Have all white storks already started their migration?

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Mon, 10.09.2018 - 12:58

Photo Arne Ader

English translation Liis


Estonian text posted 06.09.2018


White storks




White stork      Valge-toonekurg          Ciconia ciconia


A month ago the white storks were busy very visibly and diligently at road verges. The young birds had fledged.

In the beginning of September we only meet some solitary stray bird or groups of not yet breeding birds.

The white storks always leave somehow suddenly – they are busy as if there would be no hurry anywhere and one morning you suddenly notice that you haven’t seen any birds for several days...

In Estonia a white stork pair nested for the first time in Vastseliina in  1841 and the same nest  is in use even today. As an estimate we have about five thousand breeding pairs (the latest comprehensive survey was made for the year 2014) and the trend in numbers on the Estonian mainland has been increasing already for decades. In Saaremaa there are a few breeding pairs and elsewhere in the islands white storks are absent altogether.

They spend the winter in tropical Africa. It is interesting to note that the young birds hatched this year set out first on the migration – the urge to migrate is so strong in their genes. They migrate to the wintering areas by way of Turkey and the eastern part of the Mediterranean and try to avoid crossing open sea.

Observations of white storks: LINK

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