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Abdim's Stork - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Max Holdt
Etosha, Namibia

Alternative name: White-bellied Stork

Ciconia abdimii


73 cm

  • Black body
  • White underparts
  • Grey legs with red knees and feet;
  • Grey bill
  • Red facial skin in front of the eye
  • Blue skin near the bill in breeding season

The female is slightly smaller than male.

Similar Species. Black Stork is similarly plumaged, but has red bill and legs and lacks the white lower back and rump of Abdim's. Moreover, the longer legs, bill and neck of Black Stork give it a quite different flight silhouette.


Open habitats through much of Sub-Saharan Africa - from Ethiopia south to South Africa and stretching as far west as Gambia and Senegal - and also in south-western Arabia.

Photo by Ignacio
Near Waterberg, Namibia, January 2008


This is a monotypic species1.


Open fields


Highly gregarious. Large flocks numbering hundreds may be seen in feeding parties spread through grasslands or soaring on thermals.


Colonial breeder, nesting in trees, with each pair laying 2-3 eggs.


The diet consists mainly of locusts, caterpillars and other large insects.

In Culture

The smallest stork, the name commemorates the Turkish Governor of Wadi Halfa in Sudan Bey El-Arnaut Abdim (1780-1827).


  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  1. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links