Antique Nests Give Storks Room at the Top in Europe

From September through March throughout central and eastern Europe, thousands of bulky nests of branches, twigs, dirt, rags, and other debris sit empty on rooftops, church spires, telephone poles, and just about anything else that’s tall and has a decent view.

What an eyesore, eh? Not at all, say many Europeans. The nests belong to their beloved white storks (Ciconia ciconia), wading birds that grow three feet (one meter) tall, have long bare legs, and a pointed bill.