Pair of White Storks mating in Alsace France. (Click on photos to view full size).
The White Stork is the beloved emblem of the Alsace region of France and appears in symbols and art everywhere in the region.
Yet, by mid-1970, there were only ten mating pairs of White Storks left in Alsace.
They were virtually extinct in this area, although thriving in other parts of the world.
Today, due to local co-operative conservation efforts, there are now an estimated 600 mating pairs of White Storks in Alsace.
Stork populations were decimated mostly by power line electrocution and habitat destruction.
I was fortunate to see this pair in the process of mating and nest-building.
When we returned to our apartment after a day of stork watching, I photographed a pair of local falcon’s mating on a nearby balcony. It is springtime in France after all! Vive La France!
White Storks mate for life, and return to the same nests each year.
Cheers to you from Alsace’s beautiful, White Storks~
254 thoughts on “Alsatian Heart~”
Great shots…! 😍
Merci beaucoup mon ami Andy!
Always a pleasure Cindy 😊
They are gorgeous, graceful creatures~
Beautiful, Cindy. 🙂 — Suzanne
Thank you Patricia!
Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
More beautiful photos from Cindy.
Ahhh, the storks and I are grateful! <3
OH wow I didn’t know they mate for life like Swans. How beautiful Cindy. I love these! Each one is such a wonderful sight are rare I realize! <3
They are graceful, gorgeous and faithful! <3
Merci beaucoup Susan~
Amazing… thanks for sharing these pics.
Thank you more for appreciating them!
Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
I love Cindy Knoke’s photographs of her travels where we get to see picturesque towns and amazing sea and landscapes but I also miss her photographs of the natural world. These are stunning and very beautiful.. #recommended
Hugs to you dear Sally and thank you too on behalf of the storks and I! <3
Pleasure Cindy.. have a wonderful Easter.. ♥
You too my friend.
Amazing shots !!!
Aww, thanks much & cheers to you~
Wow.. these are amazing photo’s Cindy.. Just a beautiful pair… 🙂 Fabulous
They are so gorgeous aren’t they, with the white and black feathers, and bright red beaks!
So Beautiful Cindy xx
I love it when humans have the will to turn around the destruction of a species and are successful. Great photos, Cindy!
I do too, and what I notice often, is this is accomplished by dedicated individuals working together to protect and conserve. The conservation efforts of people in Alsace is so impressive~
These photographs of the storks are incredible, Cindy.
Ah, thank you very much~
Beautiful birds and shots! It is the bird of my childhood.
How wonderful it must feel for you to know they are thriving once again in Alsace! <3
Actually, most of European countries are habitat for them. I envy you can see them.
I read that. I have only seen storks in Africa, so they were quite a thrill for me.
Wow ! They mate with the same stork for life ! ( not like some humans we know…. )
Many birds do this. Humans have quite a lot to learn from animals, but I fear we will never catch up! <3
oh, I felt as though I should have been closing my eyes!!
Respecting their privacy. Did you notice the affection afterwards? Lovely~ <3
OOH! That time of year again.
Yes indeed. It seems especially so here in France!
Gorgeous birds and as always, awesome shots!
Thanks Steph & cheers to you from France~ <3
Have fun. Can hardly wait to see more photos. 💗
You are making a wonderful trip through my continent Cindy. I envy you and it makes me want to pack my suitcase again and take a train, plane or bus to everywhereland. The story of the storks is the same as in my country, the Netherlands. They were almost extinct and then by breeding programs reintroduced, and now they thrive. We got a pair nesting in the vincinity of my house. A well known and much loved little song over here tells about the weeping frog with her son sitting on her knee (!). She explains to him that the boy’s father was eaten by that stork over there. The little frog says: ‘Dear mother, when I’ll be grown, I’ll beat him to jelly’ 🙂 The good news is: after being almost gone as well, the frogs are back again in our ponds and ditches!
Oh what a wonderful, rich, comment!
“It makes me want to pack my suitcase again and take a train, plane or bus to everywhereland.”
