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Storks in Poland. Drought threatens storks. “They are afraid that they will not feed the young”

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Storks are beginning to feel the effects of the drought in Poland. Ornithologists explain that birds have fewer and fewer feeding grounds, which negatively affects the ability to feed their young. In some cases, this can end tragically for young storks.

There is a hydrological drought in part of the country. According to the data of the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management, the most difficult situation is in the northern part of the country. Drought alerts cover large areas of the Zachodniopomorskie and Warmińsko-Mazurskie voivodeships as well as the northern part of Mazovia.

Rain and no food

In the opinion of naturalists from the Polish Society for the Protection of Birds (PTOP), drought may have a negative impact on storks’ feeding grounds. For example, in Warmia and Masuria in May, only 5-7 liters of water per square meter fell in places. The lack of rainfall has reduced the availability of food for molluscs, insects and small rodents. In addition, there are changes related to mowing meadows – many farmers mow meadows after June 15, which is to the disadvantage of storks that feed on low-cut or chewed grass.

– It is very dry here, storks are afraid that they will not feed their young – said Anna Iwicka from PTOP, who runs a stork farm in Żywków (warmińsko-mazurskie voivodeship).

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As she reported, this year 37 nests are inhabited in Żywków, and many storks have 2-3 chicks. However, some birds did not start breeding and after a short stay on the farm they flew away to look for better living conditions.

White stork (Ciconia ciconia) with young – pic. illustrativeAdobe Stock

The young suffer the most

As explained by Sebastian Menderski from PTOP, if it is not possible to feed the offspring, storks throw the chicks out of the nests. This is also the fate of sick or weakened young.

– Now, unfortunately, we get a lot of calls from people that the young stork is out of the nest. These are difficult situations, because we do not know if the little stork was clumsy and fell out, or if it was thrown out of the nest – he said.

The ornithologist admitted that he usually advised that such a bird be put back into the nest. However, it is becoming more and more common for chicks to be thrown away again. In many cases, the safest solution is to give the little stork to a center dealing with the assistance of wild birds, where it will receive the necessary help.

Main photo source: Adobe Stock

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