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White Stork, Ciconia ciconia

The White Stork, Ciconia ciconia, is a scientific tautonym, its binomial being duplicated to indicate that ciconia is the “type”, the archetype, of the family Ciconia. This is the bird of birth myth, the one that bears the infant baby to the homes of expectant parents. Perhaps the myth arose because they build great nests of straw on chimneys in the summer.

Anyway, the White Stork is rarely seen in The British Isles. You might see them nesting on rooftops in Germany, Poland, Finland, and beyond. They are relatively common across Europe and not of conservation concern, wintering in southern Africa and breeding far and wide into Europe and Asia. They need thermals to soar and so cross from Africa via the Straits of Gibraltar and “The Levant” rather than attempting to navigate the Mediterranean Sea, which obviously doesn’t produce the thermals they need.

There was much excitement among Cambridgeshire birders when a ringed bird was spotted at a couple of RSPB sites, Ouse Fen and Fen Drayton, in April 2018 and another (the same one?) sighted in various places across the county in early 2019.

There is a small flock of captive, ringed White Storks at Johnson’s Farm in Old Hurst, the farm with the crocodiles. My photos on this blog post were all snapped at the farm on Talk Like a Pirate Day 2019. Aharrgh.



This post first appeared on David Bradley – Sciencebase, please read the originial post: here

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White Stork, Ciconia ciconia

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