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Bird name:

Black Stork

Ciconia nigra




Storks (Ciconiidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Forest, Wetlands, Marshland

Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Loose colonies

Egg Colour:


Number of Eggs:

3 - 4

Incubation Days:

32 - 38

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Material:

Sticks, grass, and mud.

Nest Location:

In trees near wetlands.




Black Stork: Large wading bird with broad wings, and long, straight, orange-red bill. Orange-red around eye, pink-red legs. Upperparts and neck black, rest of underparts white. Juvenile patterned like adult but duller grey-black upperparts and neck, and grey-green bill, legs, and around eye. Forages for fish, amphibians, and other small creatures by stalking through wetlands and catching prey with a quick thrust of its bill. Soaring flight with slow, powerful wing beats.

Range and Habitat

Black Stork: Breeds in central and southern Europe across Asia and southern Russia. Winters in tropical parts of Africa, India, and Southeast Asia. Birds in Southern Africa are resident. Found primarily in marshy wetlands and wooded areas, as well as hills and mountains near water. Rare vagrant to the UK and Ireland during migration.

Breeding and Nesting

Black Stork: Three to five white, oval eggs are laid in a large, unkempt, platform nest made of medium and large sticks, grass, and mud. The nest is built in a large, old tree, or on a cliff, usually 12 metres or more above the ground. The eggs are incubated by both sexes for 30 to 40 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Black Stork: This large stork feeds on fish, large insects, amphibians, and other small creatures. It forages for prey by wading in wetlands with outstretched wings and waiting for food to appear, or carefully stalking through wetland areas to catch prey items by surprise. It catches prey with a quick thrust of its sharp bill.


Black Stork: Near nest, gives shrill whistled "wheew-wheeew-wheew-whu-whu" calls. Also hisses and bill-claps when excited. Generally silent away from breeding colony.

Similar Species

Black Stork: White Stork has black only on primaries and dark orbital skin. Rare vagrant Glossy Ibis has a decurved bill and dark undersides. Oystercatcher is much smaller and has an orange bill.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX