Monday, 7 November 2011

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia)

Latin Etymology: Ciconia ("stork") ciconia ("stork")
Two adult White Stork (subspecies C. c. ciconia) at Rivas Vaciamadrid Station, Madrid, Spain - April 2016

Featured Subspecies: Ciconia ciconia ciconia
Weight: 3.4kg  /  Height: 100-125cm  /  Wingspan: 1.5-2.1m
NO UK STATUS / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

A huge bird only really found as a vagrant in the UK.  White Storks are the commoner of the two European Storks and are practically unmistakable at any sort of range.  They often nest in large trees, on top of buildings or on poles in huge nests, often in colonies.  Much bigger than a heron, it holds its neck out straight when flying.  The red beak and legs and white and black body are characteristic.  Throughout much of Europe it is migratory, leaving in Winter, but is resident in Donana.  If anything, I found them to be more abundant on a later trip to Madrid, where we saw them roosting on buildings and flying over the city fairly regularly.  As of 2019, a reintroduction project is underway in the UK.

Related Species:
Family: Ciiconidae
Genus: Ciconia
Subspecies: C. c. ciconia, C. c. asiatica

 - Sighting Locations -
ITALY - Italian: Cicogna bianca ("white stork")
Variously a resident, passage migrant or breeding Summer migrant, depending on location
 - SICILY 2018 TRIP -  A few individuals seen at various locations
SPAIN - Spanish: Ciguëña común  ("Common Stork")
Common resident, can often be seen nesting at close range.
 - SEVILLE 2011 TRIP: One bird seen at El Rocio
 - MADRID 2015 TRIP: Abundant throughout Madrid and surroundings - most commonly seen large bird.
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: Abundant throughout Madrid as well as Arrocampo and Rivas Vaciamadrid

Further Notes: BirdForum OpusIUCN Red ListRSPB , Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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