is a family of large birds belonging to the order of the footed. The family of stork includes 6 genera and 19 species. For all members of the family is characterized by the presence of a long beak, tapering toward the end, a long neck and long legs. Zoba do not have.
A small swimming membrane connects the three front fingers of the storks. The rear toe of these birds is weakly developed. Storks are practically dumb birds. This is due to the fact that they have reduced vocal cords.
Usually, members of the family of storks have very wide wings, are deeply dissected. Many species of storks make significant migrations every year, and in general storks are considered excellent flyers. These birds correctly use the air temperature in order to be able to save energy when flying.
In a flight state, storks pull their necks forward. The most numerous are the populations of storks in the countries of the tropical belt. Very often you can see storks in hot and temperate latitudes.
The most famous representative of the family of stork is the white stork, whose life expectancy is approximately twenty years. Almost all white storks are migratory birds – they fly to India or Africa for the winter (there are two migration routes).
Storks are found on all continents.
True, in North America, their distribution is limited to the territory of the extreme south. In Australia, the storks live only in the northeastern part of the continent. Three species of these birds nest on the territory of the Russian Federation. Only two species of storks nest in the European part of Eurasia. This is a white stork and a black stork. Sometimes, as a rare visitor in Europe, you can see representatives of the storks of the beaks of the yellow-billed beetle and the African marabou. As a rule, when choosing a habitat, storks give preference to the territories located near the reservoirs, as well as open spaces.
White stork is the most famous representative of the family of stork.
The white stork has a white tail color, except for the black ends of the wings. These birds are endowed with a long thin beak, which has a red color, a long neck, and long legs, which are also characterized by a reddish hue. Interesting is the fact that at the moment when the stork has wings folded, it may be a deceptive impression that almost the entire bird has a black color. By the way, it is from this feature that the Ukrainian name of this species of stork – the black-goose has gone. Male and female white stork are almost identical to each other color. The difference is in the size of individuals – the female white stork is still slightly smaller than the males. The growth of these birds varies from one meter to one hundred and twenty-five centimeters, and the wingspan often reaches two meters. The weight of an adult white stork is approximately four kilograms. On average, the life expectancy of these birds is twenty years. In appearance the white stork is very similar to the Far Eastern stork. However, recently the Far Eastern stork is singled out as an independent species.
The distribution of white stork is quite wide.
It can be found throughout Europe and Asia. The white stork hibernates in tropical Africa or India. And that population of storks, which inhabited the southern regions of the African continent, adheres to a settled way of life. Some storks living in Western Europe are also sedentary. These are the territories for which warmer winters are characteristic. The migrating storks are sent for wintering along two routes. Individuals that nest west of the Elbe River use the following route: after crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, these birds remain wintering in Africa. This is the area between tropical rain forests and the Sahara Desert. Representatives of white storks, which nest to the east of the Elbe River, migrate through Asia Minor and Palestine during migrations. Their place of wintering is the territory of the African continent between South Africa and South Sudan.Some individuals hibernate in South Arabia (a very small number of white storks) and Ethiopia (here a little more birds stay for wintering, in comparison with South Arabia). Regardless of the specific territory, white storks always gather in huge packs, including thousands of birds, in the winter. Young representatives of the species of white storks often remain in Africa, not only for winter time, but also for summer. Migrations of white storks associated with flying to wintering grounds occur in the afternoon. And the birds fly at a fairly high altitude, avoid being above the sea waters. At flights it is often possible to see soaring storks.
White storks migrate in small groups.
Sometimes in whole packs. These groups (or packs) of storks form immediately before flying off to wintering grounds. This time, immediately following the breeding and rearing of offspring. Departure begins at the end of the summer or the first month of autumn. There are times when the flight of white storks for various reasons is delayed until October. As already mentioned above, white storks make flights at high altitude during the day. It is interesting that the speed of moving white storks towards the south is two times less than the speed of movement of these birds towards their nesting in the spring. Some individuals sometimes spend their winter season directly on their nesting area. This situation is observed, for example, in Denmark.
The diet of white storks includes mainly small vertebrates.
And also various invertebrates. Living in the European territory storks always will never give up vipers, snakes, frogs and toads. In addition, the favorite food of white storks are locusts and grasshoppers. The diet of these birds includes also earthworms, bears, May beetles, small mammals (mainly lynx, ground squirrels, moles), lizards. Sometimes they eat small fish and very rarely small birds. When looking for food, white storks walk very gracefully and slowly. However, after seeing the potential prey, they grab it lightly.
Storks use the same nest for several years.
