White Storks (Ciconia ciconia) are large birds found all over Poland between May and September. They typically build their nests, which can weigh several tons up in tall trees, on rooftops, and on the top of telephone poles with special nest supports. Both male and female storks build this large stick nest, which may be used for several years.
Each year the female stork lays one clutch of four or five eggs, which hatch four weeks after being laid. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs and both feed the young. The young leave the nest around two months after hatching, and continue to be fed by the parents for a further week or two. More than 25% of all White Storks (Bocian) in Europe choose to breed in Poland. This means that one in every White Stork is Polish!
White Storks eat a wide variety of food, including insects, frogs, toads, small birds, fish, mice and voles, lizards, slowworms, snakes, slugs, snails and earthworms.
Legends and folklore about Storks
In Poland, apart from the widely-known legend that they are responsible for bringing babies to new parents, the presence of a storks nest on a house is also believed to bring a number of other benefits. These include protection against fires, and the bringing of good luck and harmony to a family on whose property they nest. The killing of a stork can only bring misfortune.