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Storks in Hamburg: 61 young birds raised this year

The breeding balance for Hamburg’s storks is rather mixed this year. “I can’t imagine a record result this year. 61 young birds have grown up. Last year there were 76,” said Hamburg’s stork protection officer at the Nabu Hamburg Nature Conservation Union, Jürgen Pelch, on Monday in Hamburg at a milk farm in the marshlands. If it hadn’t been so dry, a lot more juveniles might have made it. “At least 20 young birds were thrown out of the nest by the adults because there was not enough food,” the volunteer stork father continues.

42 pairs of storks have settled in Hamburg this year. 30 of them have successfully raised young animals. Most of the animals live in the Vier- und Marschlande, three couples have spent the summer in Harburg. According to Pelch, the young animals will fledge in the coming days and will then set off for the south without their parents within the next four weeks. They usually follow at the end of August because they still have to recover from the stressful rearing.

For Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschentscher (SPD), the balance is still a good sign. The stork balance shows that these birds feel at home in Hamburg. “That is not a matter of course for a huge city with a population of more than one million. I think we are the only city in Germany where so many pairs of storks spend the summer.”

This is also an indicator that nature is given a lot of space in Hamburg. The proportion of nature reserves in the Hanseatic city is currently around ten percent. “This is a unique value among the federal states.”

In the course of the breeding balance, Pelch also urgently appealed to farmers and politicians that the ditches in the region also have to be maintained and regularly dredged to ensure good biodiversity. This not only helps with strong water events and increases the groundwater level, but also creates a home for many insects, frogs, beetles and other animals, which are then also important food for the storks.

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