Why do storks stay longer and longer in Alsace?


FIconic figures of the Alsatian region, the storks are back in mid-February after a period of migration, even if some have not gone very far. As 20 Minutes reports, more and more of these gregarious birds are staying in Alsace all year round despite the cold fall and winter and no longer venturing out to the warm temperatures of the Strait of Gibraltar from Niger, from Mali and Nigeria.

“Wandering flocks of white storks settle on the banks of the Rhine. Simply where they find food. “, deciphers Yves Muller, the regional president of the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO). “For several years, we have noticed that they go less far,” he explains to our colleagues.

Alsace, the flagship region of storks in France

Some storks even go so far as to find refuge near open dumps, where they find “food scraps, mice, rats, of which they are fond”, noted Yves Muller. In 2021, more than 1,400 storks spread their wings in the Alsatian sky, 860 in Bas-Rhin and 559 in Bas-Rhin, which makes Alsace the region with the most cases recorded in France.

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While the development of the stork population has been on the increase since the beginning of the 2000s, it could slow down imminently, warns Yves Muller: “I’m not saying that there are too many of them. But since 2001, we have warned that breeding and release should be stopped. Today, there are no more and it is food that will become the limiting factor in the development of the population. If there is not enough, it will shrink. To the chagrin of some of the local population who have become accustomed to the sound of their famous “clack, clack, clack”.

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