Distinguishing Features - Length: 95 - 100 cm; wingspan: 185 - 205 cm; weight: average 3 kg. Overall colouration: shining black with iridiscent reflections. The rest of the plumage is pure white. Red beak and feet. When in full flight, you see that the underside of the wings is black with a white triangle at the base of the wing. Neck tensed in flight.
Throughout Europe, north to Scandinavia and west to Russia. Unlike the White stork Ciconia ciconia, which is a bird from the countryside and the steppes, the Black stork is primarily a forest species. They settle in old quiet forests where the nest is placed on a big tree, often near an open space, which allows them an easy access. Their hunting field consists of streams and small rivers, of marshy ponds, of meadows with low vegetation.
The diet consists almost completely of small fish; also small mammals, reptiles, shellfish and insects.
Black stork populations plummeted in the first three quarters of the 20th century because of loss of habitat. However, numbers have increased significantly enough to call it an imppressive ornithological event of the last twenty years. This is due mainly to the preservation of the species in Europe, the maturation and the preservation of the extent of numerous forest clumps during this past century as well as the preservation of a sufficient number of natural or seminatural wet environments.
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