White Stork Ciconia ciconia


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Cramp, S. and Perrins, C.M. 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Cramp, S.; Perrins, C. M. 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

IUCN Red List criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Near Threatened
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency does not normally occur in forest
Land-mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 52,700,000 km2 medium
Extent of Occurrence (non-breeding) 61,000,000 km2 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size unknown poor estimated 2012
Population trend increasing - suspected -
Generation length 16.5 years - - -

Population justification: The global population size is estimated at 700,000-704,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015). The European population is estimated at 224,000-247,000 pairs, which equates to 447,000-495,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend justification: The overall population trend is increasing, although some populations are decreasing or stable (Wetlands International 2015). The population in Europe is estimated to have undergone a moderate increase between 1980 and 2013 (EBCC 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Afghanistan extant native yes
Albania extant native yes
Algeria extant native
Angola extant native
Antigua and Barbuda extant vagrant
Armenia extant native yes
Austria extant native yes
Azerbaijan extant native yes
Bahrain extant native yes
Bangladesh extant native
Belarus extant native yes
Belgium extant native yes
Benin extant native
Bosnia and Herzegovina extant native yes
Botswana extant native
Bulgaria extant native yes yes
Burkina Faso extant native
Burundi extant native
Cameroon extant native
Central African Republic extant native
Chad extant native
China (mainland) extant native
Congo extant vagrant
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the extant native
Côte d'Ivoire extant native
Croatia extant native yes
Cyprus extant native yes
Czechia extant native yes
Denmark extant native yes yes
Djibouti extant native
Egypt extant native
Eritrea extant native
Estonia extant native yes
Eswatini extant native
Ethiopia extant native
Finland extant vagrant
France extant native yes yes
Gabon extant native
Gambia extant vagrant
Georgia extant native
Germany extant native yes
Ghana extant native
Gibraltar (to UK) extant native yes
Greece extant native yes yes
Guinea extant native
Guinea-Bissau extant native
Hungary extant native yes yes
Iceland extant vagrant
India extant native
Iran, Islamic Republic of extant native yes
Iraq extant native yes
Ireland extant vagrant
Israel extant native yes yes
Italy extant native yes yes
Jordan extant native yes
Kazakhstan extant native yes
Kenya extant native yes
Kuwait extant native yes
Kyrgyzstan extant native yes
Latvia extant native yes
Lebanon extant native yes
Lesotho extant native
Liberia extant vagrant
Libya extant native
Liechtenstein extant native
Lithuania extant native yes
Luxembourg extant native
Malawi extant native
Mali extant native
Malta extant native
Mauritania extant native
Moldova extant native yes yes
Montenegro extant native yes yes
Morocco extant native
Mozambique extant native
Namibia extant native
Nepal extant native
Netherlands extant native yes
Niger extant native
Nigeria extant native
North Macedonia extant native yes yes
Norway extant vagrant
Oman extant native yes yes
Pakistan extant native
Palestine extant native yes
Poland extant native yes
Portugal extant native yes
Qatar extant native yes
Romania extant native yes yes
Russia extant native yes yes
Russia (Central Asian) extant vagrant
Russia (European) extant native yes yes
Rwanda extant native
São Tomé e Príncipe extant vagrant
Saudi Arabia extant native yes
Senegal extant native
Serbia extant native yes yes
Seychelles extant vagrant
Sierra Leone extant vagrant
Slovakia extant native yes
Slovenia extant native yes
Somalia extant native
South Africa extant native
South Sudan extant native yes
Spain extant native yes yes
Sri Lanka extant native
St Helena (to UK) extant vagrant
Sudan extant native
Sweden extant native yes
Switzerland extant native yes
Syria extant native yes
Tajikistan extant native yes
Tanzania extant native
Thailand extant native
Togo extant native
Tunisia extant native
Türkiye extant native yes yes
Turkmenistan extant native yes
Uganda extant native
Ukraine extant native yes yes
United Arab Emirates extant native yes
United Kingdom extant vagrant
Uzbekistan extant native yes
Western Sahara extant native
Yemen extant native yes yes
Zambia extant native
Zimbabwe extant native

