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       Some regions of the world are more blessed than others to have soaring celebrity as a part of the natural habitat.
       How?
       Read this!
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      It is not uncommon to see a stork if you are in the right part of the world and during the proper season.
     On September afternoon, a few years ago, I was trying catch some thermals with my 20 year old RES. There were no clouds in the sky and practically no wind. Getting off the high start, quick run toward the neighboring roof tops tilted to the western sun and hung on the bubbles, and slope effect from the line of the single family houses . The same pattern being repeated over and over again for few minutes long flights.
   
      On the following flight a curious stork couple got off the grassy wetland and approached my bubbly heaven way below the glider. As soon they got into the rising air, their wings got stiff with a tighter and wider circling involved getting best air possible. In 5-6 spirals they reached the glider's height. The 3M glider looked tiny and hardly visible compared to contrasting (black and white) similar size stork wings. They flew much faster than the model with occasional stall turns to gain  big  chunks of altitude. Their circling was very tight, but with much less of the bank than the model had to. They used some kind of spoiler effect instead of aileron rolling control for less than proper bank. It looked like they spun around the inner wing tip, anchored by some invisible short line. The model violently kept  rising  with storks for about  20-30 seconds. It definitely had a lower wing loading than the birds had, but lacked precision in picking up the best turning spots to compete. In few minutes the RES was far enough downwind to go back home, knowing what kind of sink is coming after the strong lift.
 
     The storks shifted the circling to another area and widened the space greatly. They were flying away, drifted by the wind and staying almost at the same angle toward the horizon, but you can easily say they flew higher and higher. After about 20 minutes they were approximately above highest point  on the horizon the Wawel castle complex  in Krakow, about 2.4 km  from the place where everything began. 
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Vavel - 750 year old historical castle hill complex in Cracow in western sun
     Storks made some separate speed runs to the left and  right of this hill using some dynamics to gain additional altitude, and joined together to return back home. I knew their habits , but at this time I had a chance to check their results. They started to dive and after a few seconds the two small scratches become still (meaning they lined up with your observation line) keeping a 2-3 degree shallow high speed run toward home. This condition persisted for another 30 seconds or so. Then suddenly, they become bigger and slightly changed their heading toward the river bed. The initially small angle of side view  was slowly unfolding real speed of these creatures. In 1minute and 5 seconds they lined up with the observation point. They flew 135km/h (85mi/h) in relaxing speed run back to the nest. The storks flew another half a mile above the water to bleed the speed off and got lost behind the bushes at the shore.
     30 minute episode without single flap of the wings. Isn't it Amazing?
     Do you need better lesson what soaring is all about?
 
Here is another story...
      Everybody knows the early morning drives to work. You can barely understand what they're saying on your car radio. You drive more by your instincts than what you see. There is little out there that can wake you up except that drugging feet driver ahead of you. My usual NYC 1010 WINS AM station talks to me from the moment I turn the key on just because it repeats the same news over and over again every 10 minute. Then I heard new commercial where the good old stork brings the babies to Baby Boomers which is good for economy because they are future home owners and home ownership is a driving force for the US economy. Then the stork makes some squeaky noise and commercial was cut. Hmmm...no clue. Ten minutes later same short motto and noisy stork. No meaning. Probably I was still half asleep. When I heard that clip for the third time I knew that squeaky sound was the sound of chased wild geese running for life, but I had to listen carefully to the text, trying to determine what the stork has to do with the running for life goose. I have never found out. The only explanation was that the creators of this commercial never heard the sound a stork is able to make. The only sound the stork makes is clattering their beak while they are back into the nest to feed their little ones. Everybody clatters in happiness when seeing each other. Mr. & Mrs. Stork are clattering and 3-5 of their children are clattering too. The session could last for a while and brake out again a couple of times while everyone trying to comfort each other before whole Stork family settles down for the night. It is very spectacular and heart warming site to watch.
     I have heard that commercial for one more day and then probably it was pulled out. Whatever the reason was it definitely missed the point and inspired me to create this page.
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Facts about the White Stork:
1. The stork never makes a sound while in the air
2. Storks fly great distances on a everyday basis and are able to fly up to 20 000 km in one direction during migration season using thermals as main source of energy.
3 Storks always come back to the same location for mating and nesting.
4. Storks stay close to the human settlements and build their nests on nearby trees, rooftops and poles.
5. Stork navigation skills are beyond any speculation
6. There is no sign of aggression in their behavior. If we try to get their attention, usually they exhibit curiosity with the wave of the beak clapping, telling you "I am watching you" while they are in the nest or simply fly away to another peaceful location of its own territory.
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check "White Stork" on Google

If you have any comments regarding this page please contact me. ZM

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Hosted by Zbigniew Michalczyk