Bonus content here because we have enough space

white stork
(Ciconia ciconia)


Historically found throughout Europe, the white stork suffered decline around the Second World War. However, it has started to recover in France, Switzerland and Italy. These are migratory birds that spend the summer in Europe migrating to south of the Sahara.


Although these birds will breed in towns and villages, typically on rooftops, their natural habitat is wet meadows, marshland and pond areas. They have also successfully colonised farmland grazed by cattle and areas of land which have been ploughed. Their preferred foods are rodents, frogs, worms and insects.

biological characteristics

White storks are large birds with a white head and black tips to the wings. The legs and bill are red. Young storks have black legs and bills until their first autumn.

conservation status

Once endangered, the white stork’s numbers have been increasing since the introduction of laws protecting them.


  • These birds rarely eat fish in the wild.

  • When pairs are re-established after their long migration, they greet one another by throwing their heads back and clattering their beaks together.

  • White storks pair for life.

  • Stork’s nests are commonly found on the rooftops of villages in Germany.

fact file

They defend their home ranges by marking them out with a substance from their scent glands on their chests. When threatened, males will turn and show their genitalia.