Black Stork Nest in Karula - 2017

Cameras Watching over Black Storks nest
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Black Stork Nest in Karula - 2017

Post by Jo UK » March 22nd, 2017, 8:00 am

This Black Stork nest is located in Karula National Park which is probably the best breeding area for Black Stork in Estonia nowadays. It was found in February 2016 by Eagle Club nest searching camp.
Installing camera on the nest:

http://www.talgud.ee/lugu/must-toonekure

Karula National Park:
http://www.keskkonnaamet.ee/karula-eng/national-park/



Introduction by Looduskalender

http://www.looduskalender.ee/n/en/node/1193

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Post by juta » March 22nd, 2017, 8:01 am

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Post by juta » March 22nd, 2017, 8:02 am

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Post by juta » March 22nd, 2017, 8:03 am

Season 2017


Weather Report Near the Nest
http://ilmajaam.postimees.ee/estonia/va ... ahvuspark/

Article about bird infanticide, by Tuul Sepp.
In Estonian - https://zooloogiablogi.ee/blogi/miks-li ... i-tapavad/

English translation by Trine. -

Here is the translation. Please notice that I am not a philologist nor a biologist, which means that grammatical and some terminological errors are probable. Also, the original was a blog post, which means that the text was a bit unpolished even in Estonian.

Tuul Sepp
Why do birds kill their chicks?

This year, as well as in previous years, the black stork webcam watchers have been witnessing events that appear to be incomprehensible and dreadful. One of the recently hatched fluffy-balls has been tossed to the nest rim and doomed to death, or even eaten up by its parents.

Infanticide as a means of regulating the brood size is not universal, but still quite common phenomenon among birds, particularly the species that are relatively big in size. The reason lies almost always in the limited resources, i.e. the parents do not have enough energy, time and food to nurture and feed all of their chicks.

Does this mean that the bird should have laid a smaller number of eggs? This would have been a very big mistake: what if some of the eggs would not have hatched? It is wise of a bird to lay more eggs, just in case. The reserve egg serves as an insurance in cases when something misfortunate happens during incubation, or when the foetus dies inside the egg. For instance, spotted eagles mainly lay two eggs, but frequently enough the second egg is rotten. Despite this, there will be at least one chick and the breeding season is not wasted.

More eggs means that the bird can adjust the size of the brood at a later date, if necessary. The optimal number of offspring may vary between the breeding seasons, and when it becomes clear that this time all nestlings cannot be fed, their number can be reduced accordingly. If all of the eggs produce a chick and the resources turn out to be plentiful, then there is a chance to raise all nestlings.

Asynchronous hatching, observed in many species, provides an opportunity to adjust the number of nestlings. This means that one of the chicks hatches, begins to beg for food and grow well before its siblings. Other chicks hatch later, one by one. Compared to its siblings, the last hatchling is weak and feeble; it is not that capable of begging for food, and it gets parental care only if the food resources are particularly plentiful. If they are not, the chick dies, mostly of starvation, sometimes with the “help” of its siblings (in some bird species, for instance blue-footed booby, siblicide is practised in all broods). In this way the number of chicks can be adjusted to the prevailing conditions.

“Brood reduction” like this is regularly practised by for instance raptors and seagulls. The common gull always has a clutch of three eggs, but the last egg is smaller and lighter than other eggs. This egg very rarely produces a viable offspring. On the other hand, to have a third egg as a reserve is a reasonable strategy.

A famous English demographer Robert Malthus once wrote: “Through the animal and vegetable kingdoms, Nature has scattered the seeds of life abroad with the most profuse and liberal hand; but has been comparatively sparing in the room and the nourishment necessary to rear them.” There is an enormous difference between the amount of resources that parents are able to invest in their offspring, and the amount of resources that the offspring require.

Ecologists call this parental optimism. There are two hypotheses to explain the parental optimism, i.e. the overproduction of offspring. The first is bet-hedging: do not put all your eggs in one casket or, in other words, do not invest in only a single offspring. The second explanation is a possibility to select the best individuals from the overproduced offspring. Among mammals, for instance, selective abortion of weak foetuses occurs. Both hypotheses can act at a time and lead to overproduction of zygotes in all spheres of living nature.

