We all know that storks bring the babies...ever since Hans Christian Andersen wrote his fairy tale "the Storks" in 1838.
Hundreds of storks make their home in a region which stretches over one hundred kilometers on both the German and French shores of the Rhine River.
There are approximately 30 stork couples who make their nest every year in the backwaters along the Rhine river near to where I live.
This breed of white stork is known in Germany as the "clapping stork" (Klapperstorch) because of the very loud clacking sound it makes to greet its mate when he/she returns to the nest. I wish I could post the sound as well as the photo!
Storks mate for life and their life expectancy is around 35 years. They return to the same nest / eyrie every year and so it grows and grows - some can be over one meter tall and weigh up to two tons.
Now the stork nests are all empty since they have all headed south for the winter. They migrate to Africa just south of the Sahara and come back to the exact same nest each year in the spring.
These photos were taken in early summer.