Now this is something you might not have expected – there are a lot of storks here in Switzerland! After having died out mid-20th century, they’ve been reintroduced successfully since the 1960s (now around 300 pairs). Over in the northwest on the river Aare near Solothurn, there is quite a big flock which returns each year to nest. But here, too, in the northeast, the numbers have been increasing steadily across the north of the country and into new areas, too – only this year, I’ve been surprised to see them well into January, so they don’t seem to have bothered going south. I’m not sure if this is a problem or not now that we’ve had some snow. Stork nests at the old monastery at Ittingen…
Going south can be problematic for them, too, though. Each year many get caught in electric wires in France and Spain and killed. Only a quarter of the young birds make it back here. In the course of research into their migratory habits, a stork called Max was monitored closely for a number of years and much was learnt – including that she should have been Maxine!
Even in this day and age, storks are still popular messengers, with cutouts or models set up to announce to the world that there is a new baby, usually with the name and date of birth given. Such a positive thing to do, I find, sharing the joy of a new life.
This is actually quite topical, as there is a new baby in the extended family and our third grandchild due very soon, too! Yay!!