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Storks: Ciconiidae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Wood Stork (mycteria Americana): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, STORKS AND PEOPLE


Storks are found on all continents except Antarctica. Most live in the warm areas of Europe, Asia, and Africa. The wood stork is the only kind that lives that lives in North America.

Storks are found in a wide variety of habitats. Many live in or near wetlands with shallow water. Some, such as the marabou (MARE-uh-boo), prefer drier grasslands within flying distance of rivers or lakes. Black storks nest in the forests of Europe and Asia near pools and rivers. Some storks do not mind living near people and some nest on buildings in European towns and cities.

Storks are carnivorous, meat-eaters. They eat many different kinds of animals found in or near water, including fish, frogs, insects, and snails. Some storks hunt for food by feeling underwater with their sensitive bills. Others watch for their prey and grab it. Marabou storks sometimes feed on carrion, dead and decaying flesh, just as vultures do. Since a marabou's head and neck are bare, it can poke deep inside a dead animal's body without messing its feathers.

Most people who live near storks are fond of the birds and want to protect them. Having storks around is a sign of good luck for some communities. Tourists enjoy going places where they can see the big birds. Storks are also the topic of many stories, myths, and folk tales. Some people hunt them for food because they are big and have a lot of meat.

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Animal Life ResourceBirds