Black storks Jaak and Tooni

Two Estonian black storks were provided with satellite transmitters at the beginning of July in 2005. In the course of the whole project (Flying Over Nature 2000) 20 black storks from different countries in Europe were provided with transmitters. Their movements were monitored within almost one year and most of the information gathered is available on the project webpage. The aim of the project was to introduce the areas of Natura 2000 through the “postcards” sent by black storks. During fall migration video clips of Natura areas that the project’s black storks crossed or where they stayed were shown in many European countries, including Estonia. The project found very lively feedback both in the media in Estonia as well as in the rest of Europe. Many remember the video clips, also the sex change of Jaak and other aspects. The information received from Tooni’s feeding sites was important to the Eagle Club. To be more specific, we cleaned Tooni’s nesting territory of brushwood in about 2 kilometres of ditches and brooks which were used by him as feeding sites. Thus, we got confirmation to the opinion that brushwood in ditches and brooks is a factor that limits feeding and may be one of the reasons why black storks are not too successful in nesting.
Jaak and Tooni both wintered in Ethiopia, around the area of Lake Tana, the biggest lake there. While Tooni used the regular route flying from the west of the Black Sea, Jaak had a surprise for us – he flew across the Caucasus towards Africa. Both returned across Bosphorus. Their routes are easily observable on the Internet on the webpage of our Czech colleagues where you can enlarge and minimise the satellite pictures used as the basis.
In addition to satellite transmitters Jaak and Tooni were equipped with radio transmitters. With its signal we were also able to collect information about them after the batteries of the satellite transmitters emptied. Since Jaak failed to nest in 2006 – in fights with others of his species three eggs fell from the nest – we have not been able to detect his signal since mid-May. As far as Tooni is concerned, we received quite interesting information about her in 2006. She began nesting in the same nest used in earlier years but at the end of April decided to move 8 kilometres away and nested successfully there. Since mid July Tooni has often visited the Härjanurme fish farm where she could catch suitable trout. She started fall migration on 22 August in 2005 and on 25 August on 2006.