I always feel this way, so I understand exactly what you are saying. In everywhereland there is so much beauty, and I want to see as much of it as I possibly can. People like you understand and you express it movingly.
How wonderful that you have a nest nearby! You can photograph the chicks! I will be gone before they hatch, so I would love to see your photographs.
The frogs are back, the storks are back, so little children can still be sung their special song once again!
Some things are right in the world. Thank you for telling me this. It made me happy. <3
Reblogged this on O LADO ESCURO DA LUA.
As cegonhas e eu obrigada meu amigo! <3
Breath Taking, thank you Cindy. ~~dru~~
Ah, thank you more for your kindness~
Beautiful pictures of beautiful creatures.
Aren’t they glorious. After a day watching them, I went to sleep with the sound of their clattering song singing in my head~
An absolutely smashing set of photos, Cindy!
The storks are such a strong Alsatian symbol. <3
To go to sleep
we count storks
Thanks for sharing for your magnificent impressions. Happy Easter to you all! 🐣🐰🐣
How wonderful! After watching the storks, I fell asleep with their distinctive clacking calls singing in my head, in a gorgeous old Alsatian house. I can so understand why these graceful, faithful and beautiful creatures are such an important cultural symbol. Cheers to you my friend and happy stork filled dreams~ <3
Gorgeous photos as always. Sad about the power line’s decreasing storks’ numbers. Beautiful creatures.
Always so wonderful to have you pop in and say hello Carrie! Cheers to you & hope all is well with you~ <3
Thanks, it is. Same to you!
These are awesome shots Cindy. 🙂
Hugs to you my friend and cheers too! <3
Once again Cindy your photographs are superb, giving us a close-up that lets enjoy the the incredible clarity and detailing of the beautiful birds.
They are so gorgeous aren’t they. We can so clearly see why all this mythology and symbolism rose up around them. Graceful, faithful and beautiful creatures~ <3
Wow – your photographs are just so astonishing. One of my early American ancestors came from Alsace so this really resonated with me.
You must visit here someday. You will fall in love with the Alsatian <3 !
Which Alsatian – is he tall, dark and handsome???
What beautiful creatures. You have captured them perfectly. So glad they are building in numbers again.
Can you imagine what a loss it would have been if they have become extinct from Alsace. They are under threat in other areas too, like so many of our wild creatures great and small~
Ah, Springtime in France and love is in the air – literally 😉
Yep, and it is intoxicating, even without the Alsatian wine!
What a tender and exquisite couple!
I am glad you see the tenderness. It was so evident. The photos may not show it, but the male was very gentle and solicitous towards the female. The bond between them was quite moving to see. Happy Easter Dor~
Love at first bite! 🙂 Have you ever watched Turkeys mate, Cindy. It can get quite rough and tumble. –Curt
I’ve missed turkeys, but ducks are seriously brutal, so I know what you mean. But the storks mating was actually quite tender. There was solicitousness consistently from the male. I think they press the beaks to avoid accidental injury, trust me I am guessing here, I am not an expert on storks, but the mating was really quite gentle. If there is a stork expert reading this, I hope they chime in and let us know.
That’s nice to know. As for ducks, yes, the male ducks the female, so to speak. –Curt
I never thought of that……..
Thank you for sharing these precious beauties with us — I’m grateful for your amazing eye and skills behind the camera.
I am grateful for your kind thoughtfulness and appreciation of these wonderful creatures!
Wow, how did you capture these? Amazing shots!
Luck, being quiet, standing still, but being mobil, ie., no tripod, and going outside a lot. Plus, I swear, keeping my telephoto on full zoom stuck to my eye with no tripod so I can move when I want, interests birds and wild animals. They always stare into the lens, wondering God only knows what!!! Maybe they wonder what sort of creature is that? Most photographers I see photographing birds use tripods. I never do, so I bet I look weird. As a matter of fact I know I look weird.
So, thats the key, just go outside with a camera stuck to your face, and look weird, and voulah.
