Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.28(1). (2020) p.1-10.

Results of national White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) census in Hungary in 2019
Péter Lovászi, Károly Nagy & Zoltán Görögh

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A national White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) census was organised in Hungary in 2019. The 14th country-wide nest count was coordinated by MME/BirdLife Hungary, also involving local branches and volunteers of the society and national park directorates. 

Altogether 5,018 nests and 2,358 White Stork nest holders without nest material were reported. 89.2% of occupied nests were built on electric poles. Although 80 years ago every third nests were found on trees, in 2019, only 6 were reported at that location. Successful pairs raised 2.62 nestlings on average, breeding success for all breeding pairs was 2.19, which is lower than typical, probably due to chilly and rainy weather during the breeding season. Based on 3,540 reported breeding pairs and former census data, the White Stork population of Hungary is estimated to be 3,860–4,020 pairs in 2019. The size of the population was ca. 15–16 thousand pairs in 1941, which halved by 1958 and decreased to 5 thousand pairs by the late 1960s. For four decades, the population fluctuated between 4,800 and 5,500 pairs but in the last twenty years, the number of breeding pairs slightly decreased in the country. The population decline is stronger in hilly areas of W Hungary, i.e. in Somogy, Vas and Zala counties is about 60%.