White Stork nests and Humans

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) is among a few bird species that remarkably adapted to human activities.

During the last decades, they started to take advantages of the rubbish dumps which provide an extra and constant food source throughout the year. This and other factors have led some birds in southern Spain and northwest Africa (Morocco and Algeria) to become sedentary.

Large concentrations of White Storks at feeding sites are common now in northwest Morocco. The birds wintering in a given area tend to roost at a few known sites. In Tétouan for example, we can see thousands of birds in the evenings joining roosting sites located near Martil.  

Although we do know that an increasing number of White Storks are no longer crossing the Sahara, we still don’t know which proportion of the population migrate and which stays and overwinter locally.

White Stork nests are fascinating

The ability to nest on or near human settlements and on man-made objects is also one of the striking features of the White Stork. White Stork nests on minarets, houses, Kasbah… are classic sightings in Morocco and the rest of Northwest Africa. These nests are generally beautiful, catchy and photogenic (just search ‘white storks nests Morocco’ and you will find that the majority were taken by non-birders).

On the other hand, there are nests built on telecommunication or electricity pylons. White these are as useful to the storks as the one cited above, they are probably not as beautiful to the human eyes. They are still fascinating, especially when many are built together.

So, how many White Stork nests can be built on a single telecommunication pylon or any other object? That’s what the first two photographs try to answer (25 and 15 nests per pylon respectively). Is that a record number? Comments are welcome!

Read also: White Storks sharing nests with Cattle Egrets and both breed successively.

25 White Stork nests (some are not visible), Sidi Allal Tazi, central-west Morocco, 16 May 2011 (Rachid El Khamlichi)
25 White Stork nests (some are not visible), Sidi Allal Tazi, central-west Morocco, 16 May 2011 (Rachid El Khamlichi).
15 White Stork nests, Sidi Allal el-Bahraoui, central-west Morocco, 16 May 2011 (Abdelhak Elbanak).
15 White Stork nests, Sidi Allal el-Bahraoui, central-west Morocco, 16 May 2011 (Abdelhak Elbanak).
Unique and original nest! Seeing a White Stork nest built on a natural setting like this one is rare nowadays. Aguelmous, Middle Atlas, 4 Jan. 2019 (‎Abdellatif Al Ouardi‎).
Unique and original nest! Seeing a White Stork nest built on a natural setting like this one is rare nowadays. Aguelmous, Middle Atlas, 4 Jan. 2019 (‎Abdellatif Al Ouardi‎).