Food shortage for storks

Almost all stork chicks hatched in Anhalt and are now growing – but the shortage of feed due to the drought in the country is putting the long beaks under pressure.

In the past few weeks there has been a great need to ensure that there was enough food, said Michael Kaatz from the Loburg Storchenhof in the Jerichower Land district. « Now we hope that the rain will bring some refreshment and maybe one or two earthworms will come up. »

Some of the chicks are definitely five to six weeks old, says Kaatz. Normally, the offspring would be guarded by a stork until they were four weeks old.
Only the other would forage.

According to Kaatz, however, it was recently observed that both storks flew in search of food – although the young were still very small. « Because it just wasn’t enough, » said the expert.

The food shortages have also led to so-called airdrops. This means that the parent storks throw the young ones out of the nest if they are no longer able to bring in enough food.

The Storchenhof got some « patients » who survived the drop well, said Kaatz. « And now we’re feeding them here. » However, the storks can handle the high temperatures themselves quite well. « Fortunately, the animals can survive the heat reasonably well, » said the expert.

« The older animals then try to provide shade or bring water. » Long-lasting continuous rain is critical. Kaatz believes that it will be a pretty good stork year. Overall, nest occupation and the start of breeding got off to a good start in Anhalt. How much damage the summer will do is difficult to estimate, says Kaatz.

For years, the stork population in Anhalt has remained at about the same level. However, the birds have not yet been counted. The Storchenhof roughly expects up to 600 pairs.

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