Previously, these birds used trees to set up their nests. On them storks with the help of branches built a huge nest. As a rule, the place of their nesting was in the immediate vicinity of human settlements. A little later, these birds began to equip their nests on the roofs of various buildings (including houses). Sometimes in this regard the stork was helped by a person, erecting specially for them these buildings. Recently, individuals of this species successfully arrange nests in factory pipes or high-voltage lines. It is interesting that the older the nest, the bigger its diameter is. In addition, the weight of individual nests reaches several centners. It is such a huge nest that it becomes a place of life not only for the storks themselves, but also for a variety of small birds. The latter, for example, may include starlings, sparrows, wagtails. Quite often, the nest is “inherited” – after the death of the parents, it is possessed by the offspring. The oldest nest that was used by more than one generation of storks is a nest built by these birds on one of the German towers (in the eastern part of the country). It served as a storeroom from 1549 to 1930.
сам Males of white storks are the first to replace the nesting grounds.
They outstrip females only for a few days. There are times when males make a distance of two hundred kilometers within one day. Storks return to our country in late March or early April. It is interesting that the male of the white stork considers his female, which will appear at the nest of the first; but if not long after this, another female will fly to the nest, then both will compete for the right to become a mother. And in this struggle the male takes absolutely no part. That female, which has withstood the competitive struggle, is invited by the male into the nest.At the same time, the male throws back his head and uses his beak to make clinking sounds, and to create a greater resonance he removes the tongue in the larynx. Male produces identical clinking sounds and when another male approaches his nest. Only the pose is different. The white stork horizontally draws in the neck and body, while lowering or raising its wings. Sometimes it happens that young storks fly to the nest of an old male. This is because the first is just too lazy to equip your own nest. Often there are fights between the owner of the nest and opponents who do not respond to preliminary threats. When the invitation of the male is accepted, both birds, while in the nest, start clapping their beaks and throwing their heads to the back.
Female white stork lays from two to five eggs.
Less often, they vary from one to seven. Eggs are white. Both male and female participate in hatching eggs – usually the roles are distributed as follows: the female incubates at night, and the male – in the daytime. When changing the hen, there are always specific ritualistic poses. The duration of hatching eggs is approximately thirty-three days. Only the newly born chicks are helpless, but they are sighted. Initially, the diet of chicks includes mainly earthworms. Parents throw them out of their throats, and the offspring either grasps worms on the fly, or they gather in the nest. As they grow older, the white storks chicks are able to snatch the food they consume directly from their parents’ beak.
Nestlings of white storks are under close supervision of adults.
Adult birds are often thrown out of the nest of all sick and weak chicks. Only on the fifty-fourth or fifty-fifth day after the birth of young storks take off from the nest. However, this process occurs again under the supervision of the parents. Even after take-off, for another two or two and a half weeks the chicks are fed by parents, and the aishtes improve the skill of the flight. Completely independent storks become in the seventy-day age. Interesting is the fact that for wintering young storks fly already without any leadership over them from adults. The path to which storks depart at the end of August is indicated by a natural instinct. Adults same fly to wintering a little later – in September. Storks become sexually mature at the age of three. Despite this, individual individuals begin to nest only six years after birth.
A stork is a bird very popular with folk culture.
Various mythopoeic traditions designate storks as deities, shamans, totem ancestors, demiurge, etc. White storks are considered symbols of life and growth, sky and sun, wind and thunder, freedom and inspiration, top and prophecy, abundance and fertility.
Black stork is another representative of the family of stork.
Black Stork is included in the lists of the Red Book of Russia and Belarus. When flying, it is often in a floating state. This feature is observed in other storks. In flight, black storks also tilt back their legs and pull their necks forward. The diet of black storks includes mainly fish, invertebrates and small aquatic vertebrates. Thus, in places of feeding of these birds become flood meadows, located in close proximity to water bodies, as well as shallow water. In addition, during wintering, the diet of black storks is diversified due to large insects, slightly less often to lizards and snakes, as well as small rodents.
The black stork has a black color.
Plumage of black storks is mainly black, although it has a copper-red or greenish tide. The abdominal side of the body of this bird is white, and the throat, beak and head are bright red. In addition, the bright red color has an unguided stain on the bridle and the eyes of the black stork.
The size of a black stork is slightly smaller than a white stork.
The length of the wing of the black stork is approximately equal to fifty-four centimeters. The weight of this bird is on average three kilograms.
Black storks tend to avoid people.
