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ELECTION 2022

Bird flies 6,000km from Poland, dies in Nandi

NATIONAL
By Edward Kosut | Jan 19th 2022 | 3 min read
Nandi senior warden Grace Wendot (left) receiving the polish white stork from Elicky Kipyego at Kapsabet KWS headquarters.[Edward Kosut, Standard]

A migratory white stork bird suspected to have covered 6,188km from Poland has died after being electrocuted at Kimogoon village, Nandi County.

It was in the company of thousands of white storks that have been hovering around the North Rift since the onset of heavy rains.

Based on a serial tagged on it, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) confirmed the bird was among thousands of white stocks that annually transverse the equatorial region in Africa in search of favourable habitat.

Belonging to the Ciconia Ciconia species, the birds are said to be migrating due to the climate changes across the globe.

When contacted by The Standard, the Embassy of Poland in Nairobi said the bird might have been under supervision in her country.

“East and South Africa are the migratory routes of the Polish storks, seeking mild climate and avoiding the harsh Polish winter. But since I am not an expert, I cannot elaborate more,” said an official at the embassy.

The official added that since the ring reads: GDA?SK, it might have been under the supervision of the Ornithological Station of the Polish Academy of Science in Gda?sk.

Elicky Kipyego, a local who found the bird, told The Standard the member of the white stork flew into electricity cables, 50 meters from his house on Wednesday night, momentarily causing a power outage.

“I heard a deafening sound outside the house, and when I checked out, I found the bird shaking on the ground. It was fighting for its life after being electrocuted,” he narrated.

He stated that he rescued the bird and took it into his house after realizing that it was still alive.

The stork bird is suspected to have covered 6,188km from Poland and died after being electrocuted at Kimogoon village, Nandi County. [Edward Kosut, Standard]

His attempts to nurse the bird were in vain, as it succumbed to injuries and fracture of the left wing an hour later.

Interestingly, the hardly-reached aquatic bird because of its soaring nature had serialized rings in both legs. It confirmed that the white stork is a member bird migrated from Poland based sanctuary organizations called the Polish Society For Protection of Birds. 

The aluminium rings had inscriptions showing the details of the bird which according to Nandi senior KWS warden Grace Wendot, the sanctuary organization coded it as Poland VU4537 and serial number T7897.

Kipyego submitted the bird carcass to the region's KWS headquarters at Kapsabet.

Noting that the transcontinental relocating birds departed Europe last year to evade summer, Wendot said the birds came to the African following regions experiencing high rainfalls, and they have been living along river Nile, Lake Victoria.

Some would cross over to southern African countries including Zimbabwe, Malawi, Switzerland, South Africa among others.

"We have received the dead bird, and it's a trophy to the government. The communication shall be made in Nairobi to the Polish organization over the unfortunate fate of the bird," she said.

She said that in the migratory birds' convention, all the environmental organizations globally work hand in hand to ensure wild animals are conserved, and the dead bird would help in the study of white stork movements.

This comes barely a year after a migratory osprey bird that flew from Finland, died in Siaya County.

The raptor bird that was rescued by a man from Usalu village, died while under the care of the KWS rehabilitation centre in Karen.

KWS said a postmortem examination showed the bird died of long term starvation which precipitated systematic organ failure.

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