The vitamin D project has been started to raise the public awareness about maintaining a good vitamin D status in areas where during the winter months the Sun has too little power to make enough vitamin D through the skin.
We followed the barn swallow because this migratory bird has some interesting characteristics that may be able to answer questions about healthy ageing and longer life.
This bird possesses, as well as most other migratory birds, an incredible toughness and lives much longer than other animals of equal size. The question of course is why? In any case, it is clear that these birds are always where the Sun is the most powerful. In the northern hemisphere during the summer months and around the Equator during the (Northern) winter months. The question is why these birds pull again and again to the North in spring. This could possibly hang together with the food supply. This very food, insects, will probably work out for that the vitamin D status is held. Birds can be sunbathing, but their plumage will prevent vitamin D development through the skin.
Apart from the scientific importance, we really do research into the vitamin D status of the barn swallow at different stages of the bird migration, to follow this adventurous bird is cinematic very attractive and an adventure in itself. The jungle tours, the catch in the African reeds between wild elephants, hippos and crocodiles and the beautiful landscape scenes, in the Netherlands, the Iberian Peninsula and in Africa, take the viewer on a very special tour.