Zywkowo – a fantastic stork village

In the north of Masuria, near the very border lies a stork village. What’s unusual about it? Well, it is inhabited by more storks than people, which means really a lot of storks to observe.

On the way to Zywkowo

On the way to Zywkowo, I wondered for a while if it was worth pushing myself there for sure. Driving towards this village one passes many others, most of which have stork nests.

Passing them, from the road alone I counted 8 nests each in some villages. However, it turned out on the spot that this was really nothing compared to what I found in the stork village.

In addition, in all the villages passed along the way, storks can be seen high overhead. And if you hit a stork in a meadow it will move away if you try to get close to it.

Stork watching in Zywkowo

Unlike many other places where we meet storks – in Zywkowo they are not afraid. They are used to the presence of people and actually ignore them. Stork Village is a place they have chosen for themselves to live. There are meadows in the area where they can forage undisturbed, and they have nests in the village itself.

A viewing tower has been built at the PTOP’s Stork Farm; admission costs $4 per person, but I think it’s worth throwing more into the can.

After climbing the tower to its second level, you will find yourself right at the height of the storks’ nests. The closest one is perhaps about 10 meters away. This is a distance that no stork in the wild will allow you to go. It’s either gone or gone. Here the storks are taught that you will not come closer so they ignore people standing on the tower.

And it is from this level that you can observe the habits of these unusual birds. It’s how they prepare their nests. I even noticed that one of the storks went for the easy way and snatched up the storks from other nests, just to improve his own!

The mating ritual of the ticking storks, which bend their necks so that they lay them on their backs, looks amazing. Watching these magnificent birds is so engaging that you won’t even notice when an hour or more goes by.

How many storks are there in Zywkowo?

According to data posted on a special board in the center of the village, there have been between 36 and 44 pairs of storks in Zivkov in recent years. In contrast, the number of cubs that appeared each year ranged from 23 to as many as 75!

Since when can birds be observed in the stork village?

The first storks arrive on different dates. In recent years it has been in succession: March 14, March 25, March 21, March 18 and again on March 21.

So going to Zywkowo in the first days of April, you can always expect to see birds in the nests.

Stork village – how to get there

Regardless of where you go from, you will reach the town of Górowo Ilawiecke. From there, three possible roads lead to Zivkov, I advise you to choose the shortest one, of course, which leads through the village of Czyprki.

However, what you need to know is that the roads in this area consist more of potholes than smooth pavement. Seriously, driving down this road I had a suspicion that those in Gaza might have less potholes on the roads. Although, of course, looking at it rationally, it’s hard to keep a road that is traveled by maybe 50 cars a day in fantastic condition.

However, the Border Guard soldiers who stopped me there for inspection claimed that it was not the worst road at all. There are reportedly some roads in the area where locals travel only in first gear. I personally preferred not to check it.

On the other hand, a meeting of the Border Guard patrol near Zywkowo is very likely. From Zivkov it is less than 500 meters to the border, and less than 2 kilometers to the nearest buildings on the Russian side.

Overnight stay in a stork village

If you want to spend more time observing and photographing storks, you can stay overnight in Zywkowo in two places. The first is a farm with an observation tower. You can also stay overnight at a nearby farm – link here.

The entry contains affiliate links.

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