White Stork

These majestic birds can be seen flying gracefully through our skies. They are characterised by their striking white plumage, long necks, and impressive wingspans, and have black flight feathers and conical red bills. They’re often seen as symbols of good luck and prosperity and used to be known as the “courier of a new baby”.

White Storks are carnivores and eat small creatures such as insects, amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals, making them effective controllers of pest populations (woohoo). This natural pest control not only benefits agricultural communities but also contributes to the overall stability of ecosystems.

Often found near wetlands and grassy areas, they love these spots because they’re perfect for finding their favourite snacks like frogs, lizards, and other tiny creatures. 

They form lifelong bonds with their partners and are often seen building large, sturdy nests on top of trees, buildings, or even man-made platforms (an idea for your garden if you want to attract them to nest there). Many of these nests are known to last years. 

Dedicated parents, always building strong and safe nests made from grass, twigs, and other materials, they breed in greater numbers in areas with open grasslands. Each year, the female normally lays one clutch of around 4 eggs which usually hatch around 33-34 days after being laid. Both parents take turns incubating the egg and feeding the young.

Adventure lovers and long-distance migratory birds that travel between sub-Saharan Africa and Europe, depending on the climate. They prefer warmer weather, and they winter in various African countries to escape the bitterly cold European winters. They are social birds and are normally found in large flocks when migrating. 

White Storks do face numerous challenges that threaten their population. Such as land development and agriculture which pose a threat to their nesting and foraging grounds. As well as factors like pollution, climate change, and collisions with power lines and wind turbines have further impacted their numbers. There are a few things we can do to help prevent this from happening. We can be mindful of where we build structures on our sites and use less harmful chemicals in our farming and our gardens. 

Next time you’re driving around the farm and you come across a White Stork, stop and appreciate the value it adds to, not only Fairview Estates eco-system, but the eco-system as a whole.

Photo credit:

Top image: @africa_thru_my_lens 

Bottom image: Gillian Holliday