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Abdim's stork

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Abdim's stork
At the London Zoo, England
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Ciconiiformes
Family: Ciconiidae
Genus: Ciconia
C. abdimii
Binomial name
Ciconia abdimii
Breeding (green), non-breeding visitor (blue)

Abdim's stork (Ciconia abdimii), also known as the white-bellied stork, is a stork belonging to the family Ciconiidae. It is the smallest species of stork, feeds mostly on insects, and is found widely in open habitats in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Yemen.[1] The common name commemorates the Turkish Governor of Wadi Halfa in Sudan, Bey El-Arnaut Abdim (1780–1827).[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Abdim's stork is found widely in open habitats throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, from the Sahel to South Africa, being absent mainly from forests, dense woodlands and deserts. A smaller populations occurs in Yemen.[1] It breeds colonially in trees, on cliffs or rooftops in the northern half of its range (north of the Equator) during the wet season from May to August, migrating to eastern and southern Africa for the remainder of the year.[1] This stork has escaped or been deliberately released into Florida, U.S., but there is no evidence that the population is breeding and may only persist due to continuing releases or escapes.[1] Archived 2018-12-13 at the Wayback Machine

Widespread and common throughout its large range, Abdim's stork is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.[1] It is the subject of several nationally coordinated breeding programs: in the United States, the plan for this species is administered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and in Europe by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria.


Ciconia abdimii is a black stork with grey legs, red knees and feet, grey bill and white underparts. It has red facial skin in front of the eye and blue skin near the bill in breeding season. It is the smallest species of stork, at 73 cm (29 in) and a weight of just over 1 kg (2.2 lb).[3]


The Abdim's stork is mostly insectivorous, feeding on locusts, caterpillars and other large insects, although these birds will also eat small reptiles, amphibians, mice, crabs and eggs.[1][2] The female lays two to three eggs and is slightly smaller than the male.



  1. ^ a b c d e f BirdLife International (2016). "Ciconia abdimii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22697673A93629659. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22697673A93629659.en. Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  2. ^ a b ""Abdim's Stork Fact Sheet, Lincoln Park Zoo"". Archived from the original on 2012-08-15. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
  3. ^ "Abdim's Stork Animal Bytes". SeaWorld. Archived from the original on December 27, 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2013.

External links[edit]