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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The “stork sejmiki” began. It is a symbol of the ending summer

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Storks already sense the end of summer. In the fields and meadows you can meet dozens of birds that feed and “plan” their trip to warm countries. Their expeditions begin in the last weeks of August and end in November when they reach their destination.

Walking through the meadows and fields you can come across dozens of white storks (Ciconia ciconia). As experts from the State Forests write, such gatherings are a clear sign that summer is ending. During the so-called “stork sejmiks”, the birds forage together and also “discuss” plans for a trip to warm countries.

Interestingly, during these unique meetings, storks also organize flying lessons. The youngest specimens have the opportunity to learn how to use the air currents generated by the heated earth in order to save energy as much as possible during a long flight.

The stork expeditions begin in the last weeks of August. Around November, they land in central and often southern Africa, where their journey ends.

Details of the expedition

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“Overcoming this route is a big challenge, but the itinerary is finalized. A strictly defined route with marked stopping places can only lead to even greater admiration for this species” – write the State Forests.

First, the storks go to Turkey and fly over the Bosphorus. There they meet individuals from other countries and form larger groups. Then they head to the Mediterranean Sea, the Jordan Valley, the Sinai Peninsula and the Nile.

Why do storks migrate?

Birds migrate each year for several reasons. The first is the lack of enough food in winter. Foresters say that storks can cope with low temperatures, however, the frosty ground in winter and snow cover make it impossible for them to get food.

The second aspect is the biological adaptation of birds. Hormones are produced in their bodies that signal the time of the commencement of “sejmiks” and gathering for departure.

The third reason is genes. Scientists suspect that in the past, storks were forced to migrate due to ice age on their breeding grounds. The shifting cold made them go on journeys, thanks to which they could survive the unfavorable environmental conditions. When it got warm and glaciation began to recede, the birds returned to their homelands.

Main photo source: MiƂosz Mucha, Piwniczna Forest District

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