Between April and September, storks are a common sight across Turkey, which forms a stopover between the birds’ winter quarters in Africa and their summer habitat in the Balkans and central Europe. The clattering of their beaks is an equally common sound. Storks mate for life, and around thirty thousand breeding pairs are believed to visit Turkey, often returning to the same nest year after year to raise new chicks.
Considered lucky in both Christian and Islamic belief, and dubbed “pilgrim birds” in Turkish, they are rarely harmed. Some municipalities even build special platforms to augment the storks’ favourite nesting perches, which range from chimneys and minarets to utility poles.