, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 83-87
Date: 25 Aug 2009

White Storks, Ciconia ciconia, forage on rubbish dumps in Poland—a novel behaviour in population

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Information on the foraging of White Storks on rubbish dumps, a novel behaviour in Central European populations, is presented. Observations were first made in 1999 and to date; they have been recorded on sixteen locations in Poland. From one to 348 White Storks (median = 2, N = 116) were observed on rubbish dumps, and most of the records (86%) were of 1–3 birds. Birds foraging on rubbish dumps were recorded from late March to early September, but the highest numbers were seen during the summer months. Most of the birds (77%, N = 171) were recorded foraging directly on an area where rubbish had been thrown, while a minor fraction (16%) was seen on neighbouring recultivated grassy areas. Dumps were used as an additional food source probably in areas where natural foraging grounds are limited. The increased frequency of observations during the summer months probably resulted from the greater nutritional needs of large nestlings which force the adults to find alternative food sources or foraging habitat shift by non-breeding birds.

Communicated by H. Kierdorf