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Abdim's Stork Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Ciconia abdimii
  • Class

    Birds
  • Order

    Ciconiiformes
  • Range

    This species is distributed throughout eastern and southern Africa.

  • Status

    They are common throughout their range. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Abdim's Stork Species Survival Plan®, a shared management effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

  • Habitat

    Abdim's storks occupy open grasslands, usually near water. They will also occupy dry zones.

  • Niche

    Abdim's storks congregate in large flocks of up to 10,000 birds. They eat locusts and caterpillars, in addition to small reptiles and amphibians, mice, crabs and eggs.

  • Life History

    These storks migrate north to exploit the rains in spring. This annual arrival has earned Abdim's storks the nickname of "rain-bringers" in regions that depend on precipitation for their crops. Among some, superstition demands that these birds remain undisturbed. Females lay two to three eggs at a time.

  • Special Adaptations

    • This species' name credits Governor Bey El-Arnaut Abdim (1780–1827).
    • In some regions, Abdim's storks are known as "grasshopper birds," due to their taste for the critters.
    • Like other storks, these birds defecate on their legs, which helps them maintain body temperature via evaporative cooling.

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2001 North Clark Street • Chicago, IL 60614 • 312-742-2000

2001 North Clark Street • Chicago, IL 60614 Get Map/Directions Call 312-742-2000