Family Storks (Ciconiidae)

Least Concern

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia)


French: Cigogne blanche German: Weißstorch Spanish: Cigüeña blanca
Other common names: European White Stork

Ardea Ciconia


, 1758,



Until recently considered to include C. boyciana, but these now universally accepted as two separate species. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. ciconia (Linnaeus, 1758) – N Africa, Europe, W Asia and S Africa; winters mostly in tropical Africa and S Africa.
  • C. c. asiatica Severtsov, 1873 – Turkestan; winters mainly in India.
  • Descriptive notes

    100–102 cm; 2·3–4·4 kg; wingspan 155–165 cm. Males average larger. Black orbital skin, iris dark brown or grey; pale band on secondaries not... read more


    Silent away from the nest, practically mute. At nest, can utter a weak hiss. Adults often perform... read more


    A species of open country, frequenting a diversity of humid and dry habitats. It is perhaps more... read more

    Food and feeding

    The diet is very varied although entirely of animal origin. The species is essentially opportunistic, taking whatever large invertebrates... read more


    The breeding season begins during February–April in the Palearctic, although overwintering birds or early returners may visit their... read more


    Principally migratory. Migrants travel in flocks that may number hundreds of individuals or even... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Increasing, after a period of marked decline. The bulk of the population inhabits Europe, including Turkey and W Russia, which holds... read more

    Recommended citation

    Elliott, A., Garcia, E.F.J. & Boesman, P. (2017). White Stork (Ciconia ciconia). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 26 June 2017).