Saddle-Billed Stork

saddle-billed-stork

Identification:

150 cm high. The male is larger and heavier than the female
Iridescent black head, neck, back, wings, and tail
White body and primaries
Red bill
Very large
Black band
Yellow frontal shield (the “saddle”)
Black legs and feet
Pink “knees”
Sexes similar
Female has a yellow iris
Male iris is brown, small yellow wattles at base of bill
Juveniles: brownish-grey plumage

Habitat:

Dams and large river courses, flood plains, wetlands and swamps.

Behaviour:

Sedentary but nomadic during drought. Found singly or in pairs.

Diet:

The diet includes fish, frogs and crabs, but also on young birds and other land vertebrates.

Breeding:

It builds a large, deep stick nest in a tree. The 1 or 2 white eggs are incubated for 30-35 days; the chicks fledge 70 – 100 days later.

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