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The White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae, breeding in the warmer parts of Europe (south to Estonia), northwest Africa, and southwest Asia (east to southern Kazakhstan). It is a strong migrant, wintering mainly in tropical Africa, down to the south of South Africa, and also in the Indian subcontinent.

It is a huge bird, 100–125 cm (40-50 in.) tall, with a 155–200 cm (61–79 in) wingspan and a weight of 2.3-4.5 kg (5-10 lbs). It is completely white except for the black wing flight feathers, and its red bill and legs, which are black on juveniles. It walks slowly and steadily on the ground. Like all storks with the exception of the Leptoptilos genus, it flies with its neck outstretched.

There are two subspecies (HBW):

  • Ciconia ciconia ciconia Linnaeus, 1758. Europe, northwest Africa, westernmost Asia; wintering in Africa.
  • Ciconia ciconia asiatica Severtsov, 1873. West-central Asia; wintering in India.


The Oriental White Stork (Ciconia boyciana), now regarded as a distinct species, was formerly treated as a subspecies of the White Stork.

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