Starting in mid-August, young white storks from northern Europe begin their migration south. In Belgium this year a record 91 baby storks were hatched, and they are getting ready for the long flight south.
Data collected in Belgium found 65 pairs of stork breeding in the country in the 2007 season. The record 91 young storks will begin their migration before their parents. Their instincts tell them where to fly.
The project ‘Storks without Borders’ fitted storks with satellite devices which helps scientists understand the migration patterns of European storks. Up to two thirds of Belgian storks will overwinter in Spain or Portugal. The rest will go to Africa, some as far south as Senegal.
In the Netherlands this year almost 1000 young storks were hatched, and several thousand were bred in Germany. Most German storks follow a different migration route from the lowlands birds and will head towards Turkey and eastern Africa.