Storchennest features a live video of the stork version of bringing up baby.
Last spring it was HawkCam at MIT, when we quoted Henry Thoreau:
The most alive is the wildest. Not yet subdued to man, its presence refreshes him.
This year it's more of the same, this time live video from The Stork Center at Vetschau, Germany. Spend a few hours with this awesome avian couple's comings and goings on your desktop -- complete with ambient sound -- and you're hooked. At least we were. Their devotion to each other and to their parental duties is inspiring. There's a constant twittering of sparrows in the nearby wind-rustling evergreens, punctuated with street sounds of motorcycles, crowing roosters and barking dogs. Today a small flock of some sort of tiny bird stopped by the outer reaches of the gigantic nest with great fanfare. We used to worry that the folks today are out of touch with nature "out there," but we were wrong. Nest cams bring the intimate lives of our fellow creatures to our desktop, where we can bond with them in a way never before possible.
With five eggs due to hatch any day now, the mother- and father-to-be leave the nest unattended for hours at a time in the middle part of the day. Presumably there are no major predators to worry about, and the warmth of the sun stands in for parental brooding. Sometimes when both are brooding, one will stand up and extend a wing as if to draw in cooling air. We don't really know, but they appear to be closely attuned to the temperature of their prospective progeny. Just before sundown, both birds return and start brooding. As each returns to the nest, there's a riveting ritual dance. The bird twists its long neck way back as if to draw a breath and then pulls its head forward and bends down with a great chattering of the bill.
He loves, and she loves, and they love, so darling . . .
Ann Althouse tuned in and caught a special moment yesterday:
I waited for it to load and then the first thing the stork did was back up to the edge of the nest and poop. Very cleanly, Mr. Stork!
Love the audio. It's so sharp and dimensional, I had to turn off the sound more than once to check to see if I wasn't hearing birds just outside my window.
Everyone's talking about the blogosphere's ability to give voice to the average citizen. The average citizen is the least of it.
"The white stork InfoCenter in the 'Niederlausitz' is situated in Eastern Germany approx. 100 kilometer in the south of Berlin in the Spreewald," says Storchennest.de.
Note the camera, right middle distance in the above photo, focussed on the nest, built not upon the usual rooftop but instead upon a man-made armature atop a tall post in the foreground. If you build the armature, the storks will come.