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Black Stork

Ciconia nigra

  • Family: Storks – Ciconiidae
  • Appearance: A large stork with completely black upperparts. Flies with neck stretched out straight.
  • Size: Length 90–105 cm, wingspan 1,75–2 m, weight approx. 3 kg.
  • Nest: In a tree, often on a large branch, made of sticks. Uses the same nest year after year. Will sometimes take over nests originally made by birds of prey, even occasionally evicting birds of prey from their nests.
  • Breeding: 2–6 eggs (most often 3–4) laid in April, incubated mainly by female for 32–38 days. Young able to fly within 63–71 days.
  • Distribution: Nests located in extensive forests away from other nests of same species. Prefers mixed coniferous forest with rivers and marshes. Shy and inconspicuous, particularly during the breeding season. Only encountered in Finland as an occasional but fairly regular vagrant.
  • Migration: Moves to wintering areas in Africa August–October, returning April–June.
  • Diet: Insects, frogs and small mammals.
  • Calls: Most frequent call a harsh “raab”, also performed repeatedly, energetically at first but then fading.

Black Storks are generally very dark in appearance, with totally black wings, tail feathers, necks and heads, though their bellies, axillaries and vents are white. They have large, red, wedge-shaped beaks, and reddish colouring in featherless areas around their eyes. They have red legs and brown irises. Juveniles otherwise resemble adults, but the darker parts of their plumage may be more matt greenish black in colouring, and their beaks, legs and featherless eye surrounds are greyish green.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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