In what can be described as a bizarre event, hundreds of migratory white storks bound for Africa in the winter months, have dropped anchor in the garbage landfills of Spain and settled there for good. It is being reported that the long-legged birds have figured out the cheat code for migration.

Earlier, these birds used to take the long, arduous journey from Europe to Africa through the dangerous Strait of Gibraltar, where strong winds, often caused problems and led to the death of many birds.

Storks gets acclimatized to the abundance of food and warm climate

The migration was necessitated as the birds needed a warmer climate and an abundance of food. However, the garbage dumps in Spain offer a buffet of eating options for the birds. Moreover, the warm climate in most of the dumps allows the storks to construct their nests nearby.

It is estimated that a single landfill in Spain receives 200 tonnes to 300 tonnes of food waste per day. The storks quickly pounce upon the fresh batch and receive their fill for the day.

What started as an aberration has now turned into a phenomenon as over 70 per cent of storks have stopped with the migration. According to a 2020 survey, the population of white storks in Spain stood at 36,217; meaning, more and more storks were starting to permanently settle in the European country. 

While it may be a good news for the storks, who do not have to risk their lives for food and warmth, the change in migratory patterns is a cause of concern for humans. With Europe facing one of its worst summer crises as sweltering heatwaves mercilessly brush the continent, more and more species will be looking to curb their natural instincts. 

The change in migratory pattern is a direct result of the human activities on the planet that has raised the global temperatures. 

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