Anyone can help count white storks before they migrate to Africa

Slovak ornithologists recorded 1,270 stork couples in 2018.

White storks nest on a utility pole in the village of Jablonica in the Trnava Region.White storks nest on a utility pole in the village of Jablonica in the Trnava Region. (Source: SITA)

White storks are one of the first birds that will leave Slovakia before summer ends, when baby storks have grown enough to be able to make a 10,000km journey to Africa.

But before they start migrating, ornithologists in Slovakia will count them, just like in they did in previous years, the SITA newswire reported.

Read also:International Bird Day is of Slovak origin Read more 

People living in towns and villages where white storks are nesting may also give a hand, Ján Gúgh of SOS/BirdLife Slovakia told SITA.

They can add their observations to the White Stork Nests Atlas, unless the nest has previously been recorded. People can also type in the number of baby storks, when the first stork came to the nest, and the specific location of a given nest.

Fewer white storks

The online atlas, indeed, has offered a complete list of discovered white stork nests around Slovakia since 2000. However, the first regular recordings in Slovakia took place in 1977.

Read also:Stork nest required modification, it was more than a tonne in weight Read more 

Last year, ornithologists counted 1,270 white stork couples, which raised 2,580 baby storks. It is a drop compared with 2017 when 1,314 stork couples were recorded.

In 1934, there were 2,219 couples nesting in Slovakia but only 1,018 white stork couples nested in Slovakia back in 1984.

This was caused not only by a lack of food and suitable nesting spots in Slovakia over the years but also by the fact that not all white storks make it to Africa and die on their way there.

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