Ciconia abdimii (Abdim's stork)
Kleinswartooievaar [Afrikaans]; Endongondongo (generic
term for dark-coloured storks) [Kwangali]; Lekololoane, Mokoroane, Roba-re-bese
[South Sotho]; Shuramurove [Shona]; Lek˘l˘lwane, Mok˘tatsiŕ (these terms
also applied to White stork) [Tswana]; abdimooievaar [Dutch]; Cigogne d'Abdim
[French]; Abdimsstorch, Regenstorch [German]; Cegonha de Abdim [Portuguese]
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Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates) > Gnathostomata (jawed
vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class:
fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial
vertebrates) > Tetrapoda
(four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota >
Reptilia (reptiles) >
Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria >
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Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves
(birds) > Order: Ciconiiformes > Family: Ciconiidae
Distribution and habitat
Occurs across much of sub-Saharan Africa. In southern
Africa it is common to locally abundant in
western Mozambique, Zimbabwe, northern and north-eastern South Africa, Botswana
and Namibia. It generally prefers savanna woodland, grassland, pastures, pan
edges, cultivated land and suburban areas.
Distribution of Abdim's stork in southern Africa,
based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas
Animal Demography unit, University of
Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range
from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common).
See here for the latest distribution
from the SABAP2.
Movements and migrations
Non-breeding visitor to southern Africa,
departing from its northern breeding grounds in the period from
May-August, eventually arriving in southern Africa at the onset of
the rainy season in the period from October-December. It is
nomadic in southern Africa, moving in response to food availability.
It gathers in large
flocks then departs in February, March and early April.
It mainly eats large insects, doing most of its foraging on
pastures, irrigated land and recently ploughed fields, usually in groups which
split up to cover more ground. The following food items have been recorded in its
Orthoptera (crickets, locusts and grasshoppers)
caterpillars (larval stage of
- Imbrasia belina (Mopane emperor moth)
- Heliothis armigera (American bollworm)
- Spodoptera exempta (Armyworms)
Not threatened, although destruction of natural grassland
habitat has caused it to become reliant on agricultural land.
Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of
southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book
Fund, Cape Town.