LIVE WEBCAM - WHITE STORKS NESTING IN GERMANY
More info: The preferred habitat of white storks is agricultural fields, pastures, meadows, open wetlands, savannas, and steppes. They inhabit temperate areas with shallow, standing water which is not too cold. White storks are found across Europe, Asia Minor, the northern part of Africa, and the Middle East. Before the winter months, the majority of storks migrate into tropical regions of Africa, some parts of the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. About one quarter of the population of white storks live in Poland.
White storks are carnivorous and feed on various animal species, found in shallow water and on the ground. White storks consume fish, frogs, snakes, rodents, lizards, crustaceans, toads, tadpoles, spiders and scorpions as well as small mammals. They will also eat chicks and eggs of bird species, nesting on the ground. The white stork is completely diurnal (active during the day).
The white stork breeds in larger numbers in areas with open grasslands, particularly grassy areas which are wet or frequently flooded, and less in areas with taller vegetation cover such as forests and shrublands. Their nests are easily recognisable being large structures of sticks on top of buildings and other structures when suitable trees are unavailable.
White stork nests are built by mating pairs and may be used for several years. Each nest measures 1 – 2 metres (3.3 – 6.6 feet) in depth, 0.8 – 1.5 metre (2.6 – 4.9 feet) in diametre, and 60 – 250 kilograms (130 – 550 pounds) in weight. Other bird species often nest within the large nests of the white stork such as sparrows, tree sparrows and common starlings.
Most white storks are monogamous and pair for life. Female storks lay 2 – 5 chalky-white eggs which are laid at two day intervals. Eggs hatch after 33 – 34 days of incubation which is shared between both parents.