UWOL 37 - Why does the stork live in towns? by Paul Wood at DVinfo.net

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Old March 2nd, 2016, 02:58 AM   #1
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UWOL 37 - Why does the stork live in towns? by Paul Wood

Although I had a glimmer of an idea early in the month, on reading a newspaper article, which linked to here: Costs of migratory decisions: A comparison across eight white stork populations | Science Advances, with one thing and another, I didn't manage to shoot anything until last week - I had to visit the local town hall, so took the camera, and got all of the stork shots from the town square.

Unfortunately, it was the greyest day for weeks, with very little contrast - but the weather at the end of the month was poor.

I managed to cobble an entry together on the evening of the 29th, and here it is:

I have been fascinated by the stork since moving to Spain many years ago - in a previous town I lived in it was the patron bird of the town, and featured in the local festivals - around here (north of Madrid) they are present in every town, but strangely absent from the larger housing estates - even here, where we have lots of arable land, and the river and lake.

Maybe its due to them liking the height of the churches to build nests - we sometimes see them on cell phone antennas, but less so on power lines, although most of these have been modified to prevent electrocution of the stork.

Any feedback is welcome!


Last edited by Paul Wood; March 2nd, 2016 at 03:00 AM. Reason: added feedback info
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Old March 2nd, 2016, 07:45 AM   #2
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Re: UWOL 37 - Why does the stork live in towns? by Paul Wood

Hey Paul!

Fabulous! I'm very happy for you. Your use of graphics to help us visualize what you are saying is vastly improved over your last entry. Very nice improvement! I mean, yay, nicely done! I enjoy your entries because they are snippets of "Science Friday" a program we have here in the US.

I thought the special effect on your title was a great choice for the white sky background. That was a very creative touch and that simple choice added a lot to the mystery of your why question. Since you didn't have any music background this time, the chiming of the church bell at the end was a startling and effective addition, something that would not have been as signature if it competed with music.

I think this little piece could have been rounded out a bit more if you had offered up at least some theories as to why storks prefer urban centers. As it is, we enter into the film expecting you to answer the question and feel a little disappointed that it never was addressed. Difficult questions don't have to be definitely answered, but theories, ideas and hypotheses that beg even new and different questions is a way of addressing the initial question.

LOL, of course for me the question that begs to be answered is why do storks enjoy standing on one leg? That looks terribly uncomfortable to me :).

Perhaps the urban centers offer a better ambient heat sink for nesting chicks and/or perhaps the urban centers harbor fewer of their natural predators? That's what I love about science, it's so vast and infinite with every why question answered leading to new and deeper why questions.

Well done, Paul. Looking forward to your next one.

Cheers,

Cat
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Old March 2nd, 2016, 01:06 PM   #3
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Re: UWOL 37 - Why does the stork live in towns? by Paul Wood

Great entry Paul.

Cat has commented on a couple things I would have, so I won't repeat them.

For me as it is about storks I do wish you could have included some stork movement ie flying to or from the nest, as well as some close ups on the nest. I appreciate that in the time scale of the challenge it is not always possible to acquire all the footage you need. You certainly edited it well with the footage you managed to film and produced a very interesting entry. The use of graphics was well thought out and carried the story along.

It was good to see these birds again. The last time I saw them was was a few years ago in the Alsace region of France, also occupying the tops of chimneys in the small ancient towns and villages around there, they had done so for hundreds of years. I seem to remember a lot of folklore surround them there as well, with a lot stork souvenirs being sold.

Well done

Mick
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Old March 3rd, 2016, 04:34 AM   #4
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Re: UWOL 37 - Why does the stork live in towns? by Paul Wood

Okay . . .so now I discover that storks can’t drop babies down chimneys in Spain because they are all barricaded by steel rods and bars. :)

Actually I can sympathize in a way. A friend of mine had to close in her balcony because a pair of Egyptian Geese started to build their nest there and made an awful mess.

This is a neat, well-structured entry Paul. I like the way you describe the characteristics and habits of these storks and then leave the “Why” question to the end and unanswered.

So do you know the answer? I would imagine they like urban dwelling (and are accommodated) because many of their prey animals are drawn from the rodents, reptiles, and other creatures perceived as pests. I know that storks build huge platform nests and wonder if there is a shortage in general of trees that would make suitable nesting sites. Would be interesting to know.

I always enjoy your narrations Paul and this is no exception. A solid entry once again despite a shortage of time and footage.

Well done.
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Old March 3rd, 2016, 06:30 AM   #5
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Re: UWOL 37 - Why does the stork live in towns? by Paul Wood

Thanks, all for your comments,

Cat, thanks for your kind comments on my improvement - I have to say, I was in two minds as to whether to submit this round, as I really felt I had poor material, but after finishing an English class I gave at 7.30pm, I decided it was good discipline, so I pulled together what research I had, wrote and recorded the VO and edited the piece to upload before midnight.

You can tell I was planning on adding music, as I added it in the credits, but ran out of time at the bell (pun intended!)

In this I sympathise with Steve this round, ( I think it happened to me in the last round as well) where I thought it was better to submit something rather than join the sharks!

Mick, maybe we have a fascination with birds we do not have at home - (although I've been here for 25 years) - I love to watch the eagles and buzzards we have round about - perhaps its just scale?

Marj, unfortunately, I don't have a satisfactory answer - but I'll look for one! It is not a shortage of trees, for sure - I think height may have something to do with it. Bear in mind that these churches have been here for many centuries, and are still, in many cases, relatively isolated, so maybe its just the simplest option for them to build there.

From what I can see, in Europe at least, the Stork does not have predators to worry about, even man, as far as hunting is concerned, so perhaps its just a symbiotic relationship that has grown up in this part of the world.

Here is the original title shot before grading, so you can see how grey the day was: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...tle%20shot.jpg

Last edited by Paul Wood; March 3rd, 2016 at 07:09 AM. Reason: added picture
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Old March 3rd, 2016, 06:09 PM   #6
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Re: UWOL 37 - Why does the stork live in towns? by Paul Wood

Hi Paul!

I addressed your comment on my thread with a little 26-sec test clip if you want to have a look!

Thanks for the ideas!

Cat
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Old March 5th, 2016, 02:20 PM   #7
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Re: UWOL 37 - Why does the stork live in towns? by Paul Wood

Hi Paul,

Interesting how the birds choose the nesting places they do.
I see you already got plenty comments, and I don't really have much else to add.
Would have liked to see some shots of the birds in the air. Maybe a take-off just before the migration map. And then maybe birds coming back to land in their nest in the end?

I enjoyed watching your video. Glad you were able to submit.

Stay tuned for part two, when Paul finally reveals the answers to the why, haha ;)
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