Interesting facts about storks

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We found 18 interesting facts about storks

Harbingers of spring and happiness

Storks are wading birds that inhabit the entire world except Antarctica. However, most species live in Africa and Asia. The stork family includes six genera. A representative of one of them, Ciconia, is a white stork that is very popular, especially in our country. Poland is the world's largest sanctuary for white storks. Each year, these birds travel more than 10 kilometers from Africa to raise their chicks here. Storks are closely associated with our traditions and culture and are highly valued in Poland.


Storks have many common features.

These are usually large birds, with a long flexible neck consisting of 16-20 vertebrae. They have a light skeleton with very well developed air chambers in the bones.

In most species, white and black colors predominate in the plumage.


They can fly and glide well.

In flight, the head, neck and legs are extended.

Both stork parents build a nest, incubate the eggs together, and feed the chicks together.

Young nesting storks, after hatching, are not able to live independently, require parental care, and therefore spend a longer time in the nest. Stork chicks can see immediately after hatching. Parents feed the chicks by throwing caught food onto the edge of the nest or directly into the beak.

The long legs of the stork are adapted for moving through shallow water in muddy and overgrown places.

It is characteristic that, despite their long legs, wading birds do not run, but take careful steps.

The most famous representative of storks is the white stork.

The white stork winters in Africa and migrates to Europe in the spring. Males arrive first to make the best nests.

During flight, storks use rising air currents.

Therefore, on their way from Africa to Europe, they do not fly over the Mediterranean Sea, because these currents do not form over water.

They are carnivorous. Their menu is very varied.

They eat a variety of animals, including insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and small birds. They especially readily feed on water frogs (Pelofilax class. esculenthus) and common frogs (Rana temporaria). They swallow their prey whole, and if it is too large, they first break it into smaller fragments using their beak.

Storks find most of their food among low vegetation and in shallow water, most often within a radius of 5 kilometers from their nest.


Storks are monogamous birds, but they do not mate for life.

The nest that partners build can last them for several years. Storks build large nests, usually made of branches, in trees, buildings or specially prepared platforms. The nest has a depth of 1–2 m, a diameter of up to 1,5 m, and a weight of 60–250 kg.

Storks usually begin breeding at the end of April. The female stork lays four eggs in the nest, from which chicks hatch after 33-34 days.

The chicks leave the nest 58–64 days after hatching, but continue to be fed by their parents for 7–20 days. Storks usually reach sexual maturity at about four years of age.

Adult storks have a bright red beak and red legs.

Their color is due to the carotenoids contained in the diet. Research in Spain has shown that storks feeding on the invasive crayfish Procambarus clarkii have even more vibrant colors. The chicks of these storks also have a light red beak, whereas the beaks of chicks are usually dark gray.

Storks are gregarious birds.

Herds numbering thousands of individuals have been observed along migration routes and wintering grounds in Africa.

The characteristic sound made by an adult stork is stomping.

This sound is made when the beak opens and closes quickly. This sound is further amplified by the throat sacs, which act as a resonator.

Storks are not a globally threatened species, although their populations have declined significantly over the last hundred years in many areas of northern and western Europe.


In Poland, the white stork is under strict species protection.

Due to declining numbers, the species was included in a program called the White Stork and Its Habitat Protection Program. Currently, the population is assessed as stable.

The stork plays an important role in culture and folklore.

In ancient Egypt it was depicted hieroglyphically as ba (soul). In Hebrew, the white stork is described as merciful and merciful. Greek and Roman mythology depicted storks as examples of parental sacrifice. Muslims worship storks because they believe they are making an annual pilgrimage to Mecca. For Christians it is a symbol of piety, resurrection and purity, as well as the righteous pagans who lived before Christ.

According to European folklore, it is the stork that brings babies to new parents.

The legend was popularized by Hans Christian Andersen in his story “The Storks.”

In the northern part of Masuria there is the village of Zivkowo, where 30 people and 60 storks live.

When there are young animals in the nests, the number of storks is four times higher than the number of villagers.
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