Darreh Tafi locals celebrate return of storks

February 22, 2022 - 17:9

TEHRAN – People in Darreh Tafi, a village located near Zarivar Lake in western Kordestan province, have once again celebrated the return of 60 pairs of migratory storks.

Zarivar Lake, a major tourist attraction in Kordestan, is hosting again thousands of storks that wing their ways to make their nests around the lake’s mountainous areas, however, locals in surrounding villages, including Darreh Tafi, have decided to build safer nests for them.

The village of Darreh Tafi annually hosts about 300 storks, Bilo village hosts about 400, and Qolqoleh village also hosts about 70 white storks that begin to nest and reproduce, ILNA reported.

The nests are typically used for years, so nest change is often related to a change in the pairing and failure to raise young the previous year, and younger birds are more likely to change nesting sites.

Oak forests near Zarivar Lake are the main nesting spots for storks. Villagers on the outskirts of Zarivar Lake believe that white storks are a symbol of good fortune and peace, which is why the people of the villages around the lake build nests for these birds.

Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked wading birds with long, stout bills. They belong to the family called Ciconiidae and make up the order Ciconiiformes. Many species are migratory. There are nineteen living species of storks in six genera.

Years ago, storks have managed to find a way of living with humans, preferring human settlements and rooftops for nesting to more natural habitats like treetops, and surprisingly, humans also have rarely attacked or persecuted them.

Myths about the storks’ immunity go back to ancient beliefs. In Egypt, it was believed that their souls were human, while in ancient Greece beliefs storks have been protectors of elderly people and take care of the aged parents while living on their roofs. The Greeks also held that killing a stork could be punished by death.

The storks were also revered in Islamic beliefs which held that storks were thought to go on pilgrimage to Mecca, where they headed for after staying in Iran.

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