“Our Storks: Guardians of the Zwin, Symbol of Our Natural Beauty!”

The Zwin, a nature reserve located on the Belgian coast, is widely known as a true bird paradise. Among all its feathered inhabitants, however, one species stands out for most visitors: the majestic stork!

storcks Zwin

The history of the stork in the Zwin has had a remarkable resurgence. Storks were introduced to the area in the 1960s, marking the start of their return as breeding birds in Belgium. This return followed a period when storks were extinct in our country in the late 19th century. Later, storks were released in several locations in Belgium, resulting in a steady increase in the population, thanks in part to growing numbers in neighbouring countries. Today, storks once again find their home in several locations in our country, with a total of over 200 breeding pairs.

Despite being spread across several breeding sites in Belgium, the Zwin and its surroundings remain one of the most important breeding areas for these impressive birds.

The storks breeding in the Zwin are closely monitored by conservationists and researchers. The breeding success of all pairs present is closely monitored, with all young storks being fitted with a scientific ring every year. But population monitoring does not stop here. Since 2019, a transmitter project has been launched in collaboration with the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, allowing researchers to track and understand the stork population even better.

This transmitter project aims to better understand the storks’ living habits, such as their migratory behaviour, foraging areas and breeding site preferences. Advanced technology allows researchers to track the movements of individual birds in real time. This information is invaluable for population conservation and management, as well as for understanding the wider ecological processes within the Zwin.

Besides the scientific importance of the transmitter project, it also contributes to raising awareness about the importance of conservation. By sharing the data and stories of individual storks tracked through the transmitters, people can develop a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by these iconic birds. It also provides opportunities for education and ecotourism, giving visitors to the Zwin the chance to follow the birds and learn more about their fascinating way of life.

In short, the stork is not only a symbol of fertility and happiness, but also an extraordinary ambassador for biodiversity conservation in the Zwin. Thanks to dedicated efforts by conservationists and researchers, and innovative projects such as the transmitter project, we can continue to enjoy the grace and beauty of these extraordinary birds in their natural habitat.


Discover the moment when the majestic storks visit the Zwin Nature Park!

Follow the storks’ exciting adventures with the Zwin Nature Park’s Transmitter Project!

Discover all about the special custom of ringing storks in the Zwin Nature Park!


Zwin Natuur Park
Graaf Leon Lippensdreef 8
8300 Knokke-Heist

Opening Hours

Parking plan Knokke-Heist

Private Parking hotel St Pol:
Out of season: 12.50 euro / night stay.
Season: 12.50 euro / night stay.

Green zone
From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. € 2,30 per hour, € 12.50 / day
Free outside weekends and school holidays!

Orange zone:
From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. € 2.50/hour max. 4 hours.

To be paid all days.

Red zone:
From 11h to 19h max. 1 hour parking € 2,50/hour second hour is € 3,50/ hour. Max. 2 hours.
To be payed all days.

Do you park longer than the allowed time? Then you pay the retainer fee of €80 per day.

Underground parking :
Dumortierlaan Underneath the IJzerpark

Under the Verweeplein

Under the minigolf

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Hotel St. Pol

Bronlaan 23
8300 Knokke-Heist


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