It is obvious that the siblings alone cannot be made responsible for coping with the consequences of the optimistic overproduction of their parents. Unlike newborn hyena cubs, most animals are not able to cut the throats of their siblings. Therefore, sometimes the parents themselves must make corrections to the number of their too optimistically produced offspring.

Infanticide, killing of offspring by adult individuals of the same species, is a widespread phenomenon in animal kingdom. No doubt, it occurs also among humans. Peter Freuchen, a Danish journalist and traveller who spent years among Greenlandic Inuit in the early 20th century, describes an exemplary case in his memoirs: “A mother had four children to feed, but no help was anticipated. Everyone knew her story – how she hanged three of her children to save them from starving to death. She was often referred to as a beautiful exemplary model of maternal love.”

So let´s be not too hard on the black stork mother who jostled her fourth chick away from the nest bowl. It could have been a decision of vital importance, to grant the survival of the remaining three fluffy-balls.
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Post by juta » March 22nd, 2017, 8:08 am

Important from ornitoligists

Urmas sent me a photograph of Ain Nurmla, seen at the Black Stork nest, during camera installation.

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Post by juta » March 24th, 2017, 8:21 am

Happy new season!
Karl is coming!

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Post by Jo UK » March 24th, 2017, 2:24 pm

Summary of Main Events on the Black Stork nest 2017

Watching the Migration map.
http://birdmap.5dvision.ee/index.php?lang=en

Last year both Karl and Kati arrived at the nest on April 5th.

KARL arrived at the nest on April 4 at 10.37.
KATI arrived at the nest on April 9 at 14 38


First egg on April 17.
Second egg April 19
Third egg April 21
Fourth egg April 23

First chick hatched during the night of 19/20 May.
Second chick hatched late evening 20 May
Third chick hatched late evening of 21 May
Fourth chick hatched early morning of 23 May

29 May. Adult female Kati attempting to remove the fourth chick from the nest. See video by Liz01 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6CJPnCyh0Y
There were another three days of Kati's behaviour in lifting the chick by its head, but not killing it. It remained in the nest, receiving food and shelter..
On June 1st Kati and Karl between them killed the youngest chick. It seemed to be deceased at about 20.20 or 20.30

June 4 First time home alone 14.23 - 15.00

Here is an excellent description of how a chick emerges from the shell. Recommended reading! Thanks to Anne7.

http://www.audubon.org/news/the-art-hat ... -explained


Urmas put rings on the storklets on June 28, 2017.

Ring numbers
Plastic 709U. Metal ring A16354
Wing 350 mm, beak 100 mm
Weight 2.33Kg

Plastic 715T metal 16355
Wing 340. Beak 95
Weight 2.1Kg

Plastic 715U Metal 16356
Wing 315 Beak 93
Weight 2.0Kg

Feathers for DNA analysis were taken from all storklets.
Nest measurements
From the camera to the centre of the nest 1.3 m - 1.4 m. from camera to the front edge 70 cm. the diameter of the nest is about 1.7 m.

Names After voting by members, the following names have been chosen.

709U - Uno
715T - Tali
715U - Usin

Fledge dates
Uno
Maiden flight on July 27 at the age of 69 days
He/she disappeared for 4 days and returned at the nest on July 30

Tali
Maiden flight on July 31 at the age of 72 days
He/she fell out of the nest but managed to return the same day

Usin
Maiden flight on August 5 at the age of 76 days


Final departures from the nestt
Uno left August 12
Kati left August 13
Tali left August 17
Usin left August 17
Karl left August 17

And so they leave us for another year. We don't know what will happen to them : we hope that they all survive their migration and we know that some do not survive. So that more information can be gathered in order to help this endangered species, we have started a fund-raising campaign. Funds from this campaign will be used to purchase transmitters, to be fitted to next year's juveniles. That will give us better information on when and where they face dangers, and maybe suggest ways to avoid those dangers. If you feel you would like to help -
please donate as much or as little as you wish, at

https://www.leetchi.com/c/nonprofit-eag ... kotkaklubi


Grateful thanks to all who have supported these beautiful birds.

