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Storkism has taken over the rice fields of Pals, in Baix Empordà. Many storks follow the harvesters to find food easily.
This year many have decided to nest in this area, instead of emigrating, and it is not difficult to photograph them, like these specimens portrayed for La Vanguardia's Readers' Photos.
Storks are migratory, but more and more are staying here, probably due to climate change or because they find food easily.
The white stork (Ciconia ciconia) is a large species of bird. Its plumage is mostly white with black on the wings. And the legs and beak of adults acquire a red color.
It measures an average of 100 and 115 cm from the tip of the beak to the end of the tail, and its wings can reach a span between 155 and 215 cm.
Different types of rice have always been grown in Pals, but they are usually planted around the same dates, at the beginning of June, to be harvested in mid-August, although it can be extended to September.
Rice cultivation has been linked to this area of Catalonia since the 15th century. However, during the 18th century its planting was limited due to the appearance of diseases and epidemics such as malaria.
The population believed that they were caused by the stagnant waters in which rice grows. That is why, in 1838, a Royal Order was issued to prohibit the cultivation of rice.
At the beginning of the 20th century, rice was regularly cultivated again thanks to new techniques based on the circulation and constant renewal of water to prevent putrefaction.