Follow Storks Hatch Live in Alsace!

The beautiful white stork is not only a symbol of fertility associated with birth in many cultures, but is also the symbol for the neighboring region of Alsace. Chances are that if you look up in parks around Basel and just about anywhere in Alsace, you will notice large round platforms, placed high up in the trees, on roof-tops, or other tall structures. These platforms are often installed to provide storks with a nesting location. These majestic creatures are large, long-necked white birds with black-tipped wings that can span up to 2 meters. Their gentle long gliding flight and characteristic clacking of their beaks to communicate make them especially hard to miss.

Storks are migratory birds who usually spend only their summers in central Europe but in the fall head to warmer climates in Africa (Nigeria, Mali, Morokko), usually returning around February/early March. However, with the increasingly abundant food found in European landfills and warmer winters, more storks tend to spend even the winter in this region. In the 1900s, storks were numbered in the thousands in Alsace. However, due to a number of negative factors—high voltage power lines, drought, hunting as well as use of powerful pesticides to eliminate locusts in African winter quarters—there were only two wild pairs left in 1982!  Today, thanks to conservation efforts, there are once again over 600 stork pairs in the Alsace region.

One organization supporting stork conservation activities is the NaturOparC, a small, privately-owned wildlife park that was founded in 1976 with the primary focus of preserving the biodiversity of Alsace. They are concentrating their efforts on 2 objectives: conservation and awareness-raising. NaturOparC has worked tirelessly on restoring the population of the white storks in the region, as well as other wildlife in distress.

So that the public can observe these magnificent birds in the natural environment, day or night, a camera was installed at the NaturOparC in Hunawihr, on March 29. The choice of the nest had to be perfect—clear view on the nest, beautiful view, and a not-too-timid pair. After a little scouting carried out by drone, anest with the view of the Hunawihr church was unanimously approved! By coincidence, the female laid her first egg on March 26, just a few days before the camera was installed with a 16m gondola to access a branch right next to the nest. There are now four eggs that fill the nest, with the storks laying their eggs approximately 1-and-a-half days apart. It will take about 30 days to see the first stork hatch… a rare event that you can now observed live thanks to this unique device! Follow them at

For more information about the NaturOparC in Hunawihr, check out our article in the Beyond Basel Section (, or go to