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Saturday, July 02, 2011

Crazy Black Stork ringing tour Germany 2011

The map shows more than 51 Black Stork ringing places on my crazy 5500 km  tour across Germany between 02.06. till 12.07.2011. One place located in the Saarland (border to Luxembourg). There was the first breeding record for the BS. 
It was the last state where have been brooded no BS.
The first Black Stork breeding record in the Saarland 2011 (5 juv. ringing on 12.06.2011, about 6  weeks, nest in Quercus petraea, © C. ROHDE)
According to recent research breed in Germany nearly 600 BS pairs. The main population is located in Bavaria, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia (together about 300 pairs). The greatest population density in Germany is situated in "Franconian Forest". There brood up to 10.7 pairs/ 100 sq.km [CELLE-DINGEL & ROHDE in preparation].

Till 27.07.2011 I have been able to 187 young BS ringed on 52 nests (3,6 juv./ nest with breeding success). Here were seven broods of five chicks (4 x Hesse, 1 x Bavaria, 1 x Saarland, 1 x Brandenburg)! 
Just recently I have just the information of all ringers. There are 208 ringed BS together in Germany 2011 (58 nests). 18 BS in Saxony, incl. one brood with five chicks (D. & T. Hergott), 3 BS in Thuringia (C. Riesmeier) and I myself 187 BS.
Summary (update 28.07.2011):
Hesse: 66 BS, Brandenburg: 26 BS, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern: 22 BS, Bavaria: 19 BS, Saxony: 18 BS, Saxony-Anhalt: 14 BS, North Rhine-Westphalia: 14 BS, Thuringia: 9 BS, Rhineland-Palatinate: 8, Baden-Wurttemberg: 7 BS, Saarland: 5 BS.
In total I found 17 failed eggs in 15 nests (one with embryo):

One failed egg with embryo, nest together with 3 juv. in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, 23.06.2011.

3 failed eggs + 1 juv. from one spruce nest in Franconian Forest,   
18.06.2011 [67.05 x 49.63 mm, 62.50 x 47.86 mm, 66.86 x 48.53 mm]

In some cases the BS-ringing was not so easy. Here's a nest on a side 
branch of Beech (almost 4 meters from the trunk), 14.06.2011, Hesse - 

Only 100 meters away from the nest on this Spruce is a federal highway. For weeks there - great construction site noise. Nevertheless, a successful breeding with five nice chicks.... Holy moly..., 18.06.2011, Franconian Forest, Bavaria - © C. ROHDE.

Typical nesting situation in the Franconian Forest. Often, the nest trees at the forest edge. Note the typical greenish color of the tree trunk below the occupied nest. It helps very well in the search for nests, 18.06.2011 - © C. KELLE-DINGEL.

This year was indeed a very special BS year. Many rivers and streams demonstrated only a relatively flat water level. Optimal for my beloved Black Storks - they are perfect in their main food - FISH - come .. 
Black Storks usually feel for their prey. The parents were constantly filled with throat to the nest. The nutritional condition of the chicks was therefore ideal. Thus it was no surprise that the adult BS stayed much longer at the nest. I had a meeting of the third kind with adult BS at the nest. It was just incredible. And I've always dabbled in the position of the BS to move. As I stood at the 1.5-meter ringing right next to the adult BS - and the chicks had long since grown out of the critical security age - I was actually probably have long since a BS himself. In one case showed the adult BS almost a little more unstressed expression. He even showed a sort of embarrassment courtship display.... The BS have let me into their empire - I let him take it on as a sort of thanks for my many years of conservation effortsBlack Storks have simply something magical.... 

Note the age and the excellent condition of the juv. BS (38-44 days). It is no longer a critical guarded age more. I am very quietly climbed to the nest. No hasty actions. Again and again I have spoken with my Storks. 
At rest, then I have photographed the old BS with the chicks - the distance was 1,5 m !!, 16.06.2011 - Hesse - © C. ROHDE. 

Only when I am over 25 years have studied with the behavior of the BS, I dared the ringing. The right way when I go into the privacy ...
The "boys" were much more aggressive. The old BS of course shows a tense posture. But who has studied the behavior of these fascinating species very closely - see - there is no acute stress position. If the nest had been greater, then he would have been ringing my guest - I'm convinced.
Especially for large breeds come about age distances visible (hatching). Between the second and third juv. from the left, there were over 8-10 days! Five chicks after the ringing on 16.06.2011 - Hesse © C. ROHDE.

In the spring (April) was this nice nest in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania still occupied. But the female (left bird) in the 3rd Calendar year has left the place after just one week. Following the nest was deserted from mid-May. One such factors must also be observed in occupation - 21.04.2011 © C. ROHDE!
The beautiful male from the same pair and nest - 21.04.2011 © C. ROHDE.
In the Franconian Forest, Bavaria - ringing on 18.06.2011 - © A. KELLE
Note the worn primaries in the spring. A good feature to distinguish between individual adult birds in densely occupied areas! - Bavaria, Franconian Forest, 02.04.2011 © C. ROHDE.
The same male "sings a song", indicating that the nest area. The nest is located approximately 300 m away. What many do not know - Black Storks are very "happily call" - they have a broad repertoire © C. ROHDE.
Very important - I always ringed the chicks on top - the young Storks are selectively covered with a very light blanket and calmed. The action does not take longer than 10-15 minutes in the nest. I try not to give the birds so much stress. A ringing on the ground is completely unnecessary!, Franconian Forest in Bavaria, nest on Abies alba, 17.06.2011, © C. KELLE-DINGEL.
A special thank you for this ringing-season goes to my BS-friends (hopefully I did not forget anybody)

Hesse: J. Burkard, T. Gröbel, I. Hausch, M. Hormann, A. Rockel, H.-O. Thorn, S. Thorn, W. Schindler;
Rhineland-Palatinate: A. Kunz, P. Schiefenhövel, S. Schmidt-Fasel;
Saarland: C. Braunberger, B. Diener, N. Roth, N. Fritsch; 
Baden Württemberg: G. Heine, G. Maluck;
North Rhine Westphalia: M. Jöbges, H. König, L. Scholz;
Bavaria: C. Kelle-Dingel, A. Kelle;Thuringia: A. Goedecke, M. Göring, S. Jähne, C. Riesmeier, R. Sienhold, C. Unger; 
Saxony-Anhalt: G. Dornbusch;
Saxony: D. & T. Hergott;
Brandenburg: L. Balke, O. Büxler, M. Flade, J. Haferland, P. Schonert, H. Schröder, B. Schulze, A. Weingardt;
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: H. Eggers, A. Ritter, R. Rusnack, J. Schilling, E. Schreiber, D. Winkelmann.

Take care my Black Storks and I see you in Autumn in Israel 2011!  Carsten