These Flying Beasts Are Hooked on Junk

The white storks glide across the sky,

Migrating south in times gone by;

But now like Burroughs in his funk,

These flying beasts are hooked on junk.


Whilst landfill sites our eyes detest,

To these bleached birds they are a nest;

A place that they can rear their young,

Amongst the piles of human dung.


A breeding ground for mice and rats,

It’s somewhere they can hang their hats;

Why fly to Africa for heat,

When there is so much food to eat.


Defending nests through night and day,

To keep competitors at bay;

When breeding they will travel less,

Increasing their fledgling success.


When not caught up in mating plans,

These storks will travel many spans;

Going as far as fifty clicks,

To get their landfill feeding fix.


But as new laws and regs kick in,

These landfill sites will start to thin;

With food waste going out of sight,

Will all these storks once more take flight?

These flying beasts are hooked on junk (Photo Credit: University of East Anglia)

This is a Quatrain written about this piece of research, which found that white storks are altering their migratory patterns to feed from landfill sites, with evidence that some white storks are now resident nesting and living near landfill sites all year round, in Portugal and Spain. When these landfill sites are closed (as required by the EU Landfill Directives), it will likely have a radical impact on those same white storks that now call these sites home.


An audio version of this poem can be heard here.

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