Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 40/1-4 | 2003 | 120-121

  Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) in Marquenterre, Somme - France.
Etienne, P. & Carruette, P.

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Article summary

The region of the Somme Bay, with a lot of rivers and pastures (area of Froise, Rue, Noyelles, Favières) receives regularly the visit of Black Storks. The data were scarce before 1981 but now; we count an average of 5 or 6 storks each year, totalling 151 contacts from 1973 to 2000. Extreme dates are April 20th 1982 and September 1988 (record October 10th 1909 - VAN KENPEN 1912).Spring passage is not well represented, with only six observations (always solitary birds) against 145 in summer. Most Black Storks fly alone, sometimes with a mate. Groups of 6 or 7 storks have been seen (1956 and 1991). Passage in the area is more regular in the recent years with, for example, 22 birds during summer 1998, 13 birds during summer 1999 and 18 during 2000. Out of 101 birds that we tried to age, 10 were adults, 53 were young or immature. At this time only two ringed birds (in September 2001) were observed but code reading was impossible. Recently, Black Storks chose to forage in flooded areas in the middle of pine forests where they stay to sleep. Other storks chose to forage in low level or dried ditches and ponds. Small size ditches are sometimes surrounded by dense vegetation, hiding the birds. Aggressive behaviours of Whote Storks or Grey Herons are sometimes observed when Black Storks land, but the latter are tolerated in eeting areas. The region of the Bai de Somme is, thus, an important passage or stopover area for a few storks. In fact, some of them do not hesitate to stop there for 15 or 20 days during the summer. It is noteworthly that a juvenile observed in migration on June 11th 1982 revealed an early breeding of this species somewhere in Europe.

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