Kenya: Nairobi Park Diary – Stork Romance
By Gareth Jones, 17 November 2012
As I approached the stream crossing area, a flash of colour caught my eye. Next to a small bush were two magnificent saddlebill storks. They were undoubtedly on ‘honeymoon’ and the male was flapping his wings and really trying to show off to this ‘lady’ , but the female in typical fashion showed very little interest and kept turning away.
The male became increasingly frustrated and increased his efforts. Eventually, after about 30 minutes, the female accepted him. I could not help but think that some human romantic efforts have similar traits, but hopefully a little more sophisticated and subtle.
To actually see a saddlebill in the wild is always a thrill as they are large, impressive and colourful. In many parts of Africa, these storks are very rare, so to actually have them breeding in the Nairobi National Park is wonderful.
I know of some people that visit the park for the prime purpose of going on a ‘birding safari’. There are estimated to be over 550 species to see at various times of the year. Many are permanent residents while other bird species are migrants.
It is good to stop at a rest site or just switch off the car engine and listen to the incredible variety of bird songs that God has created. It is very calming and helps relieve stress. In my experience, while bird watching, animals such as lion, buffalo and rhino do at times get in the way.