Early records of breeding
in South Africa
These are the articles from the journal Ostrich
which reported the original breeding records of the White Stork in South
Africa. The writing is totally matter-of-fact, and fails to
convey the excitement these people must have felt at discovering
something so rare and unusual.
From The Ostrich 11(2):124, dated March 1941.
Notes on some birds of the Cape Province
by Austin Roberts
CICONIA CICONIA, White Stork
When driving along the main road between Calitzdorp and Oudtshoorn
on the 18th November 1940, we saw a nest of a White Stork on a high dead
tree close to the house of Mr. I.H. Ballot, on the farm Welbedacht, and
stopped to investigate. One of the parent birds was standing on the nest,
shading the three young ones from the sun.
Mr. Ballot informed me that the same pair
had nested there for at least seven years,
as long as he had occupied the farm,
and had remained all through the winter;
but the young birds had always departed
for the winter until the previous year,
when they had remained with the parents.
So far as I am aware, this is the first definite record of this species
south of the Equator and it is to be hoped that steps will be
taken to encourage
more of them to establish themselves by breeding in South Africa.
To do so would
be simple, by erecting suitable nesting sites.
Mr. Ballot sympathetically
considered a proposal to cut down and trim two large gum trees
on the other side
of his house for this purpose, and I hope this will be done.
We remained camped
on Mr. Ballot's farm for three days and frequently saw the old
for food along the river and in the cultivated land
in the neighbourhood.
The following picture of the nest described by
Austin Roberts was published in
The Ostrich, 12(1):35, dated August 1941
From The Ostrich 33(1):26, dated March 1962
European Stork Ciconia ciconia breeding
On 29 November 1961, while travelling along the road
Bredasdorp and Cape Agulhas, we saw what appeared to be a
large nest in the
distance with a large white and black bird standing on it.
it was found to be the nest of the European Stork which was built
in a smallish
Rooikrans tree (Acacia cyclops).
In the same tree there were a number
of Cape Weaver nests.
The nest was only eight feet from the ground and it contained
three well feathered young.
The nest gave the appearance of having been used
more than once.
The owner of the farm informed us that the
birds had been nesting
on his farm for some years.
A previous nesting tree had been destroyed in a veld fire.
The accompanying photographs show the surrounding and the tree
the nest was built in and the stage of the young were in when we
E. Martin, R. Martin, J. Robinson
Lower Mountain Rd., Somerset West.
Photos by G.J. Broekhuysen
From The Ostrich 34(1):48, dated March 1963.
European Stork Ciconia ciconia ringed as
nestling in South Africa recovered in Northern Rhodesia
A recovery has just been received which seems important
enough to publish immediately.
It is of a European Stork* ringed as a nestling by
G.J. Broekhuysen near Bredasdorp on 3 December, 1961 and recovered
on 25 March,
1962 near Rhodesia-Tanganyika boundary, about ten miles from
32°30'E). The bird was killed.
*This bird is one of the young pictured
in Ostrich, 1962:27. Editor.
Hon. Organiser Ringing.
[In other words, this recovery was
of one of the three
birds in the nest in the photograph just above;
another of these birds was
recovered in the Free State four years after ringing!
Although several more
White Stork chicks from the Bredasdorp district have been
ringed in subsequent years, no further
recoveries were made.]
Articles and photos from
from BirdLife South Africa.