http://www.ilmajaam.ee/?id=237057 Kured ja kotkad on juba koduteel
( homeward-bound storks and eagles )15.03.2010 12:21Madis Filippov, reporter
Although Estonia is still covered with a thick blanket of snow, but transmitter-equipped storks and eagles, who wintered in the south, have started to fly back, towards Estonia.
Member of the Eagle Club, Urmas Sellias told, that this year birds have flown further towards south, than usual. "This could be because drought in southern Sahara has started earlier than in the earlier years." he guessed.
First to set homeward was Osprey Erika on March 2nd, who has been in the fish bonds near the Suess canal since March 10th.
More than a week ago, black stork Valdur started his journey from Ethiopia, who stayed in the fish bonds in Israel and has now arrived in Syria.
Also homeward bound are greater spotted eagle Nimetu (no name) who has flown back already 350km. Other birds are standing still. Most furthest, wintering in southern Kenya is black stork Raivo, who hasn't started his way back yet. " Usually he has started to come back in February" said Sellis.
Two young black storks, who flew south in the autum, Raivo's sons, died on their flyway. " They were probably killed near the border of Turkey and Greece in the beginning of November" said
Sellis. " Since we lost the signal, we don't know where they are and we haven't got a reason to go search."
It isn't possible to set a certain time, when the birds arrive in Estonia. "It depends on what weather welcomes them here. If they are met with snow, they'll wait" said Sellis. He added, that few arrivals have been seen in the end of March or in the beginning of APRIL but most will arrive after the snow has melted.
The way birds know, when exactly to start their way towards home, is probably related to the lenght of the day, Sellis said. " They know somehow when to start moving. Biological clock is working"
White-tailed eagles don't migrate to south and at least two white-tailed eagles' nest-life can been seen already since last week on the website:http://www.looduskalender.ee
. "Right now they are building their nest " said Sellis " Actually they started with that already last autumn but then it got covered with snow"
Blanket of snow has melted off, but thick ice is still in the middle of the nest. " They have tried to get it off with beaks and claws but couldn't. One other reason for delayed nest work is lack of suitable lining for the nest-bowl, dry dead grass and moss.
When to expect fruits of their cohabitation, is not known, but last year, the first egg was laid on March 12th.
Since this article is mostly about black storks, i posted it here...