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Cosmopolitan old stork still nesting in Estonia

Nation's oldest white stork was recently spotted nesting in Lasila, Lääne-Viru County. According to local scientists, the stork is 28 years old.

The venerable white stork is the oldest of its species that has been found in Estonia, Looduskalender reported. According to the Matsalu bird ringing center, it was hatched in 1988 in the village of Varbevere near Palamuse in Jõgeva county. The stork is also well known for its migration. In 2001, 2006 and 2010 it was seen in the coastal areas of Israel. The observations were all made in autumn when the white storks fly to their winter quarters in Africa via Middle East.

It is not known for sure whether the stork is male or female but from the certain behavioral modes, the observers assume that it is a male.

To date, nearly 5,000 white storks have been ringed with the Matsalu ringing center rings (Estonia Matsalu) and information has been received about 148 recoveries. The most distant reports have been from South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The Lasila white stork is not the oldest known white stork in Europe. Reportedly, the oldest stork was found in Switzerland but is, unfortunately, now deceased. When last seen, it was 39 years old.

The Matsalu Ringing Center coordinates the ringing of birds and bats in Estonia. The center stores the recovery information and the ringers, finders and when needed, also ringing centers in other countries, are informed. Birds have been ringed in Estonia for 104 years.

Editor: S. Tambur

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