Aren’t you sad you asked???? 🙂
Haha. You made me laugh Cindy! Thank you so much for the tips! I don’t like to use tripod either, so this stuck to my eye thing works perfectly! 🙂
Cheers to you my friend~
Stellar, Cindy!! You capture the beauty, elegance and dignity of our fellow creatures. Hugs!
Hugs back to you Rebecca and I bet the flowers are blooming in glory now in Vancouver! <3
We’ve had very cold weather and lots of rain this year! So everything is a little slower! But the daffodils always come through!!!
Exquisite birds! So happy to know they are no longer in jeopardy! 💜
Good people, saving good wild creatures, is good news, we all need! <3
Amen to that!
Beautiful birds and very impressive shots, Cindy 🙂
Amazing photos, Cindy 🙂
Hugs to you in sunny Spain Irene! <3
I didn’t realize white storks mate for life — just look at all the interesting things I’m learning from “our” travels together, Cindy! Thank you!!
And thank goodness google is here to make me look like I know what I am talking about! Martha Stewart is right. You can learn new things every day. She probably googled that……
Wow, that’s so gorgeous, Sue. This is a beautiful and interesting posts; thanks for sharing the White Storks manting.
The storks and I thank you Isabel & send you cheers from France~
Oh, melt my heart! That one close-up photo is especially precious! <3 I never knew that about the Alsace Storks…thank you for both the beauty and the education!
Ah, thank you for being an awesome friend~ <3
what amazing pictures… bless you.. you are the best! xxxxoo
Visa versa 2UX2! <3
Reblogged this on Spiritual Challenges.
Thank you my friend on behalf of the beautiful storks and Happy Easter!
So gorgeous! My father in law was Alsatian, on a side note 🤗
Thanks much & Happy Easter. Your father in law probably loved White Storks!
I’m sure…who wouldn’t 🙂
Completely wonderful, Cindy. VVG!
Merci beaucoup mon ami & Happy Easter!
I am seeing them in their nests everyday which is quite a thrill!
Beautifully captured! They just look so in love together..
I am so glad you can see this! It was evident to me and very touching~
Such an important example of what communities can do when people work together, Cindy, and as always, exquisite photos that immortalize the wonder of life.
Hugs & gratitude to you my friend for seeing the bigger picture~ <3
Beautiful post, beautiful storks and a beautiful “Good News” story! 🙂 xo
Beautiful Easter to you dear Bette & thank you too!
Reblogged this on SUSANNE LEIST.
Hugs to you my friend and a big thank you from me and the storks! <3
From 10 to 600… that’s a feat and a good news in this world where news tend to be just the bad but not so much the good that persons can accomplish. Thanks very much, Cindy. : )
Yes, the good gets drowned out by the severity of the bad. Thank you for noticing and for caring~
Oh Cindy what wonderful photos, and lucky you to be able to see these beautiful birds.
I am seeing them everyday and am fallen fully in love! Cheers to you Alison & thank you too~
How wonderful and so very beautiful.
Indeed. Beauty and good news we all need to hear. Hugs to you~
C’est magnifique! <3
Beautiful. You are stork raving maaaad. 👏
It was all your fault! It was you who got me looking for them, and boy have I found them! Happy Easter John~
How lucky to be present for this … and capture this couple so beautifully Cindy ❣
There is something truly magical about them and their pair bonding. Cheers to you Val~
Ahhh…..a beautiful pair of white stork-ings….hehehe. ♡(*´∀｀*)人(*´∀｀*)♡
Happy Easter to you dear friend! <3
Happy Easter to you too, Cindy
These photos are truly wonderful. 🙂
Merci beaucoup mon ami! <3
Reblogged this on Looking For The Light Blog.
Sincere gratitude on behalf of the storks and I! <3
Ich kenne das Elsass gut und habe diese Storchen-Kolonnie schon öfters besucht.
Frohe Ostern, Cindy…
Sie nisten jetzt im ganzen Elsaß. Ich sehe jeden Tag Nester auf Schornsteinen, Türmen, Dächern. Es ist wunderbar! Glücklichste Ostern zu Ihnen Ernst ~
Ah, love is in the air! Thanks for sharing information about the White Stork’s comeback. We’re truly fortunate to be able to witness their beauty today. 🙂
Aren’t they stunning birds! And there is such tenderness in the pairing behavior. I can see why they are so beloved. Cheers to you Lynn from France~ <3
That head shot makes a wonderful portrait!
