Maybe you were wondering what the poles are with the ‘reed baskets’ on them. These are stork poles. Storks like to build their nests high up from the ground. The reed basket is not a nest, but it serves as the basis for the nest that the stork builds. Anyone who has ever visited Munster in France during the summer knows how storks build their nests: on top of the ridge of a roof, preferably on the tip. As yet, no storks have built their nest in Maastricht. However, they stop at the edge of Maastricht as a resting place during their migration (see photos). The stork poles within Tapijn have been placed here in the hope that the storks will discover this place and use it as a nesting place. The chance is not very great, however, because storks need pastures to search for food.
Relationship with humans
Why we do what we do
When many people think of storks, they think about how babies are delivered. In folk tales, storks have been known as symbols of reproduction and bringers of happiness for centuries.
In the mid-70s, however, things were not going well for the stork. Together with volunteers and stork stations, the Netherlands Society for the Protection of Birds set up a rescue programme to prevent the stork from disappearing from the Netherlands as a summer bird.
As far as nesting sites are concerned, storks benefit from man-made structures. They are not really shy either. But for its food supply, the stork needs pastures, preferably with a lot of biodiversity. Changes in agriculture in recent decades may have a less favourable effect on storks.
For those who want more information about storks, it is worth taking a look at the website of STORK, a foundation that keeps track of everything to do with storks in the Netherlands.