Solicitous parents, supreme nest builders and found all across the Algarve, the magnificent stature and movements of the white stork are portrayed by wildlife artist, Charles Rowan. Showing authentic outdoor scenes of the local area, his paintings are displayed at Galeria Côrte-Real in Paderne.
Signposted from Boliqueime, Ferreiras and Paderne, Galeria Côrte-Real is located in an old farmhouse ‘quinta’, an ideal place to appreciate the beauty of the Algarve’s rural landscape. The gallery’s owners are conservationists planting the grounds of Côrte-Real with indigenous species. Supporting the work of artists such Charles Rowan, they draw attention to the natural environment of the region.
Storks are particularly tolerant of humans and can be seen in many localities frequently nesting beside chimney pots.
Stories from Greek mythology identify them as baby stealers but, in fact, far from being interested in human babies, at this time of year they are especially attentive to their chicks.
Four months since the eggs were laid, the young birds are beginning to fledge ready to make their own independent lives. Eight weeks since they were hatched the parents have been in constant attendance feeding their young with a diet of mostly small mammals and reptiles.
Exchanging places on the nest, the adult birds go through a ritual of greeting each other by clattering their bills and throwing back their heads. For such large birds, their landings and take-offs are surprisingly elegant, especially considering there might be as many as four chicks in the nest.
Often compared to flying dinosaurs, the artist sets off to advantage the appearance of these enormous, showy birds.
Galeria Côrte-Real is open Thursday to Sunday from 11am until 5pm.
912 737 762 | www.corterealarte.com
By CAROLYN KAIN
Photo: Storks over Côrte-Real