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Abdim's stork

Ciconia abdimii

The Abdim's stork, also known as white-bellied stork, is a black stork with grey legs, red knees and feet, grey bill and white underparts. It has red facial skin in front of eye and blue skin near the bill in breeding season. It is the smallest species of stork, at 73 cm and a weight of just over 1 kg . The female lays two to three eggs and is slightly smaller than the male.

The Abdim's stork is distributed to open habitats throughout Eastern Africa, from Ethiopia south to South Africa. Its diet consists mainly of locusts, caterpillars and other large insects, although the birds will also eat small reptiles, amphibians, mice, crabs and eggs.

Among the smallest storks, this species is welcomed and protected by local African belief as a harbinger of rain and good luck. The name commemorates the Turkish Governor of Wadi Halfa in Sudan, Bey El-Arnaut Abdim .

Widespread and common throughout its large range, the Abdim's stork is evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is the subject of several nationally-coordinated breeding programs: in the United States, the plan for this species is administered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and in Europe by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria.
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassAves
OrderCiconiiformes
FamilyCiconiidae
GenusCiconia
SpeciesC. abdimii