As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 14 June 2019

White Storks nesting in West Sussex

Conservationists have announced that a pair of White Storks is incubating three eggs at the Knepp Estate in West Sussex.
A pioneering partnership of private landowners and nature conservation organisations is working together to help the species return to south-east England for the first time in several hundred years as part of the White Stork Project, and has been releasing birds at three sites. As well as Knepp, free-flying White Storks have been reintroduced at Wadhurst Park, East Sussex, and Wintershall Estate, Surrey.
The project team was thrilled to find that a pair of storks is attempting to nest in an ancient oak tree at the Knepp Estate this spring. If the chicks successfully fledge, the nest at Knepp will be the first successful one in southern England since at least the end of the English Civil War in 1651.
The large birds, symbolic of rebirth, are native to the British Isles and evidence suggests that they were once widely distributed. While it is unclear why this spectacular and sociable bird failed to survive in Britain, it is likely that a combination of habitat loss, over-hunting and targeted persecution all contributed to their decline. Another factor may be that it was persecuted in the Civil War for being associated with rebellion.

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