Oriental White Storks in the wild

Reporting Sightings of the Oriental White Stork

How to Report Sighting Records of the Storks

If you see the Oriental White Stork in the wild, please contact the Hyogo Park of the Oriental White Stork by e-mail, facsimile, or phone:

  • E-mail. kounotori (at) stork.u-hyogo.ac.jp
  • FAX. +81(0)796-23-6538
  • Phone. +81(0)796-23-5666
  • Address. 128, Nigatani, Shounji, Toyooka, Hyogo Pref., 668-0814 Japan

Please give the following information:

  1. Your name, address, and contact information (phone number or e-mail address)
  2. The name, address, and contact information (phone number or e-mail address) of the person who saw the stork
  3. Sighting information
    • When the stork was sighted (e.g. at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 22nd, 2015 (Sunday) , etc.)
    • Where the stork was sighted (e.g. Izushi-cho Izu, Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture, or indicate it on a map, etc.)
    • Number of storks sighted (e.g. one, two, or five birds, etc.)
    • Bird band presence (e.g. attached, none, or unknown, etc.)
    • Color combination of the bands (e.g. right leg, color from top: yellow, black. left leg, color from top: red, blue etc.)
    • Environment (e.g. in rice paddy, on the electric pole, or in the sky)
    • Behavior (e.g. foraging, resting, or flying, etc.)
    • Any images (e.g. photos, videos, or none, etc.)

We thank you for your cooperation.

Banding of Oriental White Storks in the Wild

Oriental White Storks released and wild-born are banded on their legs. There are two types of bands: The ELSA band made of plastic and the ACRAFT band made of metal. The ELSA band has white letters and numbers on a black background (number band) or it may be a solid-color band. Normally, the right leg has one solid-color band and a number band, and the left leg has three solid-color bands (Photo 1). The ACRAFT bands have only solid colors. A pair of solid-color bands is attached on the left and right legs (Photo 2). Five band colors are used: black, yellow, red, blue and green. (There is also white band, but it is not currently used.)


ELSA band with a number and solid-color band


ELSA band with a number and solid-color band when attached to the bird


A pair of ACRAFT bands in two colors


ACRAFT bands when attached to the bird


By changing the bands’ color combination, we can distinguish storks individually. In identification, we know where and when the bird was born, its age, its parents, and if it has any siblings. Also, by tracking the banded stork, we can find out its movements, habitats, grouping, pairing, death, and other social facts. In other words, the bands provide very important information for us to advance the reintroduction of the storks. The Oriental White Storks that have been released into the wild since 2005 to 2016 in Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture; Noda, Chiba Prefecture; and Echizen, Fukui Prefecture have been sighted as far north as Hokkaido and south in Okinawa. They have also emigrated to South Korea.