Black Stork

The Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It is a rare species that breeds in the warmer parts of Europe, predominantly in central and eastern regions. It breeds in large marshy wetlands with coniferous or broad lived woodlands. It also will inhabit hills and mountains with sufficient network of creeks. It winters in tropical Africa. However, the Spanish populations are resident.

It is nearly 39 inches tall and has a wingspan of 71 inches. It is all black except for the white belly and axillaries. Its bill and legs are red. It builds a stick nest high in a tree. It feeds mostly on fish, amphibians and insects.

The Black Stork is a broad-winged soaring bird, which relies on moving between thermals of hot air for sustained long distance flight. They fly approximately 60 to 155 miles in a single day and sometimes can fly as much as 310 miles.

The Black stork is a shy and wary species, unlike the closely related White Stork.