A white storks nest in the village of Santok, near Gorzów, Lubuskie, western Poland.
Two photographs of White Storks nesting. Both pictures snapped from the car on a shopping trip to a nearby large Tesco supermarket this afternoon. Location: Lubuskie, Poland!
In this part of Poland most White Storks generally build their large nests from sticks high up on on purpose-built man-made platforms. Several other bird species can often be seen nesting within the large nests of the white stork. With house sparrows and starlings probably the most common birds we’ve seen sharing White Stork’s nests.
Most of the nests we drove past today were empty as many of the White Storks in these parts are just beginning their migration south for the winter. In a week or so most storks will have left Poland for sub-Saharan Africa and won’t return to Poland again until the beginning of April.
The black stork (Ciconia nigra / bocian czarny) is a large wading bird, which is a summer visitor to and breeds in large numbers in Poland. Most, if not all, birds migrate south in winter to in Africa, India or China. Unlike their relative the white stork, black storks are a solitary nester. The breeding season for black storks starts in May and once the stork has found a mate they stay together for life. The breeding pair build a stick nest together high up in the canopy of trees, sometimes reusing nests in successive years. The female will generally lay three or four eggs. The eggs are incubated for approximately five weeks by both parents and when hatched the storks share the feeding of the chicks until they leave the nest at around 3 months old.
The black stork feeds mainly on fish, but also takes insects, frogs, snails, small reptiles, mice and smaller birds. Most foraging takes place in shallow water or boggy meadows, where the black stork stalks its prey, catching it with a swift stab of its beak.
The Black Stork is on average (90-105cm) slightly smaller than the White Stork. It has a purple and green gloss to its black plumage and a white belly. It has a dagger-like red bill and is red around eye. The adult Black Stork has long red legs.
Related content: White Storks; Birdwatching in Poland.
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.