Storks and the Moon

Remember March and Love is in the Air? I wanted to photograph our local storks in front of the moon back then – it took way longer than ‘the next full moon’, but I finally visited them again this week. This time, I initially planned to shoot the sunrise but didn’t know where to go, so I payed the storks another visit. And fortunately I did not only get the sunrise, but also the moon behind their nest.

Getting usable pictures turned out difficult: At first, the moon was too high and at that angle it was impossible to have the storks in front. With the setting moon the angle got better, but the rising sun caused the moon to fade in turn. There was only a brief time window where it actually kind of worked.

Besides the anyways marvelous morning, it was also lovely to observe the three youngsters and their parents. Storks have a wingspan of 2 meters, weigh 3.5 kilogram, and can reach the age of 35 years. They always come back to the same nesting place during their lifetime. They also migrate over 10,000 kilometers (twice) every year. Because they exploit thermal winds, they avoid the Mediterranean Sea and either migrate on the East through Turkey, or the West through Spain. While they were quite endangered around the end of the last millennium with only 3000 breeding pairs, they slowly recover and the current estimate is around 7000 breeding pairs. The stork was also selected as bird of the year in my birth year.

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