European white stork

Latin Name
Ciconia ciconia




A large bird, the European white stork can reach up to 40 inches in height and has a wingspan of more than five feet. The white feathers covering the bird's body and head are offset by black feathers coating the wings. Long, thin legs enable the bird to wade easily through wetland habitats.



Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia


Common. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the European Stork Species Survival Plan®, a shared management effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.


Wetlands, savannas, meadows and fields


The European white stork's long, pointed bill is well-adapted to spearing prey. The birds enjoy a diverse diet, feeding on insects, frogs, rodents, lizards, snakes and small birds.

Life History

The European white stork often lives and nests near humans, favoring tall trees, chimneys or rooftops for nesting sites. The species is monogamous, meaning breeding pairs mate for life. They return to the same nest site every year, with the male arriving a few days before the female to repair and enlarge the structure. Nests can reach up to seven feet across and are constructed from sticks, grass, paper and other found items.

Bonus Content

European white stork Jethro was among the top dads featured on Father's Day

Father's Day Slideshow
As people celebrated dads of all shapes and sizes, we took a look at some of the top fathers at Lincoln Park Zoo.


Stork chicks

Special Delivery
Jethro and Cheyenne, the breeding pair of European white storks at the Regenstein Birds of Prey Exhibit, have been productive parents. Learn more about their latest clutch of chicks and how the myth about storks delivering babies originated.


ARKive Media

ARKive video - White stork - overviewARKive image - White stork at nest with eggsARKive image - White stork turning eggs at nest

ARKive is creating the ultimate multimedia guide to the world's endangered species.
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Lincoln Park Zoo Exhibit