Storms Stork (Ciconia stormi)

Storms Stork

[order] CICONIIFORMES | [family] Ciconiidae | [latin] Ciconia stormi | [authority] Blasius, 1896 | [UK] Storms Stork | [FR] Cigogne de Storm | [DE] Hockerstorch | [ES] Ciguena de Storm | [NL] Soenda-ooievaar


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Ciconia stormi OR Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo


Storks are rather well represented in the world fossil record, although no comprehensive review of them has been attempted. The earliest records come from the Late Eocene of Egypt. After taxa incorrectly referred to this family were removed, the earliest named species became Palaeoephippiorhynchus dietrichi Lambrecht, 1930 (Late Oligocene; Egypt). The stork family (Ciconiidae) includes 17-19 species, depending upon which classification is followed. They are widely distributed, mainly in the Old World Tropics. Being large, conspicuous, and easily observed, storks are well known birds throughout their range. Several populations are threatened or endangered. The seven species of “typical” storks of the genus ciconia are all somewhat similar, with mainly black-and-white plumage and straight bills.

Physical charateristics

Secretive, black-and-white stork with red bill, orange facial skin and golden-yellow area around eye. Black lower foreneck. Juvenile has dark plumage parts somewhat browner than adult, dark-tipped bill and duller bare parts. Similar spp. Woolly-necked Stork C. episcopus has white lower foreneck, dark bill and bronze coloration on inner wing-coverts.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 75 cm size max.: 91 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 88 days fledging max.: 92 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 3  


Oriental Region : Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo. Sparsely distributed in freshwater swamp and swamp forests in lowlands of Sumatra (including Mentawai) and Borneo


It occurs at low densities in large, undisturbed blocks of level lowland forest, particularly freshwater and peat-swamp forests, on the floodplains of large rivers. It also frequents disturbed, recently burned and logged areas, and occasionally areas subject to tidal movements, although these may constitute suboptimal habitats. It is generally solitary, but is occasionally found in small groups.


Little is known about the reproductive biology of this species. Some form of aerial display occurs during courtship in which pairs do flips in flight, with the lower bird presenting its feet to the upper, or both birds gliding at high altitudes with level wings and legs dangling. Such displays have been observed in March in Sabah (Malaysia) on Borneo. Very few nests have been found, but it appears that storm’s stork is a solitary tree-nester. In Thailand, chicks have been recorded to hatch in late October. Clutches are thought to contain two or more eggs, and the chicks are able to fly after around 90 days Two eggs are usually laid and the chicks are able to fly after c.90 days.

Feeding habits

This species is thought to feed primarily on fish, but also on frogs, crustaceans, earthworms, invertebrates and aquatic insect larvae

Video Storms Stork


copyright: John Gregory


This stork is listed as Endangered because it has a very small, fragmented population which is very rapidly declining, owing to destruction of lowland forest through logging, dam construction and conversion to oil-palm plantations.
Ciconia stormi is known from extreme southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra (Indonesia), and the island of Borneo, where it occurs in Sabah and Sarawak (Malaysia), Brunei, and Kalimantan (Indonesia). It has been reduced to one tiny population and scattered individuals in Peninsular Malaysia, and was thought to be extinct in Thailand until an individual was camera trapped in the Klong Saeng-Khao Sok Forest Complex in April 2004 where a very small breeding population may remain. An important breeding population comprising at least 43 individuals was identified in the Lower Kinabatangan Floodplain, Sabah in 1999-2000. The core of the remaining population is in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Brunei, where it still appears to be widespread, but rare. Overall, the population is now estimated to number 250-500 individuals
Storms Stork status Endangered


Unknown, possibly only irregular visitor to Malaysia.

Distribution map

Storms Stork distribution range map

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