Black Stork © Nigel Dennis
Micromammals, reptiles, shellfish and insects complete the diet, but fish makes up the most part of their diet.
A baby Black Stork is coverd with white down and has a yellowish or yellowish orange beak. Most of them are the same height, only those that hatched later or were ailing are rather shorter. Some of the weaker young die and they are thrown out of the nest. At first young birds are rather weak and they can't sit normally. At this time they are rather feathery, noisy, and aggressive, especially when somebody comes near to their nest. Their feathers grow in completely when they are 46-50 days old and become adult-like, except that they are blackish-brown, not bright, and their legs are greenish-red. The young leave the nest when they are 60-66 days old. One brood is brought up during a year. At first parents place food into the beaks of the young, later they take it from the beaks of the adults and from the nest. Their food is very different: small fish, frogs, lizards, mice, voles, shrews, liste birds (especially the birds that hatch on the ground), insects that live in the water and their larvae. Young storks feed on mollusca, on large insects that live in the grasses, moss, and, especially, water plants. Once the young mature, the family of Black Storks looks for food farther from the nest.
They fly south in September.
Unlike the White Stork, which is a bird from the countryside and the steppes, the Black Stork is above all a forest species. They settle in old quiet forests where the nest is placed on a big tree, often near an open space (slopes, clear forests), which allows them an easy access. Their hunting field consists of streams and small rivers, of marshy ponds and of meadows with low vegetation. Couples are always several kilometers apart from one another.
Where they are found
Southern parts of Africa, and parts of Europe.