A new exhibit has been officially opened this week at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre – a White Stork enclosure.
Three white storks have been released into the waterfowl gardens near the Eco-garden. Grounds manager, Steve Nasir, said: “The white storks are a great new addition to the waterfowl gardens at Martin Mere. They are a magnificent bird and it is amazing to hear the clattering noise they make – they literally throw their heads back and clatter! This enclosure is going to be great for photographers and I think the daily talk and feed will be very popular with our visitors.”
A bit about the white stork:The largest population of white storks can be found in Eastern Europe. In winter they migrate to Africa; they are rare visitors to the UK with only around 20 birds being seen each year. The last recorded breeding pair with in Edinburgh in 1416. Adult storks communicate by making a unique bill-clattering sound, created by rapidly opening and closing their beak and this noise is especially prominent in the lead up to the breeding season.
There are many myths surrounding white storks – according to European folklore, storks are believed to have delivered babies. In Germany, people thought storks found babies in caves or marshes, bringing them in baskets or dropping them down chimneys to expectant mothers, who would put a sweet on their window ledge as a sign to the stork that the household wanted a child.
Three white storks will be in their new home this week, with a daily talk and feed starting later in the month once the storks have settled into their new surroundings. The talk will be daily at 2pm. More storks are expected to be released into the enclosure later in the year.
WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre is open every day (except Christmas Day) from 9.30am to 6pm and parking is free of charge. Situated off the A59, it is signposted from the M61, M58 and M6. The Centre is also accessible via the Southport to Manchester and the Liverpool to Preston line by train from Burscough Rail Stations. Visit the web site http://www.wwt.org.uk/martinmere/ to find out what’s on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight WWT Wetland Centres.