GB No. 4(23)/96


In our culture the stork is a symbol of happiness, a neverending rustic paradise, and to parents pestered by their children with the "taboo" question of "Where do children come from?", the last resort. And what do caring parents answer in such a situation ? Of course they inform inquisite kids that they had been brought by a stork, a bird preserved by Polish law.

To reduce the unfortunate and rapid dying out of these birds, ornitologists from the Warsaw branch of the Polish Society of the Friends of Nature "pro Natura" have started a noble initiative of moving storks' nests to platforms placed on electricity poles.

We all know that storks often build their nests on electricity poles. Unfortunately, it often determines their tragic fate. It is mainly the young storks affected, which, while learning to fly, touch the high voltage wires and die of electric shock. The platforms, made of metal and wood, are placed on electricity poles at a safe distance from deadly wires and reduce, practically to a minimum, the risk of birds touching them.

The problem seems to be over now, as birds which flew to Poland in spring accepted the new "sites" as their homes.

All platforms in the voivodship, made and placed under the supervision of Mr. Janusz Szostakiewicz, a regional Conservator of Nature, have been inhabited by storks. This initiative was possible thanks to a huge effort of power engineers who showed great enthusiasm while assembling the platforms. We particularly want to thank the power engineers and workers from Radzyń Podlaski who have already assembled about 100 platforms, with the number still increasing.

The best proof of the fact that platforms shoot up like mashrooms is the example of the "Podlaski Przełom Bugu" Landscape Park where already fifty, out of seventy-six stork's nests are placed on safe, metal platforms.

When you find a bird with a ring, contact:

Stacja Ornitologiczna IE PAN
Nadwi¶lańska 108,
80-680 Gdańsk 40,
tel. 48/58/380759

All friends of nature, and storks in particular, are happy that the initiative of ornitologists was successfull. Unfortunately, the problem of electric shock is not the only one. For example, in Wiernojki (parish Łosice, Voivodship of Biała Podlaska), a spring wind-storm overthrew a withered spruce with a storks' nest on top of it. Three of the five nestlings were killed. The remaining two, thanks to the kindness and helpfulness of a KoĽluk family living nearby, survived. The destroyed nest was rebuilt and placed on a safe platform. The storks accepted the new site of their "home".

Pieces of string used in rolling up hay and sheaf-binding, neglected by farmers, and later brought to nests as stuffing, are another threat to young birds. While moving around in a nest, young storks' legs become wound around these strings. The result is a knot which slowly leads to necrosis and death in suffering.

The problems outlined above are not the only ones. I heartily invite all those sensitive to the fate of these birds to send texts concerning the situation of storks in your regions, to the address of Zielone Brygady. I also recommend that you visit Podlasie, where one can find places which are still intact...

I hereby inform all ornitologists (both less and more advanced ones) that the most storks in Biała Podlaska Voivodship can be found in the village of Mosty (parish Podedwórze). Thanks to favourable natural conditions (a water reservoir), seventeen pairs of storks live there, permanently mixed with a Podlasie landscape.

Marek Czech
reprinted from Zielone Brygady Sept. '96

GB No. 4(23)/96 | Contents