Posted on Oct 19, 2021 20
Storks are magnificent birds that live in many countries, and everywhere they are treated with reverence. They occupy an important place in the folklore of different peoples, usually symbolizing wisdom and lively intelligence. And indeed, real storks are very smart birds, which have long been proved by scientists. It is difficult to confuse them with other feathered birds - long shin legs and an impressive beak immediately give them away.
Facts about storks
- These birds are usually quite trustworthy because people everywhere treat them friendly and storks simply haven’t developed the habit of fearing humans.
- They can be found in many countries in Europe. Most of them are found in Iceland, and least of all - in Great Britain.
- In Roman mythology, it was believed that the chariot of the god Mercury was harnessed precisely by storks.
- White storks willingly settle near people, but their relatives black ones, on the contrary, usually stay away from people and lead a secretive lifestyle.
- Nests of storks are sometimes found even in the mountains, up to 2000-2500 meters above sea level.
- Most species of these birds are silent. They rarely make loud noises of any kind.
- Purely theoretically, black and white storks belonging to different species can interbreed, but in practice they haven’t created hybrids as their mating rituals are too different.
- Japan is the only country in the world where stork hunting has been banned for centuries. But most other countries now have similar bans.
- Some species of storks, such as the black stork, which lives in Eurasia, are included in the Red Books of many countries.
- Once a large population of these birds lived in sunny Italy, but about 300 years ago it was completely exterminated.
- Storks communicate with each other by emitting soft clicks and whistles.
- Sometimes these birds fall prey to winged predators, such as eagles.
- Storks prefer to sleep standing on one leg. When their leg gets tired, they change it to the other, without even waking up.
- The aforementioned black stork adapts very well to a variety of conditions. Its largest population lives in the Republic of Belarus, but many of these birds lead a sedentary lifestyle even in southern Africa.
- Like many other birds, European storks migrate to warmer lands for the winter.
- During their migration, they overcome the distance of 8000-10000 kilometers.
- The wingspan of an adult stork can reach 200 centimeters.
- Despite their caring nature, they mercilessly discard weak and sick chicks from their nests.
- For the first week after hatching, stork chicks lie motionless and only learn to crawl, but after two months they make their first attempts to fly.
- Pairs of storks incubate eggs together, and always according to the same scheme - the male does it during the day and the female does it at night.
- Their mating rituals are very peculiar. Usually, the free male becomes close to the first female that flies to his nest.
- By the way, these birds build very impressive nests. For example, the nest of the white stork can weigh up to 250 kilograms and have a diameter of over 1.5 meters.
- There have been recorded cases of them dragging smoldering branches from fires to their nests, probably as building material. As a result, the nests caught fire.
- Sometimes many generations of storks live in the same nest one after another. The record population of the same nest is 381 years.
- African Marabou storks are dangerous winged predators and, occasionally, also scavengers.
- Returning north after wintering in Africa and South Asia, storks, traveling thousands of kilometers, always find their nests unmistakably.