|Saalbekooievaar Saddle-billed Stork
See also: Openbilled Stork and Yellowbilled Stork
Kruger National Park
Distribution - Lives south of the Sahara in tropical conditions. In South Africa this beautiful stork resides mainly in the eastern part, like Kruger National Park, but is absent in the southern and western part.
Diet - Due to its habitat - fresh waters and swamps usually in open or lightly wooded country - the diet consists mainly of fish, up to 0.5 kg. But frogs, small mammals, young birds, crabs, reptiles and molluscs are also part of the diet. The bird finds food by sticking its bill quickly into the water or scan the muddy waters for anything that moves.
Biological - One of the most recognizable stork species because of the yellow frontal shield (“saddle”) on the bright black-and-red banded bill. The plumage is black and white. Differences between the genders are the missing yellow wattle and the yellow iris of the female. The male has a brown iris.
Height about 145 cm. Wingspan up to 270 cm, it is the largest stork. Weight up to 6 kg.
Breeding - The nest is a platform of sticks (width 200 cm, height 50 cm) solitary up in a tree or bush. Both sexes will particpate in building the nest near water. The nest will be deep enough to hide a breeding bird.
Eggs are dull, faintly glossy white and weigh about 146 g. Usually 2-3 eggs but up to 5 eggs have been recorded. Storks hatch after 30-35 days, and are sexually mature at 3 years.
Voice - Because Saddle-billed Storks have no muscles in their throat they make no sound other than rattling their bills mainly when displaying themselves.
Other names - D: Sattelstorch - UK: Saddlebill, African Jabiru - F: Jabiru d'Afrique, Jabiru de Sénégal - ES: Jabirú Africano, Cigüeña ensillada - S: Afrikansk jabiru - IT: Mitteria del Senegal - K: Kandjendje - Ts: Hukumihlanga, Kokwasabi - DK: Saddelnæbs stork
Gordon Lindsay Maclean – Roberts’ Birds of Southern Africa, John Voelcker Bird Book Fund ISBN 0 620 17583 4.
Ian Sinclair, Phil Hocky & Warwick Tarboton – Sasol Birds of Southern Africa, Struik Publ, ISBN 1 86872 033 0.
Zdeněk Veselovskŷ – Encyclopedie van vogels, Zuid Boekprodukties, ISBN 90 6248 929 X .