Max the migrating Swiss stork is heading for the ski slopes a full week earlier this year. Max normally spends spring and summer near Fribourg in Switzerland where he raises his chicks. In the autumn he heads for warmer climbs, in North Africa. When he was young Max liked to hang around in the souks of Morocco until the end of March but each year he has been returning home a little bit earlier.
In 2004 he headed off across the straits of Gibralter on the 30th of January – only to be blocked on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees by harsh February weather. This year he has started for home on the 21st of January. Some people claim that Max’s early return home is a sign of global warming. But maybe as he matures Max has learned the old saw that “the early bird catches the worm”.