Thursday, April 21, 2016

White Stork - Morocco

We've seen white storks previously, in France, Spain and Turkey, but never in the numbers we saw in Morocco. In Morocco we saw a nest in the Roman ruins at Volubilis, at Fes, at Marrakech and nests in a number of places on the desert side of the Atlas Mountains. Our best spot was at Riad Badi in Marrakech, where we spent three nights. It has a rooftop terrace where we ate breakfast. On the roof we got a great view of one of the walls of the Badi Palace and along the top of that wall were at least six stork nests. At any one time we could view 6 to 12 storks. I got up early on two mornings and went up to watch and photograph the storks. I got pictures of them flying, mating and building their nests, much better views than I've ever had of storks before. 

I loved to see the storks fly. They have a tremendous wingspan and love to glide. 
Head on the end of outstretched neck, legs straight behind, large black and white wings.
Note the different colored feathers on the chest and the rust colored secondary feathers on the trailing edge of the wing. 
Just taking flight. The early morning sun is catching part of both birds.
The wall provides a better backdrop than the sky for catching the bold orange beak and black feathers.
The storks seemed to spend much of their time mating. It looked rather awkward, the male would land on the back of the female, with much flapping of wings, then ultimately jump off with more flapping of wings. 
Here the male stork has just landed on the back of the female.
And here he awkwardly hops off.
Here is another sequence. The male lands on the back of the female. The early morning light catches the orange bill and legs. 

Here the male hops off...
And just barely stops himself from falling off the edge. 
Another sequence I love because the early morning light is catching them beautifully.

If this was Humphrey Bogart, here is where he would have a cigarette. 
Finally, a little less dramatic, but some photos of single and multiple birds.
This stork was on a nest on a house in a small town outside Volubilis. I believe the town was Nzala Beni Ammar. I asked our driver and guide to stop the car so I could catch some photos.
These storks are on a nest on the desert side of the Atlas Mountains, I believe possibly in the town of Aoufous. Again, I asked our driver to stop so I could get a few pictures. Note the plastic bags that are incorporated into the nest. 

The stork nest in the center is on a pillar in the Roman ruin of Volubilis. 
This stork practices for the Swan Lake opera.
I love these last photos because of the way the light catches the storks. The stork in the nest is not a baby, but another adult. 

One last picture. Beautiful large birds.


  1. My two favorite photos are the second one and the second to last one. It was so fun seeing so many of these majestic birds!

  2. You've got some great pictures. Their wingspans are impressive.