White Stork

Name

White Stork

Scientific Name

Ciconia ciconia

Characteristics

The white stork is, largely, a carnivorous bird. They are wading birds covered in white feathers, except for the black primary feathers on their wings. They have slender legs that are bright orange and have long, sharp bills. Adults are 100 to 115 cm tall with half this height being made up of the legs. The male of the species is usually larger than the female.

White storks inhabit open wetlands, savannahs, meadows, pastures, and agricultural fields. They prefer areas with shallow, standing water.

During the breeding season, white storks seek out areas with suitable structures on which to build nests. They especially like sunny areas on tall trees or rooftops. The female will lay three to five eggs which are incubated for 33 to 34 days. The chicks are fed by both parents via regurgitation and will eat up to 60 percent of their body weight each day, until around nine weeks of age when the chicks leave the nest.

Diet

The white stork eats a wide range of prey including small fish, snakes, frogs, molluscs, crustaceans, insects and, on occasion, some rodent species.

Size Fact

They have a wingspan of 155 to 165 cm.

Food Fact

Hawks and eagles are known predators of the white stork.

Fun Fact

In some areas, stork nests are seen as a sign of good luck.

IUCN Red list

Classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Where do I live?

The white stork spends the warm summer months of the breeding season in parts of central and southern Europe, the Middle East and west-central Asia. In winter, it follows migration routes to regions of southern Africa.

Back to the top