CLEANREWOERD – It kept falling from the sky in the early spring of this year. Result: the “broods” of storks failed en masse. But not everywhere. At Schoonrewoerd this week – as is tradition – young storks were ringed. “Is her mother number 158?” She has already been to Morocco. Alright, man. “
Arie Versluis stretches with extreme precision. In a few seconds, he takes the little storks out of their nest from the container of the firefighters’ lifting basket. Z in the big shopping bag. “Mothers don’t like it of course, but let’s say it’s for a good cause. We’ll bring them back neatly later.
It was possible again: the annual ring festival in Schoonrewoerd. Sure, they’re working there all over the Netherlands these weeks, but there aren’t many places they like storks more than in this little village of Vijfheerenlanden. At least that’s what Arie of Nature and Bird Watch thinks. “Yes, we don’t have a webcam on it 24/7 for nothing, do we? We have to keep a close eye on these majestic beasts.”
And so he brings them – in the shopping bag and all – down there. Engbert van Oort is already waiting for him. He is a recognized “ringer” of STORK (Stichting Ooievaars Research in Knowhow). For those who don’t know everything about storks, a crash course on rings: “Look, that’s how you put a ring on your leg. Not too heavy, as they will travel at least 6,000 kilometers to Africa. quite simple: it really is a treasure for science. We give them an identity. This way, we keep an eye on where they are going, how many cubs they have, how old they are getting old and where they will eventually settle.
In the last century, it was almost declared extinct, this majestic white-black bird with a red beak. The sixties were the low point for the stork. STORK says the pastures have been “virtually killed” by the use of heavy pesticides. Thus, birds like the stork no longer had a pleasant place to eat small insects.
It’s very different now, sixty years later. The stork is doing well again. So good, in fact, that some animal lovers wonder if storks don’t take too many prairie birds in their mouths. Although, according to Van Oort, this is a sandwich story. “He’s not a hunter at all. They prefer to eat a good worm, so there’s really nothing to worry about.”
Meanwhile, Vianen stork fan Petra is sitting in the front row with her mother at this stork’s nest. Armed with a large camera and binoculars, of course. “What beautiful animals they are,” she beams. “We come here more often, you know. Let’s take a look at the little ones, we say. I recently took a picture of them all glued up with their heads above the nest. lucky photo. We think that’s cool. ”