White Stork (Ciconia ciconia)
White Stork, May 2000, Trujillo, Spain - click for larger image

Spain

The White Stork is famous for building its large stick nests on top of buildings and other structures when suitable trees are unavailable.

White Stork, Empordà, Spain, November 2001 - click for larger image It has a varied diet but which is exclusively animal including lizards, snakes, frogs, insects, etc.

Most spend the Northern winter in Africa south of the Sahara and there are spectacular migrations along 2 routes at either end of the Mediterranean. Those that use the Straits of Gibraltar route tend to come from west of the French- German border and winter in West Africa, while the others use the Bosporus route and tend to winter in Southern Africa.

White Stork, Empordà, Spain, November 2001 - click for larger image There has been a severe decline in numbers in Europe since the Second World War and the biggest concentration remains in the Iberian Peninsula.

However, it is generally well protected given the reputation it has for being a lucky bird. The myth about storks bringing babies probably arose because they arrived back in Europe on fairly predictable dates and almost exactly 9 months after the previous mid-summer.

There are illustrations in HBW, Volume 1, Pages 450 and 456.

White Stork, May 2000, Trujillo, Spain - click for larger image White Stork, May 2000, Trujillo, Spain - click for larger image
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