Another week is upon us, and today’s #FourForApril features exciting developments on the populations of two birds, different sides of the globe. Wild stork chicks hatched in the UK are expected to emerge next month for the first time in centuries whilst the population of Ohio’s bald eagles has risen 151% since its last figures were recorded eight years ago.
In other good news, the Royal Mint has switched its duties of printing money to producing nearly two million visors for the NHS, and a pledge by Belgium’s Prime Minister of free masks for everyone in the country is encouraging as the country plans to open some businesses up next month.
Hope these stories add even a little bit of positivity to your day 💚
Wild stork chicks hatched in the UK expected to emerge for the first time in centuries
The first wild stork chicks to hatch in Britain for centuries are expected to emerge next month.
Three pairs of the huge white birds built nests in West Sussex which brings hope as they have been extinct as breeding birds in Britain since around 1416.
More than 100 have been bred in captivity and released at three locations in West Sussex and Surrey, including Knepp, a 3,500-acre former dairy farm.
Storks are monogamous and last year a young pair laid three eggs in a treetop nest at Knepp but the eggs did not hatch. This year, cameras were rigged up beside this old nest but the couple constructed a new nest instead, in which they have laid five eggs.
Conservationists maintain hopes that the first wild-born storks will hatch and fledge this summer.
Lucy Groves, the white stork project officer for Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, one of the partners in the reintroduction scheme, told The Guardian: “The female was just coming up to four years old last spring and was a little bit too young to breed but they obviously know what they are doing this year and were ahead of the game.
“It’s really exciting. It’s going to be a fantastic year.”
Reintroduction programmes have successfully returned storks to France, the Netherlands and Poland where wild populations build their towering stick nests in villages and towns.
Some of the storks are fenced in open-top pens to protect them from predators and ensure they bond with their “home” range. The birds can fly out when they are ready and also draw in passing wild birds.
The chicks are expected to hatch in mid-May, and take 60 days to grow large enough to fly. The British-born wild storks are likely to fly south for three years or more before returning to England when they are ready to breed.
The project aims to have 30 wild pairs of storks by 2030.
You can read more about this lovely story here.
Royal Mint to manufacture nearly two million visors for the NHS
The Royal Mint has transformed its visitor attraction into an emergency production line during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The site in Llantrisant, South Wales has moved production to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Royal Mint plans to manufacture nearly two million medical visors to help protect NHS staff from coronavirus.
Engineers developed a successful prototype in 48 hours, and 150,000 have already been made for hospitals.
More commonly known for making coins, The Royal Mint has transformed its visitor attraction into an emergency production line.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, who is also Master of the Mint, said: “I applaud the Royal Mint for refocusing their efforts and working around the clock to play their part during this national emergency.”
Many Companies including Brammer, TJ Morgan and Technical Foam Services have joined together in working with the Royal Mint to source the components needed.
The Royal Mint has also worked closely with the NHS in helping to design and print Covid-19 awareness cards for staff at the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.
Anne Jessopp, chief executive of the Royal Mint, added: “We want to play our part in the fight against coronavirus by providing NHS staff with the protective equipment they need to keep the nation and themselves safe.”
You can read more about the great support the Royal Mint are offering here.
Ohio’s bald eagle population reaches new heights
Ohio’s bald eagle population has soared by 151% since its last figures were recorded eight years ago.
According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), this year’s survey found 707 bald eagle nests, in comparison to just 281 in 2012.
Governor Mike DeWine tweeted the news on Earth Day.
In 1979, they were in grave danger of extinction as there were only four pairs of the birds in the state.
Habitat destruction, poaching and the contamination of their food supply with chemicals such as DDT reduced their numbers but after a countrywide conservation effort, their numbers grew over the past four decades, and federal authorities removed them from the list of threatened and endangered species in 2007 and off Ohio’s list in 2012.
Wildlife authorities said that after receiving about 2,500 reports from the public for their 2020 eagle census, they verified nests in 85 of Ohio’s 88 counties.
You can read more about this great news here.
Belgian government pledges free masks for everyone in the country
Belgium’s Prime Minister announced on Friday that every Belgian citizen will receive a free fabric face mask as part of the country’s exit strategy from the country’s coronavirus lockdown.
Sophie Wilmès pledge comes as it was announced from May 4, the use of protective masks will become mandatory on public transport for everybody above the age of 12.
Belgium is showing progress as businesses are set to reopen on May 11 while travel to the coast and Ardennes forests is set to be permitted on May 18.
Some students will be able to return to school the same day, whilst restaurants will start reopening from June 8.
Whilst the number of people in intensive care units is decreasing in Belgium, the Belgium Prime Minister said any of the restrictions could immediately be reimposed if the health situation worsens.
The virus has showed signs of slowing in the country but has not disappeared just yet.
You can read more on that development here.
This Kansas man who sent one of five N95 masks he owns to pass to a doctor or nurse in New York. Who’s cutting onions? 💚
On this day…
In 1992… Betty Boothroyd became the first woman to be elected Speaker of the British House of Commons in its 700-year history.
Every day in April, we will be sharing four positive news stories in one post under the hashtag #FourForApril. Got any kindness stories? Send them in! We’d love the world to hear about these good deeds by good people 🙂