Again dead white stork with rubber bands

Dode jonge ooievaar
Dead white stork. Photo: Ferry Brands

On 16 July 2023, an almost fully fledged white stork (Ciconia ciconia) was found under its nest in Megen, Noord-Brabant. Half an hour before the young was practising wing flapping. The stork was collected by the DWHC in Utrecht to investigate the cause of death.

The stork was a young male. The animal died due to the fall from the nest, but its stomach was filled with many rubber bands, some other rubber material and few fragments of glass. Last year (2022) several storks died due to an infection with avian influenza, but this stork was not infected with avian influenza..

Stomach contents of the stork: rubber bands, pieces of rubber and glass fragment. Photo: DWHC

In 2019, the DWHC also had a message about a dead white stork with many elastic bands in its stomach ( The stork last year was an adult, this year it is a juvenile animal. So it seems storks feed their young rubber bands. Perhaps the birds mistake them for worms, and the pieces of rubber for mice or frogs. It is as of yet unclear why the glass fragments were fed to the stork.

Animals die due to littering! And that is lamentable.