The white stork is a bird familiar to many. It is he who builds nests on the roofs of village houses and brings the parents the long-awaited babies. However, he has a less studied, but no less spectacular brother - the black stork.
Where does the black stork live
The habitat of the black stork is very extensive. It can be found in the forested part of Eurasia. In Russia, this bird settles in forests from the Gulf of Finland to the Far East. Also found in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Germany, Poland, Spain, France, Iran, Afghanistan, Mongolia, China. Black storks from Eurasia are migratory birds that prefer to fly to warm regions - South Asia and Central Africa for the winter. In the south of the African continent, there is a small population of resident black storks.
The lifestyle of the black stork is poorly understood. This secretive bird, unlike the white stork, prefers to stay away from people. It is known that storks choose old deep forests, protected plains and foothills of water bodies - forest lakes, rivers and swamps as their place of residence. The main food of the black stork is fish, as well as small vertebrates and invertebrates that can be found in water bodies. Prefers to hunt in shallow water. It also sometimes eats small rodents and large insects, lizards, snakes and molluscs.
Black storks begin to acquire offspring at the age of three. During the mating season, birds that live apart for most of the year form pairs. Storks build their nests in the most remote places - in the crowns of old trees, on rock ledges. After the appearance of the clutch, which usually contains from four to seven eggs, both parents incubate it, alternately absenting for food. After the chicks appear, the male and female take care of their offspring together for two months.
Despite the rather large habitat, the black stork is listed in the Red Book. Although they have no natural enemies, the number of these beautiful birds is extremely small. On the territory of Russia, according to various estimates, nests from 2300 to 2500 pairs. A large role in their reduction was played by man, cutting down forests, draining reservoirs and developing new territories where black storks had previously settled. Poaching also reduced the canopy of storks. Today, the presence of a black stork nest in the forest is enough to declare this area a protected area. Russia has bilateral agreements with India, South Korea, Japan and the DPRK, where birds spend the winter, on the protection of their numbers. In many countries there are nature reserves and sanctuaries where black storks live. The largest bird settlement nests in the Zvanets Wildlife Refuge, located on the territory of Belarus.