Designed by Paul Smith 2006. This website is copyrighted by law.
Material contained herewith may not be used without the prior written permission of FAUNA Paraguay.
Photographs on this web-site were taken by
Paul Smith, Hemme Batjes, Regis Nossent,
Alberto Esquivel, Arne Lesterhuis, Josť Luis Cartes, Rebecca Zarza and Hugo del Castillo and are used with their permission.
Three Paraguayan species representing one of each of the three global tribes (see below) in this family. Storks are large to very large waterbirds with long, modified bills, long legs and long neck. Superficially similar to herons in shape they are considerably bulkier and more heavyset with proportionately broader-based bills. Bill shape varies according to feeding method and the nostrils are small lateral slits. Long broad wings mean that they are experts at soaring on thermals, but they lack the necessary stamina for sustained flapping flight. In flight the neck is outstretched and the long legs trail behind. The tarsus is reticulated and the short toes are webbed basally.  Plumage is essentially white or pied and there is a single more or less complete moult each year. 12 tail feathers and 12 primaries present. The oil gland is feathered and there is no powder-down. Elongated under-tail coverts are similar in length to the short tail. Males are larger than females. Solitary breeders constructed large, conspicuous nests. Behavioural traits common to the group include defecating on the legs for cooling purposes.

Mycteriini "Wood Storks" (Mycteria) Bill downcurved at tip. Naked head. 12th primary minute. Food located by touch.

Ciconiini "Typical Storks" (Ciconia) Bill straight, tapering towards tip. Feathered head. Ruff of feathers on lower neck.

Leptoptilini "Giant Storks" (Jabiru) Bill upturned. Naked head. Inflatable throat pouch used in display.


Campbell B & Lack E 1985 - A Dictionary of Birds - T & AD Poyser.
Elliott A 1992 - Ciconiidae Handbook of the Birds of the World Volume 1 - Lynx Ediciones.
Hancock JA, Kushlan JA & Kahl MP 1992 - Storks, Ibises and Spoonbills of the World - Academic Press.