076 Black Stork
(Ciconia nigra )


90-105cm. The Black Stork is barely smaller than White Stork, which it resembles in shape. It has purple and green gloss to black plumage and white belly, dagger-like red bill and its face is red around eye. The adult Black Stork has long red legs. Very shy, rare bird restricted to wilder habitats.


The Black Stork breeds in lowlands and at medium elevations in forests dotted with streams, oxbows, bogs, as well as in floodplain forests and old mountain beech stands. Most widespread in southern Transdanubia, especially along the reach of the Danube between Kalocsa and the southern border of Hungary. Its population has considerably increased in the last thirty years. Migrant. Arrives in March. In late summer several hundreds of birds may gather at the most important congregation sites like Gemenc floodplain forest, Bodrogzug, Hortobágy, fishponds along the Tisza River. Leaves in September, but a low number of birds can be seen as late as October.

076 Black Stork pic

© Graphics by Szabolcs Kókay

Source: 1) Lovászi Péter (editor): Javasolt különleges madárvédelmi területek Magyarországon, Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2002; 2) BirdLife International:IUCN Red List for birds. Species factsheet; 3) Králl Attila, Nagy Károly: Fontos Madárélőhelyek Magyarországon (Területek, kritériumok és minősítő fajok) MME Monitoring Központ, 2007; 4) Szabolcs Kókay bird illustrations; 5) www.hungarianbirdwatching.com bird descriptions and checklists, 2004-2012; 6) Lars Svensson et al.: Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe 2nd Edition, Harper Collins, 2010; 7) MME Nomenclator Bizottság: Nomenclator avium Hungariae. An annotated list of the birds of Hungary. Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2008