The black stork is a very secretive bird. In view of this, storks choose the habitat for old or deaf forests, areas near water bodies. Thus, the image of a black stork can be found near swamps, forest lakes and rivers. This species inhabits the forest zone of Eurasia. As for the territory of our country, representatives of this species live in the territory from the Baltic Sea to the Urals, as well as in the territory of Southern Siberia up to the Far East (the largest number of representatives of black storks nest in Primorye). A separate population of black storks inhabits the south of Russia. These are forests of the Stavropol Territory, Dagestan, and Chechnya. The place of wintering of black storks is South Asia. In addition, black storks can be seen in South Africa – here lives a sedentary population of these birds.
The black stork is a monogamous bird.
Can reproduce only three years after birth. Nest, as a rule, equips at a height of ten to twenty meters. It can be ledges of rocks or tall old trees. A prerequisite – nesting places must be far from human habitation. Nests black stork once a year. There are cases when the nests of these birds are found high in the mountains. It can be a height that reaches 2200 meters above sea level. When building a nest, black storks use boughs and thick branches of trees. Between them, storks fasten them with clay, turf and earth. By analogy with white storks, representatives of this species have one nest for many years. The end of March – the beginning of April is marked by the arrival of black storks in the place of nesting. Male issuing a hoarse whistle and fluffy white podhvoste, invites the female to her nest; The female lays off four dolts of seven eggs. In the hatred, which lasts about thirty days, both parents take part. Nestlings of black storks appear unevenly due to the fact that incubation begins with the first egg. Color of newly born chicks grayish or white. The beak base has an orange color, and the tip of the beak is greenish-yellow. For about ten days the offspring only lies in the nest. Then the chicks begin to sit down, they can stand on their feet only at the age of thirty-five to forty days. The residence time of the black storks chicks in the nest is in the range of fifty-five to sixty-five days. Aiseni receive food from their parents four or five times a day.
Black storks do not form colonies.
Often the nests of these birds are located at a distance not less than six kilometers from each other. The exception is the population of black storks nesting in the territory of Eastern Transcaucasia. Here the nests are located only one kilometer away. Sometimes you can see even two residential nests of black storks on the same tree.
The voice of a black stork can be heard extremely rarely.
Like white storks, these birds are extremely reluctant to voice. If this happens, then, as a rule, in flight, when black storks publish a rather loud cry. It can be referred to as “chi-lin” or “che-le”. Sometimes black storks talk quietly in the nest, during the mating season representatives of this species publish a loud sip; These birds also knock very rarely. Chicks have a very unpleasant and rude voice.
Attempts were made to cross the white and black storks.
In zoos, it has been repeatedly observed that the male black stork begins to take care of the white stork female, but it has not been possible to get the hybrid chicks, which is largely due to the significant differences in the marriage rituals of the representatives of these two species.
Far Eastern stork is a rare bird.
The Far Eastern stork is a species related to the white stork. Currently, the population of this species is about three thousand individuals.The Far Eastern stork is listed in the Red Book of Russia.
The Far Eastern stork has much in common with the white stork.
First of all, we are talking about the color of plumage. In size, the Far Eastern stork is somewhat larger than the black stork. In addition, the Far Eastern stork is endowed with a more powerful beak; bright red have the feet of these birds. Beak color – black. Another difference between the two types of storks is the color of the beak of the chicks – the white stork chicks are endowed with a black beak, while the nestlings of the Far Eastern stork are reddish-orange.
The Far Eastern stork is found only in Russia.
Almost so. Indeed, almost the entire range of distribution of this species falls on the territory of the Russian Federation. The name speaks for itself – these birds nest in the Far East. To be more precise, this is the territory of Primorye and the Amur Region. In addition, the Far Eastern stork is found in Mongolia, north-eastern China and northern Korea. Far Eastern storks gather early enough in flocks and fly away for wintering (south and southeast of China).
Far Eastern storks prefer wet places.
These birds live in close proximity to wet places and reservoirs. Their diet includes water and water animals. They are invertebrates and small vertebrates. Mainly the Far Eastern storks feed on frogs and small fish. When selecting nesting sites, individuals of this species try to avoid the proximity of human settlements. At the same time, the Far Eastern stork rarely builds nests in remote, inaccessible places.
Far Eastern storks equip nests high on trees.
A prerequisite for choosing a nesting site is the presence of nearby water bodies. It can be marshes, lakes, streams. In addition to trees, other high-rise structures may become a place for a nest. We are talking, for example, about power lines. The diameter of the nest in the Far Eastern storks is about two meters, and the height of the nest can vary from three to fourteen meters. One nest (as in the case of other storks) serves individuals of this species for many years. The eggs are laid at the end of April. The number of eggs in the clutch is between two and six and depends on various conditions. Helpless chicks are born about thirty days after egg laying. Female and male feed their offspring, belching food into beak. Sexual maturity of the Far Eastern storks reach at the age of three to four years.