White Stork at Diergaarde Blijdorp, Rotterdam (Holland)
The White Stork is a large bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. White Storks are tall, long-necked wading birds with long red legs and a straight, pointed red bill. The white plumage of the head, neck and body contrasts with the black wing feathers highlighted with a sheen of purple and green iridescence. A small patch of bare black skin surrounds their brown eyes. The White Stork breed in Europe (north to Finland), northwestern Africa, southwestern Asia (east to southern Kazakhstan) and southern Africa. The white stork is a long-distance migrant, wintering in Africa from tropical Sub-Saharan Africa to as far south as South Africa, or on the Indian subcontinent. When migrating between Europe and Africa,
it avoids crossing the Mediterranean Sea and detours via the Levant in the east or the Strait of Gibraltar in the west,
because the air thermals on which it depends do not form over water.