Friday, June 19, 2015

Storks

Serbia has storks. Every spring, they arrive from Africa. They return here to the nests they left behind last year to have their babies and enjoy summer vacation. They stay here until late fall then head back  to warmer Africa for the winter.

What I found most interesting is the fact that they always use the same nest and the nests are so well made and sturdy that they can be as old as 100 years old. I read somewhere that some nests have been documented to be several hundred years in age. These nests are perched just about everywhere you look: on top of electrical poles mostly but sometimes on roofs or chimneys or other tall structures.

There is a nest about a block from here that I can see from our back yard if I stand on my tip-toes. I remember this March when I heard the distinctive clucking-clattering sound the storks make and knowing then that spring had arrived with the storks.  I watched the stork fly back and forth over the house and around the skies of the neighborhood, gathering sticks and stuff to make repairs to the nest.
The male stork arrives at the nest first to make repairs then the female arrives shortly after. Around May, I begin to see little baby stork heads peeking over the top of the nest. There is only one this year that I can see. Last year I believe there were three. Both the male and female stork incubate the eggs and also take turns watching over the babies when hatched.

I see only one baby in this nest. The baby is actually getting quite big now. (photo:Rana Jones)
Storks are believed to bring good luck and fortune, especially if they build their nest on your home. It is a bad omen to kill a stork. I don't know why anyone would kill a stork anyway . They are carnivores and eat other small birds, frogs, snakes,fish, and small mammals.

I wrote a more detailed review of the stork in my article:

Interesting Facts About Serbia's White Storks

There is also a great documentary type video in my article that I found that is so interesting,beautiful, and educational.

I think the storks are cool. They like hanging out near people, they are respected as the "bringer of spring" and so many people are interested in protecting them and their nests as well as interest in the conservation of the ecosystem to ensure their survival here in Serbia.

The Bird Protection and Study Society of Serbia is one group that has projects in conservation efforts for the stork(and other birds). This year, they are conducting a census of breeding pairs of storks in Serbia. They conduct a census every ten years.

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