Thank you for noticing. I call these bird head shots portraits too!
I especially like the close-up. The bird does seem to be posing. 🙂
I really think they do pose for the lens. I have seen it over and over. Happy Easter to you Graham from France~
Amazing! Happy Easter, Cindy!
Happy Easter my friend. I still have more posts pending on gorgeous Croatia. So many photos, so little time! <3
So glad yo’ve enjoyed Croatia, I’m going back in May & June for another fix of that beauty 🙂 <3
They are very attractive birds! Hope you are well, Cindy!
Visa versa 2UX2 Maiko and thank you 2!
Beautiful birds. They have a very attractive nest; decorated with ivy. 😉
They are upscale storks who accept nothing but the best in terms of accomodation! Their nests get huge because they use them every year and they are on chimneys, trees, roofs, towers, you name it. I have been watching one lone stork on their nest waiting for the mate who isn’t showing up. Very sad.
Happy Easter to you Mandy~ <3
Oh I hope the mate is just late. It’s tragic when one of the pair dies.
You are a wonderful photographer. This series is beautiful and amazing. Thanks.
Ahh, your thoughtful comment made me smile~ <3
Absolutely beautiful x
They are stunning, graceful creatures~ <3
Oh how I enjoyed seeing the mating, the proliferation in action, of this special species, Cindy. It is a marvelous thing that conservationists were able to revive the species. Bonjour to you, my friend, and mercie for the wonderful photos.
Merci beaucoup mon ami & Happy Easter~ <3
Very romantic, Cindy! Truly a <3
I agree! Happy Easter Resa~ <3
Happy Easter! <3
Gorgeous pictures of the happy couple, Cindy! Love the portrait too. Happy Easter!
I was just over looking at your gorgeous photos. Happy Easter to you and your feathered friends~
Wow, that kissing looked like a dangerous sword fight with those beaks, lol. Fabulous! Happy Easter Cindy. <3
I think they have to hold their beaks together to avoid injuring each other. Happy Easter to you & yours!
Lol, that is so cute. Thanks Cindy. <3
Awesome Cindy…good details..and a lovely blue sky…:-)
Thank you! The European heat wave broke yesterday. The days have been sunny and blue. Cheers to you~
Completely stunning photographs!! What beautiful birds. Amazing!!
Thanks much and so pleased you like them. I think I have fallen under their magic spell!
So beautiful pictures! 🙂 Here in southern Sweden we have several successful projects to get the stork back again. Where I live, two pairs now breed, and one of them stays all year long.
Wow, the pictures of the storks are amazing. The close-ups are incredible.
Thanks Sheryl, they are gorgeous creatures!
Wonderful close ups of these amazing birds. Glad that conservation efforts helped.
Great to hear from you, and yes, without concerted community effort, these beauties may have been gone from Alsace which would have been a terrible loss~
Enjoy your travels and let us know if you come Seville way!
Not this time, but soon, I would love to visit you~ <3
Obrigada e Feliz Páscoa!
Absolutely spectacular pair bonding photos, Cindy! Best, babsje
Ah, so kind and so appreciated! Thank you~
Very happy you think so & have a wonderful week~
Majestic and beautiful 🙂
Thank you. They are majestic creatures~
What a beauty of photos. They are a dream to enjoy the natural environment of these birds. Trasmites their work with a unique sharpness. You can enjoy art more than you can.
Your are very kind and your thoughtfulness is much appreciated!
Cindy, these photos are amazing!
Ahh, so happy you enjoyed them & thank you!
What beautiful birds. You’ve captured them in such living color. Have a wonderful time.
It is now 3 degrees celcius in Germany with snow expected! First we had a month of heat waves, and now snow, and our hotel heating system isn’t working. Ah, the joys of travel! It, like life, is not always sunny days and skies unfortunately! Hugs to you Brenda~ <3
Brrr! It’s probably not super crowded in all the best touristy spots, though.
