24 November 2010

Lithuanian Stork Nests

Storks are a very popular animal here in Lithuania. They are supposed to bring good luck to any farm where they choose to build a nest and the government subsidizes nest platforms. Luckily, this is the part of the world where storks like to nest. The result: thousands of stork nests.
White storks come up from Africa in February, usually returning to the same nest that they occupied the year before. The structures are large, twiggy things that are easily visible in the leafless months - they sit on top of telephone poles, in the crooks of trees and on top of chimneys (which seems like a fire hazard). People apparently feel blessed if a stork chooses to nest on their property, and many people build platforms for them. In olden times (maybe not so long ago, really) wooden wagon wheels were used, stuck up on posts above the farmyard.
Lithuania has a springtime population of over 13,000 stork pairs, which makes it the most stork-dense of all the european nations. Poland has more storks (estimates are 16,000 to 20,000 pairs), but the country is much larger, so stork density remains fairly low in comparison, which is nice for those storks who prefer a more rural nesting experience. We see nests everywhere, here, sprouting out of trees and on top of poles. They really catch the eye. It's too bad that we're not here for the Lithuanian stork day, which is celebrated on the 25th of March, but you can't catch ALL the holidays...

1 comment:

  1. Love your work guys, I ahve just posted your blog post on my Global Kids Oz Facebook page - very cool indeed..I hope you don't mind if I post more over time as your travels sound awesome - My Mother is actually Lithuanian hence why I knew of Stork Day and googled it!