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Oriental white stork

Ciconia boyciana

Oriental white stork at Paignton Zoo
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Birds
Order: Ciconiiformes
Family: Ciconiidae

Paignton Zoo is home to a pair of oriental white storks – the only individuals of this Endangered species in a UK zoo!

These storks are native to wetland areas of small parts in Japan, southeast China and Siberia.

Their diet consists mainly of frogs, fish, insects, rodents and small reptiles.

Interesting facts!

  • The species was first described by Robert Swinhoe in 1873. It is closely related to the European white stork.
  • Interestingly, storks do not possess a voice box, so cannot make the usual range of sounds that you may expect from a bird. Instead they use ‘beak clacking’ to communicate with each other.
  • This species is a solitary bird in the wild except for during breeding season. The female usually lays between two and six eggs.


Due to overhunting and habitat loss in their native range, this beautiful species is currently classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.

The oriental white storks at Paignton Zoo are involved in the EAZA ex-situ breeding programme (EEP) across zoological collections.