Family Storks (Ciconiidae)

Least Concern

Abdim's Stork (Ciconia abdimii)


French: Cigogne d’Abdim German: Abdimstorch Spanish: Cigüeña de Abdim

Ciconia Abdimii

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1823,

Dongola, Sudan


Formerly placed in monospecific genus Sphenorhynchus. Monotypic.


Africa S of Sahara, and SW Arabia; breeds N of equator, most of population spending rest of year in E & S parts of Africa.

Descriptive notes

75–81 cm; 1160–1570 g. Male slightly larger. Upperparts Bird flying glossed purple and green. Non-breeding adult has bare parts duller. Immature browner and... read more


Usually silent away from breeding localities. At nest, utters a weak double whistle “heep-heep”... read more


Normally found in open grassland and also in areas of cultivation. Typically frequents very dry... read more

Food and feeding

Almost exclusively large insects, especially swarming locusts and caterpillars of the army worm (Spodoptera exempta); also... read more


Usually begins nesting early in the rains, in Apr–Jun. Earlier nesting reported in W Kenya and laying at colonies in N Nigeria in... read more


Principally trans-equatorial migrants, arriving in breeding range N of equator with the onset of... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Global population estimated by Wetlands International at 300,000–600,000 birds. The post-breeding population of Niger alone was... read more

Recommended citation

Elliott, A., Christie, D.A., Garcia, E.F.J. & Boesman, P. (2019). Abdim's Stork (Ciconia abdimii). 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 16 February 2019).