The White Stork Project’s first four chicks of the season have now hatched, the organisation announced yesterday.
Posting on their website, they released the following statement:
“It’s THAT time of the year again… WE HAVE OUR FIRST CHICKS!
Earlier last week eggs began to hatch in the two nests from last year and we have confirmed the chicks are doing well. We have more eggs due to hatch throughout May.
If you are visiting Knepp, please remember to stick to the marked routes and keep your distance from our nests, this is a really sensitive time for our storks. Thank you.”
The project was first launched in 2016, with the goal of establishing 50 breeding pairs in Britain by 2030. The Knepp Estate in West Sussex was one of the the primary release sites for the white storks, and saw the first wild chicks to hatch in centuries just last year. It is thought that, until the introduction of the project, the species had been extinct in Britain since the 1400s.
Speaking last year following the birth of the first chicks, Isabella Tree, the co-owner of Knepp, said “I love the storks’ association with rebirth and bringing new life. They are such a hopeful symbol for rewilding.”
It will take the chicks 60 days to grow large enough to fly, at which point they are likely to move south for three years or more before returning to England when they are ready to breed.