The storks are large, long-legged, long-necked wading birds with long stout bills. They occur in most of the warmer regions of the world. They tend to live in drier habitats than their relatives the herons, spoonbills and ibises, and lack the powder down that those groups use to clean off fish slime. Storks lack a pharynx and are mute; bill-clattering is an important mode of stork communication at the nest. Many species are migratory. Storks eat frogs, fish, insects, worms and small birds or mammals. Storks are heavy birds with wide wingspans. The Marabou Stork, with a 3.2 m (10.5 ft) wingspan shares the distinction of "longest wingspan of any landbird" with the Andean Condor.














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They tend to use soaring, gliding flight, which conserves their expenditure of energy. Soaring requires thermal air currents. Ottomar Anschütz's famous 1884 albumen photographs of storks inspired the design and engineering of aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal's experimental gliders of the late 19th century. Wintering storks of some migratory species tend to congregate en masse if there is a swarm of insects or other abundant prey to feed upon. Their nests are often very large, some having been known to grow to over 2m (6 feet) diameter and about 3m (10 feet) in depth. A stork's nest may be utilized for many years.

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