White stork

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White stork
Ringed white stork.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Ciconiiformes
Family: Ciconiidae
Genus: Ciconia
Species:
C. ciconia
Binomial name
Ciconia ciconia
WhiteStorkMap.svg
Approximate ranges and routes

   Breeding range
   Winter range
Template:Legend-line

Synonyms
  • Ardea ciconia Linnaeus, 1758

The white stork (Ciconia ciconia) is a large bird in the stork family, Ciconiidae. Its plumage is mainly white, with black on the wings. Adults have long red legs and long pointed red beaks, and are on average 100–115 cm (39–45 in) from beak tip to end of tail, with a 155–215 cm (61–85 in) wingspan.

The two subspecies, which differ slightly in size, breed in Europe (north to Finland), northwestern Africa, southwestern Asia (east to southern Kazakhstan) and southern Africa.

The white stork is a long-distance migrant. It winters in Africa from tropical Sub-Saharan Africa to as far south as South Africa, or on the Indian subcontinent. When migrating between Europe and Africa, it avoids crossing the Mediterranean Sea and detours via the Levant in the east or the Strait of Gibraltar in the west, because the air thermals on which it depends for soaring do not form over water.

A carnivore, the white stork eats a wide range of animal prey, including insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and small birds. It takes most of its food from the ground, among low vegetation, and from shallow water.

Though monogamous, the birds do not pair for life. Pairs build a large stick nest, which may be used for several years. Each year the female may lay a clutch of four eggs, which hatch roughly 33–34 days after being laid. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs, and both feed the young. The young leave the nest 58–64 days after hatching, and are fed by the parents for another 7–20 days.

References[change | change source]

  1. BirdLife International (2016). "Ciconia ciconia". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T22697691A86248677. Retrieved 19 May 2020.