Oriental Stork’s Fishing

Oriental Stork’s Fishing

The Oriental stork is a large, white bird with black wing feathers in the stork family Ciconiidae. The species was first described by Robert Swinhoe in 1873. 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 long, 110–150 cm tall, a weight of 2.8–5.9 kg and a wingspan of 2.22 m. 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, Manchuria, Korea and Siberia. 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 an offspring of two storks who were bred in captivity. There have been efforts to reintroduce the storks to the wild, but there must be changes to the environment first. The storks were harshly impacted by the growth of the rice industry and the subsequent use of pesticides. There is a push for rice farmers to grow their plants organically so that the storks may breed and grow safely in their environments. 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. It likes to wade in marshes, pond’s edges, coastal beaches, and other wetlands. 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.

Video Source: 東方白鸛/Oriental Stork from Chuenguey Hwang on Youtube ⁄ CC BY