White stork

White stork

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White stork: where it lives in Italy, where to see it, characteristics, what it eats (food) and migration.

Therewhite storkit is a bird belonging to the Ciconiidae family, widespread in Europe, Africa and Asia. It prefers humid environments such as rice fields, lagoons, water basins or open countryside areas full of canals. During the reproduction period it tends to settle in more sunny areas for the construction of the nest. It does not disdain its proximity to humans, so much so that it can nest on the roofs of houses and chimney pots, as well as on pylons, trees or obelisks in urban centers.

White stork

Adults weigh an average of 7 kg, have an average wingspan of 155 and 165 cm, although in some specimens it can reach 220 cm. From the tip of the beak to the tail it can reach 110 cm. There white storkit has a white plumage with black wing tips. The long legs are bright red while the color of the beak changes according to age. In the first months of life, the beak is gray but over time the beak turns red.

Thewhite storksthey are monogamous: the couple that is formed stays together for life!

White stork: what it eats

Its diet is very varied. First of all it should be noted that thewhite storkit prefers to feed within a radius of 5 km from its nest, so it depends on what it finds in this area.

Its diet varies according to the season and the availability of prey. Typically, the stork eats: grasshoppers, beetles, crickets and other insects. It can also feed on earthworms and other worms. Eat small snakes, frogs, and other reptiles and amphibians. It can also eat small mammals (including moles and mice)… since it prefers wetlands, it also eats crustaceans, molluscs, fish, eggs of small birds and young birds. In Africa it even feeds on scorpions.

It swallows small prey alive while injuring, killing and then eating larger prey more slowly.

White stork: migration

The stork is amigratory bird: reaches the reproductive areas between March and April. The male arrives before the female and begins to prepare the nest or restore the nest used the previous year.

In Italy the stork arrives just on the occasion of the nesting and then goes to winter in Africa.

Lipu explains the migration of the white stork as follows:

The white stork spends the winter in tropical Africa, migrates in spring along the straits of the Bosphorus and Gibraltar, as well as with lower but still significant numbers along the Strait of Messina, and nests in Europe, especially in the eastern regions.

To play against the spread ofstorks in Italy there were several factors related to its habitat and the presence of food sources. Not only that: the conditions found in the African wintering sites have also decimated the populations of storks. In these sites, the long periods of drought and the advance of the desert were decisive.

White stork in Italy

There white stork in Italyit disappeared in the late Middle Ages and then returned to our country in 1959, when the first pairs of white storks returned to nest in Piedmont. Since that year, thestorkit has spread a lot in our country up to the point of nesting among the urban environments of Milan.

In Italy, the spontaneous colony ofstorksmost numerous is found in Gela, Sicily. In 2011, the Lipu monitored 40 pairs in the Gela Plain, ascertaining the birth of 70 new specimens.

Therestork, in Italy, it is present in Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Campania, Calabria, Puglia, Sicily and Sardinia. These data are updated to 2005, certainly there could be presence of storks even in the countryside of Basilicata, Lazio, Abruzzo and Molise.

To consolidate the presence of thestorkin Calabria, in 2003 the “White Stork Project” was born. In 2016 there were 67 artificial platforms installed on the pylons of Enel electric poles to allow the nesting of storks and prevent the possibility of electrocution of birds. From the birth of the White Stork Project, until 2015, about 350 storks were born in Calabria.

Storks in Italy: where to see them?

Storks can occasionally be sighted in Sicily, Calabria and in all the territories mentioned above. Those who want to see the storks with a targeted tour, can count on several oases and protected areas here in Italy. Where to see storks in Italy?

  • At the Storks and Anatids Center of Racconigi (Cuneo)
  • At the Bosco delle Bertone in the Mincio Natural Park (Mantua)
  • At the Centro Cicogne in Zerbolò (Pavia)
  • At the Oasis of the Quadris in Fagagna (Udine)

Recommended reading

If you are a fan of ornithology or you want to get closer to this sector, I can recommend a book where you can find all the species present in Italy or wintering in our country.

The book in question is titled "Guide to birds" was published in 2018 and collects more than 4,000 photographs to allow a good recognition of the species. For all information, I refer you to the official Amazon page:Guide to birds. I recommend buying on Amazon as in some bookstores it is offered for 70 euros, while on Amazon you buy on offer, with 33.15 euros and free shipping costs.

Other water birds in Italy:

  • Moorhen
  • Cormorant
  • Kingfisher
  • Coot
  • White heron
  • Gray heron
  • Purple heron
  • Mute swan
  • Oystercatcher

Video: White Storks: Introducing White Storks Back to the UK (June 2022).


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