stork diary 2018

The wild storks are not there yet, but there is a lot going on in the zoo! Terror prevails on the Storchenwiese! 3 couples have been living there more or less harmoniously for years. But this year it escalated! A very dominant couple increasingly transals the other enclosure residents.

The "terror couple" has laid its first egg in the barn.

Due to space problems (because of the foxes roaming at night we have to lock up all storks every night), we decided to temporarily relocate the "terror couple". The 2, including their egg, now live in an aviary at the wildlife sanctuary. The 2 can be seen for the visitors.

The storks probably like it in their new home, because they immediately adopted their nest and laid a second egg.

And today No.3 ...

March 31, 2018
A little later than last year, however - today the first wild stork landed on the nest at the Storchenvilla.

Stork No.1 is no longer alone! Today Storch Nr.2 appeared at the Horst. We cannot say whether it is "our" couple, because these two have neither a ring nor any special individual characteristics.
Our zoo storks are also down to business! The "terror couple" now has 4 eggs and another pair, the "pink couple" (both wearing pink colored rings), has built a nest in the barn and has already laid 2 eggs.

Egg egg ... The first egg was spotted in the stork nest on the villa!

April 13, 2018
At Villa Horst it continues cheerfully. A second egg is in the stork's nest. How many more will come?

Our villa storks are currently in the right mood. We are already counting the fourth egg in the nest.

The "terror storks" have successfully hatched their offspring. Yesterday and today a total of 3 chicks hatched.

In the past few days there have been repeated calls and e-mails about the absence of a "villa stork". All clear! Both are well and present!

07.05.2018 We are waiting! The hatching of the villa storks should start in a few days.

The 3 "terror stork pair" chicks grow and thrive. They are weighed every 3 days. The parents take excellent care of their offspring, right in front of the visitors' eyes ...

May 12, 2018

Let's start hatching! No. 1 of our villa storks hatched on time at the calculated time!

May 14, 2018

Tatataaa and No. 2 is already there !!

And on the same day, No.3 completed the family. It is now hoped that bad weather, marauding stork bachelors and no other accidents will affect our Villa Storchen family. So that all fit and healthy can start their train south in August.


May 20, 2018

It doesn't work without tragedy. We could see in the past few days that one of the Villastorch chicks was "a bit behind". But it was fed, no reason to intervene. Today we observed that this chick lies motionless on the extreme edge of the nest, dead! After internal discussions, we decided not to remove the carcass, because that would only cause unrest on the nest and thus dramatically increase the risk of injury.

We will never know exactly why the chick died. Infection is the most likely explanation ...

The trio - offspring of our terror storks is growing and thriving excellently. Slowly the "right" momentum pushes through.

The last pair of storks, the "pink pair" had no breeding success. Since the couple was already a few days over the calculated hatching date, we removed the eggs. They were infertile.

May 21, 2018

The next part of the tragedy: After it still looked good yesterday for the remaining stork chicks, we had a completely different picture today:

Only one stork chick was moving, and that was quite hesitant. No question, we had to act here!

The animal keepers had a sad picture when climbing the nest: 3 dead chicks, one living and one egg.

With this history, the decision to evacuate the survivors and take them over by hand was not difficult.

Pay attention! So far I've always written from 3 chicks in total. But there were 4. One thing we probably got through the rags while watching via the camera ...

For all those who do not know our local conditions: Our stork nest is at a lofty height on our restaurant villa. In order to get there, our employees first have to climb to the Villadach, from there they go up a few meters to the "stork nest frame". This is not entirely harmless! For this reason, we limit direct nest controls to a minimum. The daily routine checks are carried out via the livestream, which you can also see.

Well, why did the chicks die? We can only speculate here. Infections? Quality and / or quantity of feed? Inexperienced parents? Poisoning? Since the carcasses were already in a state of advanced decay, an autopsy is no longer possible.

Yes, for the Villa-Storchen couple it was nothing like successful rearing this year either.

The last survivor is now professionally raised by experienced staff in our wildlife sanctuary. If he is fledged, we will socialize him with the offspring of our "terror stork couple". All 4 will then be released together.

First measure after the evacuation: The chick, which weighs only 109 grams, was initially covered prophylactically with antibiotics and was given liquid supplementation because it looked somewhat dehydrated. After some good persuasion, our animal keeper was able to persuade the chick to eat independently. First meal: small fish and baby mice ...

May 29, 2018

Not only do we have accidents. We have recently had 2 stork chicks in hand rearing, which were thrown out of the nest at Bautzen.

Furthermore, as we did at Weißkeisel in 2017, it was observed how a strange stork terrorized a breeding pair of storks. As a result of this skirmish, an old stork died. Since a single stork is unable to raise a brood alone, the 4 eggs were evacuated and taken to our wildlife sanctuary.

All 4 chicks have already hatched and are developing well.

Unfortunately, the last Villastork chick died despite intensive veterinary efforts. We have it examined and wait for the result, as we hope to be able to infer the cause of the sibling's death.


The stork year in the zoo is now over. The 3 storks in the zoo have developed splendidly and could be released into the biosphere reserve at the end of July. 7 more storks that came to the animal park via our wildlife sanctuary followed 2 weeks later. Unfortunately 2 came back with broken wing or leg. We had to euthanize one. Everyone else is doing well, so we hope that they will all make the long journey south and return next year ...

Until 2019 !! :)