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5

White Stork

(Ciconia ciconia)
German name(s): "Weißstorch"
Size: 1.0-1.15 m; wing span 1.55-1.65 m
Weight: 2.5-4.0 kg
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See White Stork at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "ciconia"

ADULT

BREEDING

Frontal view of a White Stork looking down on the observer
[Rheinaue near Schierstein, Hessen, Germany, May 2010]

White Stork preening (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Wizna, Podlachia, Poland, May 2016]

Lateral view of a White Stork
[Rheinaue near Schierstein, Hessen, Germany, July 2006]

Dorsal view of a White Stork
[Rheinaue near Schierstein, Hessen, Germany, July 2006]

Pair of White Storks performing a bonding ritual by clattering on their nest; this is the pair whose clattering was recorded on 3 August 2016 (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Wizna, Podlachia, Poland, August 2016]

White Stork in flight, seen against diffuse background light
[Rheinaue near Schierstein, Hessen, Germany, May 2010]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Apr - Aug Eggs: 2 - 7 (~4) Incubation period: 30 - 32 days Fledging age: 58 - 64 days

The breeding season depends significantly on geographical latitude. In the tropical north Great Egrets breed Mar - May, which is late in the wet season. Given the right conditions Great Egrets can breed any time of the year. They breed in colonies, together with other aquatic birds. Their nests are usually the ones at the very tops of trees, with other species nesting lower.

Nest

Type: Basket Material: Sticks Height above ground: 10 - 30 m

Close-up look at a pair of White Storks on their nest on an electricity pylon (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Rheinaue near Schierstein, Hessen, Germany, March 2013]

Pair of White Storks on their nest (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Brok, Masovia, Poland, May 2016]

Pair of White Storks on their nest
[Rheinaue near Schierstein, Hessen, Germany, May 2010]

Nest with 3 young White Storks near fledging age
[Rheinaue near Schierstein, Hessen, Germany, July 2006]

Pair of White Storks with their young chicks (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Wizna, Podlachia, Poland, June 2016]

Pair of White Storks with their young chicks, one of which is begging for food (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Wizna, Podlachia, Poland, June 2016]

Close-up frontal view of 2 White Stork chicks (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Wizna, Podlachia, Poland, June 2016]

Close-up view of 3 White Stork chicks (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Wizna, Podlachia, Poland, June 2016]

Impression of the view of a White Stork nest on a power pole onto the surrounding wetland (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Wizna, Podlachia, Poland, June 2016]

Eggs

Size: 68 x 45 mm Colour: Off-white, with very small brown speckles Shape: Long elliptical

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Migratory Elementary unit: Pair/flock

White Storks, who can become about 35 years old, mate for life.

Pair of White Storks performing their bonding ritual on their nest (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Wizna, Podlachia, Poland, May 2016]

Although not becoming tame, White Storks will tolerate the proximity of humans, e.g. when choosing manmade nest sites (disused chimney stacks, power poles, artificial platforms).

Food, Diet

White Storkes feed mainly on amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and also fish and insects. They are very opportunistic and will scavenge at rubbish tips and take chicks of small, ground-nesting bird species.

White Stork looking for prey in a lush meadow (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Brok, Masovia, Poland, May 2016]

White Storks looking for prey in a lush meadow (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Brok, Masovia, Poland, May 2016]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

whtstrk_dw_20160803_1.mp3 (Poland) Bill clatter on nest
(some background noise)
© DW

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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