The stork chicks have fledged!

Exciting news for our white stork chicks as they both left their nests last week. The pair are the first stork chicks to successfully hatch at Martin Mere, hatching at the end of May.

Our grounds team has given the parents a helping hand over the last couple of months, helping to feed them and monitoring them as they grow. However, the parents have done a great job taking care of them. Parent duty isn’t quite over yet, though - the parents will continue to feed the chicks for the next couple of weeks, after which the chicks will start to feed themselves. They have already been investigating the feed boxes and getting to know their enclosure!

Young stork chicksYoung stork chicks and parent in their nest (credit: Damien Giblin)

The pair are still easy to identify as they are smaller than the adults and, more prominently, still have black bills. These will start to turn red from the base up and be fully red by next summer, at which stage they will moult and have full adult plumage. However, they won't reach sexual maturity until they are between three and five years of age.

stork-chicks-2-[717].pngStork chicks hours before fledging

The white storks arrived at Martin Mere in 2020 after being brought over from Poland, where they have a scheme to re-home injured storks. Poland has a white stork reintroduction programme to release chicks throughout Europe. In the country, the birds are seen to bring good fortune.

You can see them during your next visit by heading to the stork lodge in the eco-garden.

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Featured photo credit: Viv Jambors