The first stork of the year has been spotted in Szombathely, Hungary last weekend, while another eccentric individual is already making his way across Asia Minor, a month ahead of the rest of the Hungarian stork population.

According to frisss.hu, the first stork has arrived back home from its wintering grounds. The animal is not equipped with a tracker, unlike others whose migration patterns are monitored by the Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society (MME), so it is unknown where the stork spent the winter, but it has safely arrived and taken up residence in Zanat, on the outskirts of Szombathely, last weekend, sokszinuvidek.24.hu writes.

Photo: MTI

According to ecolounge.hu, the Hungarian stork population typically arrives home at the end of March or the beginning of April. However, a white stork named Báró arrives a month before anyone else every year. Until last year, the experts were unsure about the cause of the stork’s behaviour.

On the spring of 2016, they managed to equip the animal with a tracker, which revealed that Báró does not spend his winters in Chad or Sudan like the rest of his species. Instead, the stork winters in the area of Israel, cutting his travels several thousand kilometres shorter.

Báró’s location on February 21, 2017. Photo: satellitetracking.eu

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This year is not different, and Báró has already completed a significant part of his journey from Israel. Since storks do not fly over the sea, the bird has followed the coastlines of Lebanon and Syria, then made its way across Turkey. You can check out Báró’s journey home on this map, or catch him in his nest through this webcam once he arrives.

Artificial stork nest, photo: MTI

While Báró is already making his way towards Hungary, the storks farthest from home are still in Mozambique and South Africa, some 6,000 kilometres south. According to origo.hu, the MME has equipped more than 44 storks with solar-powered satellite trackers since 2012. Their migration patterns can be observed on this map.

Cover photo: eszakigolyahir.hu

ce: bm

Source: sokszinuvidek.24.hu, origo.hu, ecolounge.hu, frisss.hu

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