GET INVOLVED

OVER 40 VOLUNTEERS TOOK PART
IN CLEANING WHITE STORKS

First attempt on cleaning the Storks. Photo: A. Khachatryan

The White Storks, which became flightless being covered by oil spill have been collected, washed, and successfully released by the volunteers.

The White Storks, which became flightless being covered by oil spill have been collected, washed, and successfully released by the volunteers.

White Storks are symbols of prosperity and wealthiness in Armenia. So it was sad to see this nice white birds dirty and flightless. Entire county was worried with the fortune of these birds. Together with 40 volunteers we have organized five cleaning sessions and got 22 storks cleaned, and released back to the wild.

White Storks are symbols of prosperity and wealthiness in Armenia. So it was sad to see this nice white birds dirty and flightless. Entire county was worried with the fortune of these birds. Together with 40 volunteers we have organized five cleaning sessions and got 22 storks cleaned, and released back to the wild.

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Washing Storks. Photo: K. Aghababyan

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Storks in Hovtashen village. Photo: G. Khanamirian

Oil-covered Stork. Photo: K. Aghababyan

Hovtashen village. Photo: G. Khanamirian

In the middle of the summer we have got an alarm from Hovtashen village and some other villages of Ararat plain, saying that the Storks became covered oil and could not fly, so they need immediate help. A call through our members brought over 40 people ready to help. The first step that we undertook, was to catch one stork and collect feathers for the lab analysis of the agent. Also we tried several methods on cleaning the feathers, in order to get better idea of what to use. Once we understood the best combination of treating  methods, we have organized several large campaigns, each aimed at washing as many storks as we could do during a day.  

In the middle of the summer we have got an alarm from Hovtashen village and some other villages of Ararat plain, saying that the Storks became covered oil and could not fly, so they need immediate help. A call through our members brought over 40 people ready to help. The first step that we undertook, was to catch one stork and collect feathers for the lab analysis of the agent. Also we tried several methods on cleaning the feathers, in order to get better idea of what to use. Once we understood the best combination of treating  methods, we have organized several large campaigns, each aimed at washing as many storks as we could do during a day.

News White Stork cleaning pic 1-1 308

The blocked area of water. Photo: H. Ter-Voskanyan

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The waste disposal area. Photo: G. Khanamirian

The blocked area of water. Photo: K. Aghababyan

The waste disposal area. Photo: G. Khanamirian

We had no time for setting up a stationary for cleaning the storks. Every day was important for the birds, as they could not fly to their foraging areas, and because the dirty feathers do not keep the hit, so the birds could get cold. That is why, we set up mobile station for washing, getting great support from the local people. Meanwhile we have organized a supplemental feeding of the storks, that could not fly. After a first cycle we better understood the logistics, have got all the necessary equipment for washing, and developed a standard working protocol. Then in next sessions we have washed all the Storks, which at least have been flying badly.   

 

In total with more than 40 people we have washed 24 storks, but two of them died, being extremely exhausted. So eventually we were able to save lives of 22 birds, which successfully flew and joined the other storks before migration started.

 

By Hasmik Ter-Voskanyan,  October 2019.

We had no time for setting up a stationary for cleaning the storks. Every day was important for the birds, as they could not fly to their foraging areas, and because the dirty feathers do not keep the hit, so the birds could get cold. That is why, we set up mobile station for washing, getting great support from the local people. Meanwhile we have organized a supplemental feeding of the storks, that could not fly. After a first cycle we better understood the logistics, have got all the necessary equipment for washing, and developed a standard working protocol. Then in next sessions we have washed all the Storks, which at least have been flying badly.   

 

In total with more than 40 people we have washed 24 storks, but two of them died, being extremely exhausted. So eventually we were able to save lives of 22 birds, which successfully flew and joined the other storks before migration started.

 

By Hasmik Ter-Voskanyan,  October 2019.

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