Thursday, March 01, 2012

White Storks — a twist in the tale

Many thanks to Mike Coleman who pointed out that his photo of the White Stork at Arne was actually taken in March 2010 and not 2011 as I had suggested. That means the bird, if it was indeed the same bird as the Fife–E. Yorks–Lincs individual, would have been in the country for considerably longer than I suggested (I have, however, corrected my wrong doings in the original post; so if you're only just reading my previous post and none of what I'm saying now makes sense, that's why). However, Mike also sent me another photo of the bird at Arne that blows my evidence for a same-bird theory out of the water:
White Stork, Arne, April 2010 — © Mike Coleman

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"Assumptions are dangerous things to make, and like all dangerous things to make — bombs, for instance, or strawberry shortcake — if you make even the tiniest mistake you can find yourself in terrible trouble." — Lemony Snicket
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I have no idea who Lemony Snicket is but I kinda liked that quote. Especially since now I'm in terrible trouble for assuming the black tail feathers I could see on the Arne bird were in the same position as the ones I could see on the Lincs bird. They're not, clearly.

It throws up some interesting questions, though. Could it still be the same bird but the black has 'moved'? Is that even possible? Are black tail feathers on (wild) White Storks actually a reasonably regular occurrence? Or is there an abnormally high number of White Storks (umm, two. Or maybe one) seen in the UK with black tail feathers? And if so, what does that mean? Is there a higher rate of this sort of thing in captive birds?

A quick Google search found this:
White Stork, Portugal — © Stephen Burch

...suggesting that birds with black tail feathers do occur, with thus far unknown frequency, in wild birds. Something to check out next time I'm in southern Europe, I guess.

Any further information or photos of black-tailed White Stork photos gratefully received.

1 comment:

Nagy Károly said...

Young White Stork from Hungary, with a black tail feather: http://youtu.be/_7IStUfGR14