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Post by bonehead » March 24th, 2017, 3:48 pm

The WebCam is already working! :D http://pontu.eenet.ee/player/must-toonekurg.html

Is it only some kind of visual illusion but how on earth can a Black Stork lay some eggs on that nest? :shock:. They will likely fall down to ground? Was the nest in that state last year?

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Post by Jo UK » March 24th, 2017, 4:07 pm

Hi, bonehead. The sloping nest does look to be at a worrying angle, but it was the same last year.
See Lucy's post on 6th. August 2016
viewtopic.php?p=493066#p493066

Maybe it is only one side of the nest that appears to be higher. I think that Karl seems to be standing on a flat area. What do you think?

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Post by bonehead » March 24th, 2017, 4:49 pm

Thanks Jo,
let´s hope you´re right. To me it seems however that the nest this year is in worse state?

But we´ll hope that Karl is a real Builder and he can fix this angle.

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Post by Jo UK » March 24th, 2017, 6:22 pm

As Urmas has visited the nest recently, I have asked him for his opinion about it.

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Post by Mutikluti » March 24th, 2017, 6:34 pm

Good afternoon! :wave:
I'm so glad to see this nest again... :loveshower:
Kati and Karl...We are waiting for you to return!
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Post by asteria » March 24th, 2017, 9:33 pm

The trunk of the tree is cracked! :shock:

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Post by Liz01 » March 25th, 2017, 11:30 am

Thank you for opening this topic :2thumbsup: :loveshower:

Karl is on his way: He will come soon. I hope for a successful breeding season. :bow:

I'm sure, Karl will be able to make this nest safe for Kati and the little Storklets :thumbs:

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Post by Urmas » March 25th, 2017, 9:21 pm

This nest is quite difficult to fix anyhow, there is no such support for fixing sticks or something like that. We can't be sure if that nest survives this year, but it is probable. Let's look what happens in natural nest, like it is. We can install artificial nest nearby, but not sure if that is the best idea to realize. There is quite many big trees in that area and probably Karl and Kati can find new place for nest if needed. That is always risky to help something in natural conditions, all species survived up today, they should have ability to manage with that kind of problems. It may be not good idea to work against that ability or adaptation, mean not to weaken that somehow... Think it is a case of empirical feeling, what we decide being on place. But we can't decide according the fact there is the camera and thousands are looking.

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Post by Summi » March 25th, 2017, 11:05 pm

Thank you, Urmas, for your opinion.
So we'll have to hope that all goes well and Karl is skilful at fortifying the nest. :rolleyes:

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Post by juta » March 26th, 2017, 7:56 am

26. March

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Post by asteria » March 26th, 2017, 9:49 am

The main problem is the nest tree, not the nest itself. The tree is dead and may fall during the nearest storm.

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Post by juta » March 26th, 2017, 7:22 pm

It seems that Karl has turned back a bit

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Post by Michi » March 26th, 2017, 11:00 pm

Hello all, :wave:
it's wonderful that there is again an Estonian Black Stork topic! Thank you to all who made it possible! :2thumbsup:
I wish to all that we will see good and happy events here. Indeed the very sloping nest and the old tree look not promising. Hardly to imagine that the storks can build a halfway horizontally ground level. Maybe it is better, they choose another breeding place. :rolleyes:

Nevertheless I look forward to see Karl and Kati soon in their homeland. It is so great that we can follow Karl on his way directly to the nesting place. This we had never before, didn't we?
juta wrote:It seems that Karl has turned back a bit
Juta, I see Karl at the same position like your screenshot shows - over the marmara sea –, but without the double line. Double lines appear sometimes, when one pulls the button on the time line (scale) backwards and forwards, maybe several times. According to my experience the software has little problems with doing this, - but not always :-).

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