Year of 2017

A white stork and chicks nesting in Portugal

White storks build nests on the stone spires and jagged cliffs of Portugal’s southwestern coast. The birds spend the winter in Africa but in spring and summer, can be found across Europe, laying eggs and rearing chicks. Near urban areas, they often make nests atop chimneys and other tall structures. But here in the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park, the storks can use the towering stones in the landscape for suitable nesting sites.

The white stork is a large bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. Its plumage is mainly white, with black on its wings. Adults have long red legs and long pointed red beaks, and measure on average 100–115 cm from beak tip to end of tail, with a 155–215 cm wingspan. The two subspecies, which differ slightly in size, breed in Europe, northwestern Africa, southwestern Asia and southern Africa. The white stork is a long-distance migrant, wintering in Africa from tropical Sub-Saharan Africa to as far south as South Africa, or on the Indian subcontinent. When migrating between Europe and Africa, it avoids crossing the Mediterranean Sea and detours via the Levant in the east or the Strait of Gibraltar in the west, because the air thermals on which it depends do not form over water.
Scientific name: Ciconia ciconia
Biological classification: Species
Belongs to: Ciconia
White Stork Map
White Stork distribution and migration based on multiple sources. European region based on – For India, widespread vagrant in winter; regular only in western India. (See Ali & Ripley, Rasmussen & Anderton )