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Black Stork

Black Stork
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2016-02-16
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Sigma 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/5.3, 1/1000 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2016-11-19 3:50
Viewed: 2090
Points: 22
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
In full sunlight the Black Stork is not black, but as you can see it has wonderful metallic colours. Only in the shadow and in cloudy weather it’s totally black.

The Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It is a widespread, but uncommon, species that breeds in the warmer parts of Europe (predominantly in central and eastern regions), across temperate Asia and Southern Africa. This is a shy and wary species, unlike the closely related White Stork. It is seen in pairs or small flocks—in marshy areas, rivers or inland waters. The Black Stork feeds on amphibians and insects.

It is a widespread, but rare, species that breeds in the warmer parts of Europe, predominantly in central and eastern regions.
This is a large bird, nearly 1 m tall with a 1.8 m wingspan, weighing around 3 kilograms. It is all black except for the white belly and axillaries, and its red bill and legs. It walks slowly and steadily on the ground. Like all storks, it flies with its neck outstretched.

It breeds in large marshy wetlands with interspersed coniferous or broadlived woodlands, but also inhabits hills and mountains with sufficient network of creeks. It builds a stick nest high in trees. This is a shy and wary species, unlike the closely related White Stork.
It has a rasping call, but rarely indulges in mutual bill-clattering when adults meet at the nest.
The Black Stork is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

The Black Stork is a strong migrant, wintering in tropical Africa and India. However, the Iberian population is resident. The Black Stork is a broad-winged soaring bird, which relies on thermals of hot air for long distance flight. Since thermals only form over land, storks, together with large raptors, must cross the Mediterranean at the narrowest points, and many Black Storks can be seen going through the Bosporus. They fly approximately 100 to 250 km a day with daily maxima up to 500 km.

Western Migration
About 10 percent of the western storks choose the passage Sicily - Cap Bon, Tunisia. The common route goes over Gibraltar. Many birds are fly around the Sahara next to the coast. Most birds are wintering in the wetlands of Nigeria or Mali.

Eastern Migration
The eastern birds take the route Bosphorus-Sinai-Nile to Africa. Birds that summer in Siberia winter in northern and northeastern India.

Time of Migration
The storks migrate from the middle of August to the end of September. They come back in the middle of March.

Source: Wikipedia

Hormon_Manyer, ellis49, kobala, ramthakur has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Peter,
a fine picture of this black stork, well exposed, we can see lots of details in dark plumage.
I like the details in the eye too. Good choise of aperture , the bird is in good focus and stand out well from the nicely blurred BG.

Well done, old friend.


Hi Peter,
Exceptional portrait of the Metallic Stork. :-) Perfect exposure to show what we think black isn't black at all, nice composition with the long beak forming a diagonal line. Extraordinary shot with useful note. Congratulations, great post!
Kind regards from Ireland, László

Hello Peter,
I also captured Black Stork once in KNP but didn't post due to low quality.
It looks like you wanted to post a profile picture of this beautiful stork. Excellent colours, no doubt.
The subject to BG distance is always small when you shoot down on an animal. But when you move to eye level (if you have chance) you have the chance to separate the BG from the subject which makes it easier to achieve a nice, unobtrusive BG. I think eye-level POV is the best way to capture a portrait.
Thanks for sharing,
Regards and have a nice WE,

Hi Peter
A superb close up of the Stork. You have captured the eyes very well. Thanks a for sharing.

hallo Peter
super scherpe opname met prachtige kleuren en goed licht
bedankt weer
gr lou

Delightful portrait of Black Stork, Peter.
I can see the minute marks within its eye.
Thanks and regards.

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2016-11-19 18:23]

Hello Peter,
It's amazing how things look so different when you view them up close and in just the right lighting. I would never have guessed that the black stork had so many different iridescent colors in its plumage until I viewed this shot. Excellent detail and wonderful exposure. Nice eye giving us a good view of the red skin surrounding it. The bright red bill is also quite unique looking.

Bonjour Peter,

Nice head shot. Good details, nice BG. Well done. TFS


Ciao Peter, great portrait of fantastic black stork, wonderful colors, splendid light, excellent sharpness and fine details, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2016-11-23 12:45]

Hi Peter,in effect the light makes the difference,showing us the beautiful metallic reflection of its plumage,a great portrait very sharp and bright,lovely shot! Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano

  • Great 
  • Zeno Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 483 W: 0 N: 1345] (10867)
  • [2019-03-06 13:23]

Dag Peter,

De kleuren in deze foto zijn buitenaards! Net een schilderij waarin de kleuren groen, paars en rood op een ongelofelijke manier samen komen.
Zo zie je maar wat zonlicht allemaal te weeg kan brengen.


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