The black stork (Ciconia nigra / bocian czarny) is a large wading bird, which is a summer visitor to and breeds in large numbers in Poland. Most, if not all, birds migrate south in winter to in Africa, India or China. Unlike their relative the white stork, black storks are a solitary nester. The breeding season for black storks starts in May and once the stork has found a mate they stay together for life. The breeding pair build a stick nest together high up in the canopy of trees, sometimes reusing nests in successive years. The female will generally lay three or four eggs. The eggs are incubated for approximately five weeks by both parents and when hatched the storks share the feeding of the chicks until they leave the nest at around 3 months old.
The black stork feeds mainly on fish, but also takes insects, frogs, snails, small reptiles, mice and smaller birds. Most foraging takes place in shallow water or boggy meadows, where the black stork stalks its prey, catching it with a swift stab of its beak.
The Black Stork is on average (90-105cm) slightly smaller than the White Stork. It has a purple and green gloss to its black plumage and a white belly. It has a dagger-like red bill and is red around eye. The adult Black Stork has long red legs.