Off to my volunteer gig.

4:00 p.m. (Jack) They moved the camera or Zoomed [probably] in!
Most exciting considering the anticipation. Aside; I think it must be hot laying in the sun like that, stork's mouth is cracked open all the time.

10:30 p.m. (Jack) Both our Polish feathered friends are now in the nest, it's dark there and I can't tell which is which anyway. Doubt any babies born yet ??

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