Impact of climate change
Previously, it was common for the first stork of the year to return to Denmark in mid-March, but climate change has led to the large birds returning earlier these days.
“The storks we see now are individuals from south-west Europe that migrate north as soon as the weather permits and the wind comes from the south-west.” said Jesper Leegaard, stork expert from Storkene.dk.
“Many storks are as close as Spain, France and south-west Germany and can return north in a few days. So we’ll probably have to get used to the stork coming earlier than we’re used to.”
The stork population in Western Europe has increased significantly in recent decades.
Back in 2005, there were 3,651 breeding pairs in Germany – a figure that had risen to around 10,000 by 2022.
Source: The Nordic Page