Storks and Spring are Finally Here

Welcoming the storks back from winter.

Storks in Turkey

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In the last few years, I’ve really looked forward to the arrival of the storks. Somehow they know the weather better than us, and they bring with them fresh green leaves on the trees, tulips and daffodils, and other spring colors.

Migrating Storks

When we were traveling in Israel, we were able to witness them migrating. One day there was a sand and wind storm coming in from northern Africa, and although it made for a pretty miserable day for humans, the tired birds were elated.

Israel Storks

We looked into the sky to see a chimney or tornado formation of white and black riding the wind currents high into the sky. They ride these currents up from sub-saharan Africa, through Turkey, and onto Europe. White storks are not flappers, so the wind currents are important for their migration.

Alsace Stork Nest

A church in Alsace waiting for their stork nest to be full again.

The storks like to be around humans, and tend to build their nests on top of roofs, electric poles, anything high. Humans love them in turn, and some have fashioned iron baskets to hold the nests for the birds. Most come back to the same nest year after year.

Turkey Storks

In Selcuk, Turkey the storks have built nests on the aqueduct.

I was under the impression that many storks only lay one or two eggs, but the reality is they oftimes lay up to five or six. Because their nests are so high, many of the young fall out and perish. We met a man in Selcuk, Turkey who was raising one of the fallen chicks. It was three feet tall, so I guess it was going to survive.

Storks in Alsace

This past weekend, the storks are starting to return to Alsace. This one soars over a vinyard.

Like me, people have welcomed the birds each spring. Spring brings with it a renewal of life, and the stork does as well. Our image of this awkward bird bringing babies symbolizes the continuity of life.

Everyone loves the storks, and in some places, like the Alsace region of France, they are one of their representative symbols, and souvenirs galore boast their pictures.

Toy Storks France

 

When do you feel spring has finally arrived?

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. The European storks range as far north as Latvia, where they are also welcomed back with open arms in the spring. Much of the lore surrounding these beautiful birds is the same there – very interesting to read the French side of things! #AllAboutFrance

  2. I live in the west of France, but we too have storks nesting in the spring and summer in the marshlands of the Charente Maritime. They prefer the taller trees to houses here, but I still love to see them. One day I’ll make it to Alscace to see them on the roof tops there as well. Spring for me is cherry blossom in our orchard. I love it and the fresh greens to be seen at this time of year.

  3. This is great! I would love to see those nests! For me, Spring arrive in Provence with the wild asparagus and the flowering thyme all over the landscape.

  4. I associate storks with Eastern Europe and love seeing their nests on chimneys and other high structures. Spring in the South of France starts really early with the arrival of the mimosa….it’s really a winter flower but I associate it with the very early beginnings of spring.

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