Black Stork (Ciconia nigra)
Most people know the charismatic White Stork (Ciconia ciconia), but fewer are familiar with its black relative. With its glossy-black upperparts, white underparts and coral-red legs and bill, the rare and elusive Black Stork lives in wet forests close to streams or other waterbodies. Its main food includes fish, amphibians, and reptiles, sometimes hunting them out in the open on meadows and marshes. It builds a huge nest made of branches, which is placed on a large tree in a quiet corner of the forest. Being rather shy, it tends to avoid the proximity of humans and nests far from potential sources of disturbance. To ensure an efficient conservation of the Black Stork, it is important to preserve quiet forest areas with streams and old trees, as well as minimising human disturbance in the breeding season. The Slovenian population of Black Stork is estimated at around 40-60 pairs.