11-08-2022

The number of storks is not decreasing in the Žuvintas biosphere reserve

In the surroundings of the Žuvintas lake, the nests of white storks are almost empty, but there are plenty of storks in the meadows and fields. Storks-parents teach their chicks how to glide before the long journey to warmer lands. At the end of August, the storks will have already flown away.

Storks now only need a nest for the night. After dark, you can still hear the usual hissing of the young throughout the summer or the pecking of the old ones with their beaks, but not for long.

August is the last month for storks in the surroundings of Žuvintas, as in the whole of Lithuania, before the trip to winter grounds.

It has been twenty years since the stork population has been monitored annually in the Žuvintas Biosphere Reserve. The national bird of Lithuania - the stork - is very attached to semi-natural open habitats, and is also an indicator of their quality.

Judging by the accounting data in Žuvintas, this year is very close to the statistical average of recent years: 36 pairs successfully hatched in 51 nests, 76 chicks grew up. In nine nests, 3 cubs grew up, in twenty-one - two, and in six - one cub.

According to ecologists, this is the fifth year that the population of storks is stable and fluctuates within very small limits.

In Lithuania, where about 20 thousand breeding pairs are counted (2016 data), the stork population is probably close to its maximum. Although there is no shortage of nests, the grassland areas where storks usually feed, unfortunately, are decreasing.