Healthy Storks miss migration and stay in Romania for winter

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This winter we have been contact more often than ever before by people who seeing White Storks on the field or on the nest. They call to ask for our help to save the bird. But mostly these birds are healthy and they don`t need our help.

How can we check the health condition of a stork?

The simplest method is to verify if the bird is capable of flying. If we approach the bird and it flies a few metres away than it means it`s healthy. If the stork is on a nest, on the chimney or on a building it also means that the bird is able to fly.

But if the stork is only capable of moving a few meters, if it is runs or hops quickly away from us, or of it lets us approach, then the stork is likely to be in bad health. Most probably it will be injured or weakened by hunger. In this case please contact Milvus Group`s Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre 0722 – 533816 or on the following email address:

Why are these storks remaining here for wintertime?

This phenomena, that some White Storks spend the wintertime here, cannot be explained by their health condition, because most of these birds are in good condition. 2010 was the last year when, because of unfavourable weather conditions, the chicks which hatched after the breeding season were left here by their parents and thus forced to spend the winter here (information from Hungary).

 What are they eating?

The diet of storks is very diverse, it consists of insects, worms, larva, fish, amphibians, snakes, small mammals (mostly voles). After the waters freeze, fishes and amphibians hide, insects disappear and the storks which remain here feed on mice and voles which live on grassland and on agricultural lands.

These information were taken from the website of the Hungarian Ornithological Society. (

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