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White Storks sharing nests with Cattle Egrets and both breed successively

An amazing nesting association between a White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) and Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus ibis) was observed at Auberge Amros, near Azrou in the Middle Atlas by Jacques Franchimont.

On 7 June 2015, Jacques photographed several nests of Cattle Egrets (maybe 6) that were built on lateral branches of a White Stork nest (see photos). Jacques described this perfect situation: “this entire little world lives in perfect harmony and all juveniles of both species grow normally”.

Une étonnante association reproductive : plusieurs nids de Garde-bœufs (peut-être bien 6) ont été construits sur les branches latérales dépassant d’un nid de Cigogne blanche ! Tout ce petit monde vit en parfaite harmonie et tous les jeunes des deux espèces grandissent normalement ! Auberge Amros (environs d’Azrou) – 07-06-15.

White Stork nests are known to host nests of small birds such as Woodpigeon, Pied Wagtail, Common and Spotless Starlings, Tree and House Sparrows and probably others. But White Stork nest hosting Cattle Egrets and both species breed successfully has probably not been previously recorded. (No books with me to check this; and Internet connection is so slow where I am now, so any comments on this are welcome).

Merci Jacques pour cette belle observation!

Adult White Stork, its 2 juveniles and several juveniles of Cattle Egrets, Azrou, Middle Atlas (Jacques Franchimont)
Adult White Stork with several juveniles of Cattle Egret, Azrou, Middle Atlas (Jacques Franchimont)

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