BBC Wildlife Magazine

Eyes on storks


It’s fitting that white storks are symbols of rebirth and renewal, as the species – which hasn’t bred successful­ly in Britain for hundreds of years – is on the cusp of a comeback thanks to the Sussex-based White Stork Project. Reintroduc­tion work began in 2016, with a colony of rehabilita­ted wild individual­s from France and Poland. This summer has been the first that the birds – now sexually mature and free-flying, after two years in an enclosure – could have bred in the wild.

One pair nearly managed it, bypassing the wooden nesting platforms provided to create a typically large, shaggy home atop an oak tree, in which the female began brooding three eggs. But the immaturity of the pair meant the flitter-flutter of tiny wings wasn’t to be, as both partners repeatedly left the nest. However, the project team is hopeful that the storks will try again next year. whitestork­ Photo: Nick Upton

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