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Czechia Confluence of the Morava (March) and Dyje (Thaya) rivers - Tvrdonicko
Czechia Pálava
Czechia Trebonsko (Trebon region)
Belarus Bielaviežškaja Pušča
Belarus Mid Prypiac'
Portugal Castro Verde plains
Portugal Castro Marim
Portugal Ria Formosa (Faro lagoon)
Portugal South-west coast of Portugal
Portugal River Guadiana
Portugal Sado estuary
Portugal Tejo estuary
Portugal Paul do Taipal
Portugal Mourão, Moura e Barrancos
Portugal Sabôr and Maçãs
Türkiye İğneada Forests
Türkiye Balıkdamı
Türkiye Eşmekaya Marshes
Palestine Wadi Al-Qof - Beit Kahel
Poland Lower Bug river valley
Greece Amvrakikos gulf
Greece Lakes Volvi, Koroneia and Rentina Gorge
Greece Nestos delta and coastal lagoons
Greece Evros delta
Greece Lake Kerkini
Greece Porto Lagos, lake Vistonida and coastal lagoons
Greece Thessaly plain
France Bassin d'Arcachon et Banc d'Arguin
France Barthes de l'Adour
France Baie des Veys et Marais du Cotentin
France Anse de Fouras, baie d'Yves et marais de Rochefort
France Ile d'Oléron, marais de Brouage-Saint-Agnant
France Marais poitevin et baie de l'Aiguillon
France La Dombes
Czechia Poodri
Czechia Hermansky stav-Odra-Poolsi wetlands
Austria Southern Seewinkel and Zitzmannsdorfer Wiesen
Austria March/Thaya riverine forest
Austria Lower Mur valley
Germany Bastau lowlands
Germany Weserstaustufe Schlüsselburg
Germany Lower Aller lowlands
Germany Aland-Elbe lowlands
Germany Drömling (Sachsen-Anhalt)
Germany Elbe lowlands Jerichow
Germany Wahner Heide
Germany Niedervieland, Ochtumniederung
Germany Lower Rhine
Germany Landgraben and Dumme lowlands
Germany Emsaue (Rietberger Emsniederung - Steinhorster Becken)
Germany Fiener Bruch
Germany Duvenstedter Brook
Germany Hessian Rhine alluvion
South Sudan Sudd (Bahr-el-Jebel system)
Tanzania Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Israel Northern lower Jordan valley
Israel Western Negev
Israel Northern Arava valley
Israel Cliffs of Zin and the Negev highlands
Israel Southern Arava valley and Elat mountains
Syria Golan Heights
Israel Zevulun valley
Israel Carmel coast
Israel Jezre'el, Harod and Bet She'an valleys
Iraq Baquba wetlands
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Kobi
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Zaribar
Iran, Islamic Republic of Shadegan marshes and tidal mudflats of Khor-al Amaya and Khor Musa
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Uromiyeh
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Bakhtegan, Lake Tashk and Kamjan marshes
Iran, Islamic Republic of Shur Gol, Yadegarlu and Dorgeh Sangi lakes
Jordan Khirbat al Samra (sewage works)
Oman Masirah island
Saudi Arabia Malaki dam
Yemen Ta'izz wadis
India Nandur Madhmeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
Estonia Väinameri
Czechia Bzenecka Doubrava-Straznicke Pomoravi
Latvia Gauja national park
Latvia Razna
Portugal Montesinho and Nogueira mountains
Portugal Serra do Caldeirão
Armenia Metsamor
Armenia Noravank
Bulgaria Palakaria
Bulgaria Zlatiata
Bulgaria Mesta Valley
Bulgaria Rupite
Bulgaria Obnova Fish-ponds
Bulgaria Kalimok Complex
Uzbekistan Balykchi Fish Farm
Uzbekistan Dalverzin State Forestry and Hunting Management Area
Uzbekistan Tuyabuguz Reservoir
Poland Pasleka river valley
Uzbekistan Mirzaaral Tugay
Romania Avrig - Scorei - Făgăraş
Türkiye Bismil Plain
Türkiye Sarıyar Reservoir
Türkiye Ceyhan Delta
Türkiye Amanos Mountains
Türkiye Bosphorus
Slovakia Košice valley
Türkiye Göksu Delta
Slovakia Laborecká upland
Slovakia Horná Orava
Slovakia Medzibodrožie
Slovakia Poiplie
Italy Simeto mouth and middle course and Biviere di Lentini
Italy Biviere and Plain of Gela
North Macedonia Pelagonia
Germany Upper and middle reaches of river Krückau with tributaries
Germany Drömling (Niedersachsen)
Germany Main valley: Eltmann - Hassfurt
Germany Aisch-Regnitz-Grund
Germany Altmühl valley between Treuchtlingen and Leutershausen with Altmühlsee
