Marchegg's stork colony, © Weinviertel Tourismus / Robert Herbst

Marchegg's stork colony

A visit to see the stork family

The March wetlands are among the most important breeding areas for the white stork in Central Europe. Up to 180 couples gather here every year at the end of April in the wetlands to rear their young.

For 110 years on the Schlosswiese in Marchegg there has been a continuous settlement of a white stork colony. The storks still breed here the way they always have done, in old oak trees. There are up to seven eyries in many oak trees. These 'stork houses', some of which weigh up to 800 kilograms, are built up by the birds throughout the summer. The flooded meadows of the March wetlands provide the best habitat for these creatures and are a real feeding paradise for them.

The 'Adebar' family

Marchegg's stork colony are made up of white storks. These are around 1 metre tall, with a wingspan of more than 2 metres. White storks inhabit open flood plains and wetland areas with large, extensive agricultural areas, which is why storks feel especially good in the March wetlands around Marchegg. They find an ideal habitat between gnarly old oak trees. It is here that they settle down after a long flight to nest and bring up their young. The storks spend spring and summer in Marchegg. At the end of August they make their journey to East and South Africa where they spend the winter, to then return to Marchegg again the following spring. The stork covers some 10,000 kilometres getting from their winter habitat back to Europe. Each day they cover a stretch of 150 to 200 kilometres. The white stork nests in the same eyrie every year, which they continue to build upon for all of their lives. Nests of an impressive size, even up to two metres in height, come about. Territorial battles between the male of the species are not rare, which is why they have to leave their nesting areas.

Storchenhaus Marchegg

Storchenhaus Marchegg provides a detailed insight into the life of the Marchegg storks. Trained environmental educationalists and nature guides provided guided tours and valuable information.