The Abdim's stork (Ciconia abdimii), 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 the eye and blue skin near the bill in breeding season. It is the smallest species of stork, at 73 cm (29 in) and a weight of just over 1 kg (2.2 lbs). The female lays two to three eggs and is slightly smaller than the male.
|At London Zoo, England|
The Abdim's stork is found in 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. The Abdim's stork has escaped or been deliberately released in to Florida, USA, but there is no evidence that the population is breeding and may only persist due to continuing releases or escapes.
Among the smallest storks, this species is welcomed and protected by local Africans who believe that it is a harbinger of rain and good luck. The name commemorates the Turkish Governor of Wadi Halfa in Sudan, Bey El-Arnaut Abdim (1780–1827).
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.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Ciconia abdimii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- "Abdim's Stork Animal Bytes". SeaWorld. Archived from the original on December 27, 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
- "Abdim's Stork Fact Sheet, Lincoln Park Zoo"