|With a fish hanging from its open bill|
The Oriental stork (Ciconia boyciana) is a large, white bird with black wing feathers in the stork family Ciconiidae. It is closely related to and resembles the European white stork, of which it was formerly often treated as a subspecies. It is typically larger than the white stork, at 100–129 cm (39.5–51 in) long, 110–150 cm (43–59 in) tall, a weight of 2.8–5.9 kg (6.2–13.0 lb) and a wingspan of 2.22 m (7.3 ft). Unlike its more widespread cousin, the Oriental stork has red skin around its eye, with a whitish iris and black bill. Both sexes are similar. The female is slightly smaller than male. The young are white with orange bills.
At one time, the Oriental stork could be found in Japan, China, Korea and Russia. It is now extinct in Japan and the Korean peninsula. However, in May 2007 a hatchling was reported in Japan for the first time in 40 years in the wild. It was offspring of two storks who were bred in captivity. After breeding, the storks migrate to eastern China in September and return in March.
The Oriental stork is a solitary bird except during the breeding season. Its diet consists mainly of fish, frogs, insects, small birds and reptiles, as well as rodents. The female usually lays between two and six eggs.
The scientific name commemorates Robert Henry Boyce.
- BirdLife International (2013). "Ciconia boyciana". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Hancock & Kushan, Storks, Ibises and Spoonbills of the World. Princeton University Press (1992), ISBN 978-0-12-322730-0
- CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses by John B. Dunning Jr. (Editor). CRC Press (1992), ISBN 978-0-8493-4258-5.
- Endangered white storks hatch egg, Steve Jackson, BBC News, 20 May 2007.
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