077 White Stork
(Ciconia ciconia )


95-110cm. The White Stork is among Europe's largest birds. It has white body with black flight feathers. It has long sturdy red legs and long dagger-like red bill. Often nests on rooftops, chimneys. Unmistakable when seen on the ground (slow, dignified walk). In flight at distance could be confused with White Pelican, but holds neck straight out, has projecting legs and soars in much more disordered fashion, not with contingents well synchronized like the pelicans.


In Hungary the White Stork is widespread and fairly common breeder in villages and small towns with the highest population densities in the southwestern and northeastern parts of the country. The population of the White Stork has increased slightly in the past three decades and seems to have stabilised in recent years. Migrant. Arrives between mid-March and mid-April at the breeding sites in spring. The non-breeding individuals gather in flocks of up to several hundreds during the summer, especially around extensive fishponds. Leaves the country in August or early September in autumn. In late autumn and winter mostly injured birds unable to migrate can be observed.

077 White 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