a comprehensive resource of avian hand rearing techniques for captive bird populations

Black Stork

Ciconia nigra

Ciconiiformes - Ciconiidae - Storks & Jabirus

Black Stork - Adult

© Louise Peat

Black Stork - AdultBlack Stork - Chicks on nestBlack Stork - Juvenile

Distribution: Eastern European, small breeding colonies are also found in Northern and Southern Africa.

Habitat: High rocky outcrops or secluded woodland clearings

Diet: Mostly fish, will also take small invertebrates, small mammals and reptiles.

Breeding: 1.5 metre wide nest consisting of a selection of large sticks lined with mud, faeces, moss and grass.

Clutch size: Two to five eggs.

Incubation: 32 38 days.

Rearing: The young are fed by both sexes.

Fledge age: 63 71 days.


Protocol from Cotswold Wildlife Park

View Cotswold Wildlife Park protocol file >

Protocol established 2008
Used on 8 individuals
Success rate 75.00%


Protocol used for at least 5 individuals with over 75% success*
Used by 2 or more institutions*
Points on minimizing imprinting 
Birds went on to produce fertile eggs*
Birds went on to successfully parent rear 

Warning points
Do not exceed 10% daily growth rate for first 20 days. Drop to under 7.5% daily growth rate from day 20-40, then to under 5% from day 40-55.

If chicks grow too quickly it will result in fatal leg problems.

Please keep us up-to-date and contact us with your own updates or new protocols for rearing the Black Stork.


Del Hoya, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. eds. (1992). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol1. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

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