Physical Characteristics

Storks are medium to large wading birds, birds who walk through shallow water in search of food. They have long legs, long necks, powerful bills and broad, strong wings. Male and female storks look alike. Scientists think they are more closely related to the vultures of North and South America than to other long-legged wading birds such as herons.

Most of the nineteen kinds of storks have feathers that are different combinations of white, black, and gray, and many have brightly colored bills. Storks are 30 to 60 inches (75 to 152 centimeters) long from beak to tail, and they weigh between 2.9 and 19.7 pounds (1.3 and 8.9 kilograms).

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