Pentowo - European Stork Village
There are almost 160 thousand of stork couples living all over the world and ca. 44 thousands of them have their nests in Poland. The white storks are seen as bringing good fortune, and their arrival in late March heralds the onset of spring (read more: Storks). In the 90s, the European Natural Heritage Fund nature (EuroNatur) came up with the title of “European Stork Village” to those municipalities that besides having a strong presence had made significant efforts to white stork protection and conservation of the breeding areas. Since then, each year EuroNatur honours the contribution of a different village. According to the foundation regulations, such a title may wear only one place in each country. The first location was awarded Cigoc, Croatia, in 1994. In 2001 Pentowo in Poland was honoured with a prestigious title of the European Village of Storks.
Pentowo is a settlement situated near Tykocin between the Narew and the Biebrza National Parks in Eastern Poland. The vicinity of the village has outstanding nesting conditions, particularly since the extensive fields and pastures surrounding it provide feeding grounds for the storks. Surrounding meadows in the Narew river valley are rich in insects and frogs.
The amazing story of storks in Pentowo began in 1992 when a hurricane occurred there. Storks began to build their nests on the top of broken trees but also in all available places such as roofs and electricity posts. Thanks to the actions of the farm owner collaborating with the PTOP (Polish Society for the Protection of Birds) with some help of local people they managed to construct over 30 nests. Currently on a single farm is home to the largest colony of white storks in Poland. Yearly in Pentowo is about 30-40 stork couples. They usually appear at the end of March and they stay until Autumn.
In the old farm in Pentowo are the visitor information centre and observation towers. From stork-viewing towers, visitors can look down into nests used year after year. In the year 2000, Polish horses were also introduced in the farm. They stay in the meadows all day long and only in the winter time they spend nights in stables. Another attraction of the farm is Polish red cattle. Near the Pentowo is the small village of Kiermusy where is European Bison Conservation Center located.
Nearby is the Tykocin - former royal town with its magnificent Baroque synagogue (see next post).
You can read articles about Podlasie region:
- Supraśl - the pearl of Podlasie region
- Supraśl Lavra - important site of Orthodox culture in Poland
- Kruszyniany - Tatar village where Muslims, Catholics and Orthodox live together
- Pentowo - European Stork Village
- "The Great Synagogue" in Tykocin, Poland