Germany Rötelsee-Weihergebiet incl. Regenaue and Chambaue
Germany Danube valley: Neu-Ulm - Lauingen incl. Faiminger Stausee, Donau-Moos, and Gundelfinger Moos
Germany Donau-Auen and Donau-Ried: Höchstädt - Donauwörth
Germany Schorfheide-Chorin
Germany Rodachaue / Itzgrund / Oberes Maintal incl. Nassanger near Trieb and surrounding gravel pits
Germany Spreewald
Germany Lower Elbe valley
Germany Drennhauser Hinterdeich
Germany Oker valley near Vienenburg
Germany Farmlands Prignitz with Stepenitz valley (BB) and eastern Grabow (MV)
Germany Renchniederung
Germany Kinzig- und Schutterniederung between Niederschopfheim and Kehl
Germany Kammbachniederung
Germany Sewage farm Freiburg
Germany Danube valley Scheer-Zwiefaltendorf
Germany Federseeried
Germany Aukrug Nature Park
Germany Elbe lowlands between Schnackenburg and Lauenburg
Germany Island of Usedom
Germany Ponds and Elbe valley near Torgau
Germany Oberlausitz heathland and fishponds biosphere reserve
Germany Lowlands of the Rivers Eider, Treene and Sorge
Germany Coast and lagoons of Western Pomerania
Germany Mecklenburgische Schweiz
Germany Recknitz and Trebel valley
Germany Elbe valley of Mecklenburg
Germany Lower Röder valley and Colmnitzer Platte
Germany Oberlausitzer Gefilde near Weißenberg
Germany Wetterau
Germany Schwalmaue around Schwalmstadt
Germany Neckar oxbows in the Hessian Ried
Germany Obersuhl lowlands
Germany Uckermark lake region
Germany Elzniederung between Kenzingen and Rust
Luxembourg Upper Valley of the Alzette
Romania Calafat - Ciuperceni - Dunăre
Romania Câmpia Nirului - Valea lerului
Romania Confluenţa Jiu - Dunăre
Romania Danube Delta
Romania Ciuc Depression
Romania Olteniţa - Ulmeni
Romania Suhaia
Romania Olt valley
Romania Râului Negru valley
Romania Braţul Borcea
Romania Cârja - Maţa - Rădeanu - Roşcani
Romania Jijiei şi Miletinului fish-ponds
Romania Prut river flood-plain - Vlădeşti - Frumuşiţa
Romania Lake Strachina
Romania Măcin - Niculiţel
Poland Sandomierz Forest
Poland Elblag Height
Luxembourg Valley of the Syre
Poland Tuchola Forest
Poland Warmia Site
Poland Pisz forest
Poland Biebrza river valley
Poland Middle Warta River Valley
Poland Kurpie Site
Spain La Limia
Spain Villafáfila
Spain River Cega-Tierra de Pinares-Cantalejo
Spain River Moros
Spain Segovia
Spain Castronuño-Zamora
Spain Tietar valley
Spain El Escorial-San Martín de Valdeiglesias
Spain Cortados del Jarama
Spain Talamanca-Camarma
Spain Alto Lozoya-La Pedriza
Spain Oropesa plains
Spain Canalizos mountain range (Saceruela)
Spain Alcudia valley and mountain range
Spain Cabras, Aljibe and Montecoche mountain range
Spain Tarifa
Spain Ceuta
Spain Guadalquivir marshes
Spain Isla Cristina and Ayamonte marshes and Prado lagoon
Spain Olivenza-La Albuera
Spain Pela mountain range-Orellana reservoir-Zorita
Spain Brozas-Membrío
Spain Malpartida de Cáceres-Arroyo de la Luz
Spain Plain between Cáceres and Trujillo-Aldea del Cano
Spain Trujillo-Torrecillas de la Tiesa
Spain Alcántara reservoir-Cuatro Lugares
Spain Campo Arañuelo-Valdecañas reservoir
Spain Vegas del Alagón
Jordan Maghtas - Sweimeh
Lebanon Aammiq wetland
Croatia Lower Posavina
Croatia Poilovlje with Carp Fishponds
Croatia Pokuplje Basin
Türkiye Southern Çatalca Peninsula
Netherlands Alde Feanen
Netherlands De Wieden
Netherlands Rijntakken
Netherlands Opsterland & Smallingerland
Netherlands Reestdal
Serbia Gornje Potamisje
Serbia Okanj I Rusanda
Serbia Slatine srednjeg Banata
Serbia Srednje Potamišje

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland major non-breeding
Grassland Temperate major non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 3500 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - - non-trivial recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - - non-trivial recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - - non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Ciconia ciconia. Downloaded from on 08/12/2023.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 08/12/2023.