Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Little Hugo

Hugo's Flowers

Hugo stole my heart from the first moment. His placement with foster parents, his pitiful coughing and sneezing, it was so endearing. I have truly enjoyed watching Hugo improve, grow, learn and discover.

But now I must say goodbye to my White Stork friend. The young life, seeming to be doing so well, ebbed away in a matter of moments on 24 July 2006.

I'd like to share with you now a collection of photos, showing Hugo's progress, his last moment, his death, and his parents' reaction. If you think you might not be able to see these last few pictures, be warned and watch for the signal (***) to stop scrolling down.

Hugo's Story....

On 3 June 2006, a pair of White Storks
had two young chicks in the nest:

On 9 June, there were still two chicks,
but one was much larger than the other;
Hugo had been placed in the nest to be
fostered by the parents, who had lost one
chick already, and would soon lose the other:

By Week 1, Hugo was standing on his
knees, and had grown quite a bit:

In Week 2, his black wing feathers
were very visible:

Week 3 showed more growth, in
size and abilities:

By Week 4, Hugo was really starting
to look like his foster parents:

His first time standing on his feet:

The first time Hugo flaps his wings:

The parents leave Hugo alone in the nest
for the first time since he was placed there:

On 24 July 2006, the live camera captured
Hugo's last moment; note that his head is
still raised, and he is sitting in the normal
"tucked leg" position, resting in the shade
of his parent:


Not ten minutes later, the little chick who
had been doing so well was gone; he was
there, and now he was not:

And then the nest is vacant:

The parents returned to the nest that
evening to find it empty, and almost seemed
to have a bewildered look in their eyes:

The next day, one parent cried out -- was it at
another stork? A different bird? Or was it the cry of a broken heart:

To be continued....

Friday, July 21, 2006


Just thought it would be fun to see how much our stork has grown...

Hugo the stork, 06-19-2006:

Hugo the stork, 07-21-2006:

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Clip of gull babies

This clip has high "awwwww" factor! Thanks to whomever took the footage and posted it on MySpace :-) If the link does not work for you, copy & paste the text into your browser...

You'll need to have Adobe's Flash 9.0 installed to view the clip... Need it? Click here BE SURE TO UNCHECK THE BOX AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN IF YOU DO NOT WANT YAHOO TOOLBAR TO INSTALL ON YOUR COMPUTER (it does not prevent you from downloading or using Flash Player)