Length: 96 cm.
The male and female have like plumage. The bill young is greyish-green.
Voice: Hissing sounds resembling ‘feeoo’
Size of Egg: 60.0 – 74.3 x 44.0 – 54.7 mm
The black stork inhabits damp coniferous and mixed woods in northeastern, eastern and central Europe as well as in Spain. It prefers lowlands but may be found also in mountains near ponds, larger brooks, streams and rivers. European populations depart for eastern and southern Africa in August and September, sometimes visiting England en route, and return again at the end of March or in April. The black stork usually starts building its nest in late April or early May.
A large, flat structure, it is made of twigs and lined with smaller twigs, moss and grass and located about fifteen metres above the ground on the branches of a tree, usually close to the trunk. Sometimes the black stork uses an abandoned raptor’s nest as a foundation for its own and in the mountains will even build it on the edge of a cliff. The 3 to 5 eggs are incubated by both partners for 30 to 34 days and both bring the nestlings food, in quest of which they fly great distances, often several kilometres from the nest.
The young leave the nest after 54 to 63 days. The diet consists mainly of fish, which is caught in streams, ponds and small rivers, but it also feeds on amphibians, small mammals, larger insects and other invertebrates. It also forages in woodland meadows or in the vicinity of riverine forests where it nests, The black stork is a far shyer bird than the closely related white stork. Unlike the latter, it never places its head on its back and does not clap its bill, Hybrids resulting from the crossing of the black and white stork have been bred in captivity.