Banded Oriental Storks in Suncheon (and beyond)

Bird News from Matt Poll, with Tim Edelsten, Johan Kok

On December 16th, and again on December 19th (with Tim Edelsten), I spotted single Oriental Storks at Suncheon Bay.  They were photographed at extreme distance, but it was clear that both were banded, so easily identifiable as different birds.  Mr. Edelsten sent me this helpful link to a page written by Japanese researchers who have been banding Oriental Storks since 1998:

The bands on the December 16th bird are not entirely clear, but the bands appear to be green over blue (?) on the right tarsi and light blue or green over red on the left tarsi – but clearly there is room for interpretation!  While the images are almost as dreadful, it seems that the December 19th bird may be J0426, banded on May 25th, 2008…or perhaps J0051, banded on April 6th, 2012.

A banded Oriental Stork photographed by Johan Kok in Ulsan on September 8th is not specifically identifiable using this link, but it does appear to be ‘related’ to the birds banded in 2012-2013 (several other birds were banded with black over blue on the right tarsi during this period) – perhaps it was banded after 2013?

A request for further updated information on where these birds were banded has been made on the Kantori group.  I’m sure the bird banders will be happy to know their birds have be re-sighted in Korea.

On the subject of banded Oriental Storks in Korea, apparently 30 pairs of captively-bred Oriental Stork were released in the spring of 2015 by The Eco Institute for Oriental Storks, based in Chungwon.  Does anyone know of a website featuring accurate information on these Korean-banded Oriental Storks?

Oriental White Stork 3

Oriental Stork Ciconia boyciana, Ulsan, September 8, 2015, © Johan Kok

Dec 19 band

Oriental Stork Ciconia boyciana, Suncheon, December 19, 2015 © Matt Poll

Dec 16 band

Oriental Stork Ciconia boyciana, Suncheon, December 16, 2015 © Matt Poll

Dec 16 band 2

Oriental Stork Ciconia boyciana, Suncheon, December 16, 2015 © Matt Poll



2 comments on “Banded Oriental Storks in Suncheon (and beyond)

  1. **December 27th update:
    This initial response has been received from Shogo Matsui via the Kantori group, and an email has been sent to the research team that bands Oriental Storks in Japan:
    “Hello, Matt Poll,
    Your finding is very interesting, and I have checked about J0426 and J0051 as follows:
    J0426 Born on May 25, 2008 Male, Flew away on July 28, 2008, banded at Miki Banding Station.
    J0051 Born on April 6, 2012, Female, Flew away on June 11, 2012 Banded at Artificial Nest, Izu-Area.
    Your findings should be sent to for their further research, and I am sure they will
    appreciate your cooperation.
    I hope the above meets your interest.
    Shogo Matsui”

    Additionally, Mr. Edelsten has found the website for the ‘Eco Institute for Oriental Storks’ in Chungwon, who appear to band their birds with a numbered white band on the left tarsi:

  2. **December 29th update:

    “Dear Mr.MATT
    Thank you for information of the banded storks in South Korea from you.
    I am Yoshito OHSAKO, a researcher of the Oriental White Stork in
    Japan. We have conducted release of the storks bred in captivity since
    2005 in Toyooka City, central Japan. Breeding of the released storks
    started in the wild in 2007. We banded with color rings almost all
    storks including the wild-bred ones for identification.

    The individual sighted in Ulsan is male J0094 born in 2014. One of the
    storks sighted in Suncheon is female J0051 born in 2012 (with
    Black-Black on right and Red-Black-Yellow on left). We already know the
    movements of the two individuals.

    Well, I cannot distinguish other two storks because the photos are
    not clear. However, they may be the storks moved from Japan because
    banding scheme is similar to ours.

    I hope you take photos of the Suncheon storks and send some of them to
    Dr. Kiyoaki OZAKI and me.

    Thank you for your cooperation.

    Sincerely yours,

    Yoshito OHSAKO, Dr.
    Graduate School of Regional Resource Management,
    University of Hyogo
    c/o Hyogo Park of the Oriental White Stork”

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