Oriental White Stork at the Louisville Zoo

Stork, Oriental

Order: Ciconiiformes
Family: Ciconiidae
Genus: Ciconia
Species: boyciana

Breeds along the Amur and Ussuri Rivers of southeast Siberia (Russia) and northeast China. Winters in wetlands along the lower Chang Jiang (Yangtze) valley, but also in Hong Kong, and smaller numbers can be found elsewhere in China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea and Taiwan.

Wet meadows, marshes with scattered clumps of trees, and river valleys.

Overall Length: 110 to 115 cm (approximately 46 inches)
Weight: Males: 5.0 kg. (Approx. 11 lbs.) Females: 4.7 kg. (Approx. 10.3 lbs.)

20 – 30 years. One bird in captivity lived for 48 years.


  • Makes solitary nests in forest patches interspersed with moss-sedges and reeds, generally in trees with easy access.
  • Avoids areas with human settlements. Prefers nesting areas with good view of surrounding area.
  • Nests are made out of dead branches. A cup shaped lining of grasses is created inside the nest.
  • Clutch size is usually two to six eggs.

Insects, fishes, amphibians, and small reptiles and mammals,

More aggressive to members of its own species than are its close relatives the Eurasian white stork.


  • Has become extinct as a breeding species in Japan, South Korea and North Korea.
  • This species once wintered in northeast India, Bangladesh & Myanmar
  • Theats to their survival include loss of nesting trees, drainage of their wetlands habitats, over hunting and human disturbance.
  • Are strictly protected in Russia, China, South Korea and Japan. Special reserves have been set aside in South Korea & Japan.
  • Louisville Zoo has the last one in the country.

Listed as Endangered by the IUCN

Collar, N.J., Crosby, M.J., and Stattersfield, A.J. 1994. Birds to Watch 2. The World List of Threatened Birds. Birdlife International, Cambridge.
Del Hoyo, J., Elliot, A. and Sargatal, J. Eds. 1994. Handbook for the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions, Spain.