ZHOU Jinfeng: Why do Oriental Storks like to Land on the Transmission Towers
2023/7/31 16:01:00 本站

Oriental Stork (Ciconia boyciana) is a kind of large wading bird, which is included in the National Fist-class Protected Animals. They like to make their homes high up, and transmission towers are their favorite. Based on the characteristics of Oriental Storks nesting in transmission towers and through field investigation in Qiqihar and Daqing, as well as interviews with volunteers and staff of power grid, Dr. Zhou Jinfeng, the general secretary of China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF), summarized the key factors for Oriental Storks to build nests and put forward corresponding suggestions for improvement.

Why do Oriental Storks like to land on the transmission towers?

1. Some experts have found that Oriental Storks will land on the same tower for many years for they might have memories. However, they didn't come back to the artificial nests our volunteers built for them the next year. So Dr. Zhou does not think they are reusing the towers based on memory and the mechanism of return is not their memory storage and retention;

2. Some experts speculate that Oriental Storks like to nest in the transmission towers because they like 50 Hertz. However, Oriental Storks also nest in spare towers that do not transmit electricity, so this is not a factor in their site selection.

3. Some experts have discovered that Oriental Storks born on the tower nest in the tower the next year, speculating that they inherit the tower-nesting gene from their parents. The truth is their acquired "knowledge" is not usually inherited.

Through the recent field investigation in Qiqihar and Daqing, as well as visits and interviews with volunteers and power grid staff, Dr. Zhou summarized the key factors of Oriental white storks’ nesting:

1. Safety (to avoid roads, densely populated areas, etc.; As high and steady as possible). The transmission towers are often the tallest and most stable.

2. Easy access to food (there are large wetlands under or near the nest).

3. Wide field of vision (their positioning and finding are mainly based on vision).

As a result, Dr. Zhou suggests many improvements can be made:

1. Anti-bird thorns are invalid, don't install them again. They must be removed during power maintenance. Anti-bird thorns will not only increase the harm to birds, but have nothing to do with protection.

2. The building of transmission towers should bypass the wetlands as much as possible, and it can be along the roads.

3. The artificial nest improvement programs and comprehensive scientific programs can effectively reduce the failures caused by birds.

Original Chinese Article:


Translator: Sara

Checked by: Richard

Editor: Sara    

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