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5

White Stork

(Ciconia ciconia)
German name(s): "Weißstorch"
Size: 0.95-1.1 m; wing span 1.80-2.15 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

MALE

Lateral view of a pair of White Storks on their nest; the bird at the back, which is larger and has a longer bill than its mate, is probably the male (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, February 2014]

Sex unknown

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 (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, May 2018]

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]

White Storks congregating on the bank of a river (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, July 2014]

White Stork on the point of landing (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, May 2018]

White Stork on the point of departure: Full wing stretch, bend knees... (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[River Bug, near Brok, Masovia, Poland, March 2019]

White Stork on the point of departure: One powerful wing beat... (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[River Bug, near Brok, Masovia, Poland, March 2019]

White Stork on the point of departure: ... and jump out of the water (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[River Bug, near Brok, Masovia, Poland, March 2019]

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

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]

Nest

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

White Stork on its nest in a natural setting, on a stunted willow tree (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Rheinaue near Schierstein, Hessen, Germany, April 2019]

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]

White Stork chicks on their nest (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, May 2014]

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]

Lateral/ventral view of a White Stork carrying nesting material (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, March 2014]

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 Storks 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.

Near-lateral view of a White Stork hunting in shallow water (photo courtesy of J. Pires )
[Near Mora, Evora, Portugal, July 2018]

White Stork looking for prey in a lush meadow (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[River Bug Landscape Park, near Malkinia, Masovia, Poland, June 2018]

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.m4a (Poland) Bill clatter on nest © 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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