White stork: a description of the bird, where it lives and what it eats

In human culture there are many stories about the stork. This bird associated legends and beliefs about it are composed the songs and poems. Since ancient times it is considered a symbol of family and loyalty.

This remarkably graceful bird does not get tired to amaze with their beauty and grace.

The most prominent among the storks is the white. About it and speech will go.

Bird stork has twelve species, of which white the most common. Its external features:

  • white bird with black edging on the wings;
  • graceful elongated neck;
  • thin beak;
  • long legs are red.

Bird you’ll be proud gait. The addition of wings it seems like she’s half black.

The males from the females the color is not different. You can distinguish them by size – the female is smaller. Growth birds reach 125 cm, wingspan – 2 meters. The weight of adult birds is not more than 4 kg. the life of birds in nature – up to 20 years in captivity, less. Bird is considered to be long-lived.

Habitat
Where are the storks

The white stork is nesting throughout Europe and Asia. It’s quite a large area. In recent years, the area shifted to the East.

In winter, white stork flies to Africa or India. Populations living in Africa and Western Europe, do not fly away for the winter, because winters in these areas warm.

In the wintering grounds the birds gather in numerous flocks, consisting of thousands of individuals. Young birds can stay in Africa for all the cabin. The flights accounted for the daytime. They fly at a considerable height, while hovering. They fit comfortable in aerodynamics areas. Birds avoid routes over the sea.

Socket

Ornithologists have a special interest to the habitat of the white stork, and the choice of the location for its nest. In the nineteenth century had seen an amazing feature of these birds – before you can build a nest the stork for a long time watching the people.

In connection with this feature even was born the belief that if in the village there was a stork’s nest, it will bring prosperity and happiness to the inhabitants. There have been cases when nests were found even on the roofs of apartment buildings. People finding such a home, not upset, but rather rejoice. Sometimes they even specially prepared sheds that bird could live on their roof.

Life in the wild

White stork most of the time is in flight. And most of it uses energy – efficient way of flight – soaring. If you find a suitable for this place, the stork can fly many miles without flapping wings. The day birds fly 200-250 km.

During the flight, the bird might even take a NAP. Scientists made this conclusion from the data on the weakening pulse and breathing birds. The hearing in this case exacerbated that the bird could hear in which direction the flying flock.

In the winter birds fly in numerous flocks. At this time, they pass to feeding on insects, preferring locusts. In Africa they are called “locust bird”.

Watching storks, scientists use banding. Recently used satellite surveillance. This method implies supply of birds with transmitters, transmitting signals to the satellite. Through this method scientists study the peculiarities of bird life, what is the stork, as propagated and other interesting points.

Food
What eats a stork in nature

White stork feeds on small vertebrates and invertebrates animals. They eat frogs, snakes, grasshoppers eat beetles, earthworms, small fish, lizards. Movement of birds when searching for food, unhurried. But as soon as they notice prey, then rapidly run to her and grab. Chicks they carry water by means of a beak.

Looking for food stork traverses the marshes and lowlands. The structure of his body allow him to do it. Feet with long toes give stability on shaky wet ground. And elongated beak allows you to get depth with all sorts of Goodies – clams, snails, frogs.

They can even collect the dead fish, do not mind to eat also:

  • moles;
  • rats;
  • small birds.

Of course, moving the animals to catch them is not so easy.

The hunt winged are in shallow water, to go into deep water they don’t like. Can feed on the ground, I prefer freshly cut grass, where they catch small insects. In Africa, the storks gather in the places where people burnt the grass. In such places you can see hundreds of birds. Also they fly to the fields and collect the larvae.

Storks can expect production for a long time. For example, he can hide near a rodent burrow and wait, when he will poke his nose in. Such fading does not exceed a few minutes.

In muddy water bird hunts “at random”, not seeing their prey. She opens and closes the beak in the water until you get some kind of tadpole. A bird can catch food on the fly, capturing a dragonfly or other insects. In captivity birds catching food like a dog, on the fly.

Stork kills the dangerous insects: bug-bug, bug-a Kuzka, beet weevil. It helps farmers to eliminate the mole cricket is a harmful insect, which is known to all farmers.

In years of outbreaks of mice and rats storks actively eat these rodents, providing significant assistance to a person.

A day one stork requires 700 grams of food. For bringing up the offspring of this volume is greatly increased, and an adult all day has to be spent on finding food.

Reproduction

The white stork is a monogamous bird. It creates a pair and a nest for breeding. Earlier nests were constructed in trees near the dwellings of man. Birds build them from the branches. Later they began to settle on the roofs of houses. People this neighborhood is not upset, just happy.

In recent years, the storks build nests on the chimneys of factories and even power lines. One nest under construction for several years. Over the years, it is gaining a larger size. It happens that after the death of adults, the nest is transferred to the offspring.

To gnedovets storks begin around the age of six years. This is not surprising because the bird lives for 20 years.

The first to arrive nesting males. In Russia it’s the beginning of April. First, there is first a female, then a second, between them erupted the struggle for the right to become a mother. Of course, no one wants to be a spinster and to live life alone. After a couple of storks only death can separate. The male does not intervene in the fighting females. The winner he calls to his nest, uttering special sounds. If the nest flies another male, the owner chases him mercilessly, smacking his beak.

The female brings from 2 to 5 eggs, rarely 1 to 7. Both parents incubate them. Usually a day is male and night female. The process takes 33 days. Small Chicks have a vision, but absolutely helpless.

Growing Chicks

Parents feed kids earthworms, giving them from his bill. The Chicks catch worms on the fly or to collect the nest. Growing up, they pick up food from the beak of adults. Parents watching offspring, the sick and the weak thrown out of the nest. Die Chicks can and due to lack of food.

After 55 days, the Chicks begin to fly. For their first attempts supervised feeding them for a further 18 days. The juveniles spend the night in the parental nest, and in the afternoon learn to fly.

After 70 days the youth becomes independent and flies to winter. Adults fly later in September.

Interesting facts

White stork, meeting the couple begins loudly snapping beak. The bird throws back his head for the formation of the resonant space that amplifies sounds. Thus, storks communicate.

In relation to the relatives of the bird is aggressive. Weak animals may even be beaten to death.

The number of storks in the Western regions is rapidly shrinking. This is due to a decrease in the amount of feed, increasing chemicalization of nature, leading to the death of birds and the reproductive mode. In Russia the number of birds, on the contrary, increases.

Worldwide there are approximately 150 thousand pairs of white storks, a third of them live in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

Interesting legends associated with the bird. The stork has long been considered a protector against satanic forces. There is a legend explaining the origin of birds. According to her, God saw the danger of snakes, decided to destroy them. He gathered all the reptiles in a bag and asked the man to drop the bag at sea or in the mountains. But people out of curiosity opened the bag and released the creeper. As punishment, he has turned man into a stork, and forced into a lifetime to collect snakes.

There are also fairy tale “kalif-stork”, where people turned into this beautiful bird.

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