Yes I prefer the cold to the crowds!
That’s why we go to VT in the summer. 🙂
I have never been to Vermont. I probably need to add it to the list……..
Sounds like a long list. I have a long one, too. 🙂
Remarkably clear. Magnificent shots, wow!!
So happy you enjoyed them Amy. I was thrilled with these gorgeous birds!
These birds are lovely. What a blessing to be able to capture these photos. I am happy they are multiplying in number in Alsace. Their mating behavior is quite romantic and amusing. <3
There was a tenderness to the whole process that surprised me. I couldn’t include the whole process as it would be too many photos. But it was really quite lovely. Cheers & hugs to you Nancy~ <3
Your pictures are just awesome! What beautiful birds storks are! Greetings to Alsace!
You capture everything in an amazing way!
Ahhh, such a kind thing to say! <3
Love is in t e air….. I can see it in his eyes…. 🙂 Brilliant pictures!
Vive le cigognes! <3
Our ducks mating is not that romantic… especially when you have to step over them to feed the goats… 🦆 Oscar
I can well imagine! Duck mating is brutal, especially in the water~
Beautiful beautiful Cindy! I can’t imagine how you managed to capture all that1 We saw storks on our visit to that region– remember their huge nests on church rooftops. And there were storks who migrated up from north Africa to Andalucia when we lived there. So regal! Thanks for taking the time to photograph them so perfectly for us…
You are very kin and yes, they do migrate from Africa, and I saw storks today near Heidelberg, although not white storks. The white stork nests all over Alsace now which is wonderful. How wonderful for you to have lived amongst them in Andalucia! Hugs to you Rhonda~
gorgeous pictures, Cindy! I grew up across the Rhine river from Alsace and remember how rare storks were in my childhood. Glad they have increased in numbers again.
Oh, you must have wonderful childhood memories of the region. We have been in Germany for the last week and crossed the gorgeous Rhine to get here!
I saw that you were in Heidelberg. If you get a chance, you may want to visit Baden-Baden and Sasbachwalden in the Black Forest.
We were in Baden Baden over Easter and loved it! I will be posing on it soon. It is gorgeous! I loved the mandarin ducks in the River Oos and the tulips and we stayed in Brenners Park as a present for my husband’s birthday and it was so lovely! <3
my hometown (I grew up in a wine growing suburb).
Love makes things happen.Thank you for showing such tender moments.
Thank you for appreciating the tenderness~
Fabulous! 🙂 🙂
Merci beaucoup mon ami!
Vive l’amour et les gens francais. J’aime toujours votre sejours .
Vive l’amour et la France! Je suis d’accord avec toi! <3
Stunning photos. It feels like we are right next to them.
So happy you got that feeling and thank you!
A day of stork watching ~ Fabulous! Thanks for taking us along with you, Cindy 🙂
A day watching birds is a day well spent! <3
Beautiful storks! Amazing birds. We only have them in the very south of Sweden.
They would be so pretty in that landscape. I would love to see them in Sweden!
Here’s a link to a Swedish photoblog where one post is about a stork in Sweden
I just found your comment in my WP spam folder! Thank you for the link, heading over there now~
I’m glad you found it and not decided it was a real spam comment 🙂
Definitely not! <3 <3
🤗 good, I wouldn’t think of spamming anyone 🙂
Of course not. It is a WP glitch~
I know. I find normal comments in my spam folder too sometimes. I think it’s when the comments contains a link or two one can end up in spam folder.
I am glad I found you! <3
Thanks and I say the same to you ❤️
Thank you for the like, Cindy. 🙂
Thank you so much Cindy. 🙂
Thank you Cindy. 🙂
In Germany, too, the storks have recovered. During my last several visits, it has been heartening to see occupied nests with young! They are gorgeous. 🙂
Great news! I saw a few too in Germany. They are such majestic creatures. Their presence enhances everything!
Beautiful! My poem today is about storks in case you have time to look Cindy? 🙂
I saw your post. Beautiful!