S Spain, WC, SC & SE Europe E to C & E Asia, S to Persian Gulf, India and Sri Lanka. Winters in W & E Africa and SE China.
Mainly carnivore. Water beetles and their larvae, dragonflies, locusts, flies and other insects, molluscs, crustaceans, worms, leeches, frogs, tadpoles, small fish, sometimes algae, aquatic plants and other plant matter.
Habitat: Fresh and saltwater shallow wetlands.
Incubation: 24-25 days / 3-4 eggs
Social structure: single or small flocks of up to 100 birds
Weight: 1960gr max
Dimensions: 70-95cm wingspan: 115-135cm
Estimated population in the wild: 63,000-65,000
Threats: Habitat degradation through drainage and pollution, poaching and collisions with electricity cables. Over-fishing and disturbance (in Greece).
IUCN Status: Least Concern
Did you know that:
- In Greece it is a local resident and partly migrant. It’s status in our country is Vulnerable.
- It sweeps its distinctive bill in the water from side to side to catch prey.