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Species Guide
A photo of a Storm's Stork (Ciconia stormi)
Storm's Stork

Storm's Stork

Ciconia stormi

The Storm's stork (Ciconia stormi) is a medium-sized stork, standing at 75–91 cm tall. It is adorned with predominantly black plumage, with white undertail coverts and a white patch on the back of the neck. A distinctive black cap crowns its head. The facial skin is a striking orange with a yellow ring encircling the eye, and the bill is a pinkish-red hue. The legs and feet are a dull red, often appearing paler due to being covered in excreta.

Identification Tips

Adult Storm's storks can be identified by their orange facial skin and yellow eye ring, red iris, and pinkish-red bill. Males may exhibit a slightly concave culmen with a basal knob and appear larger and glossier than females. Juveniles resemble adults but have shorter, dark-tipped bills, paler skin colorations, and slightly duller black plumage.


This elusive stork favors dense lowland riverine and peat swamp forests, thriving at altitudes below 240 meters. The forest undergrowth is rich with rattans, bamboos, shrubs, and climbers, providing a secluded environment for the stork.


Storm's stork is found primarily in Indonesia, Malaysia, and southern Thailand. It is a rare sight, with the largest recorded group being 12 individuals in Brunei. The species is most populous on Borneo and Sumatra, with smaller numbers in peninsular Malaysia and southern Thailand.


Outside of breeding season, Storm's storks are generally silent. However, during breeding, they vocalize with "Kurau" calls. They are often seen soaring over rivers and forest clearings, utilizing thermals for gliding. This soaring behavior can be contagious among conspecifics.

Song & Calls

During the breeding season, Storm's storks utter "Kurau" calls. In captivity, a quiet sibilant whistling has been heard. Chicks emit a froglike begging call when parents return with food.


Storm's stork nests are typically located high above ground in the forks of trees. The species is monogamous, with both parents attending to the young. The nest is reused over consecutive years, with additional material added each season. Two eggs are usually laid per year, with an incubation period of about 29 days.

Similar Species

The woolly-necked stork is similar and closely related to Storm's stork, but can be distinguished by the absence of a yellowish-orange facial skin patch and a completely white neck in the woolly-necked stork.

Diet and Feeding

The diet consists of small fish, frogs, aquatic insect larvae, and occasionally earthworms. Parents regurgitate food for their chicks, which includes fish and worms of specific sizes. Storm's storks forage stealthily along muddy banks within dense primary forest.

Conservation status

The Storm's stork is classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. The population is estimated at less than 500 wild individuals, with the primary threat being deforestation for logging and oil palm plantations. Conservation efforts are focused on protecting dense lowland forest and riparian habitats.

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Storm's Storks on Birda


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