|Oopbekooievaar Openbilled Stork
Sweni viewing, a hide near Nwanetsi Camp
See also: Saddle-billed Stork and Yellowbilled Stork
Kruger National Park
Distribution - Lives south of the Sahara in mainly tropical conditions, and on Madagascar. In South Africa this black stork visits mainly the eastern part, like Kruger National Park, during the summer months for breeding. Other places for breeding are Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.
Diet - Food mainly consists of snails and mussels. Forages in larger inland waters, marshes, swamps, floodplains etc. by jabbing the slightly open bill into the mud. May also hunt on sight. Has different feeding techniques for snails and mussels. Remarkable is the technique for opening unwilling mussels. They will be collected on shore and be left in the sun, until they open up their shells themselves.
Biological - A black, large stork with a large brownish bill. Mature birds have a distinctive bill since it has a nutcracker-like gap in the middle. This gap is for structural strength at the tip while extracting prey form shell. There’s no difference between sexes.
Length about 94 cm, wingspan up to 180 cm, weight up to 1.1 kg.
Breeding - Nest is a platform of sticks and twigs (width 50 cm), lined with grasses and sedges. Both sexes will participate in building the nest either in trees or reedbeds.
Eggs are dull and usually stained white, and weigh about 35-50 g. Usually 3-4 eggs. Hatching after 80 days of breeding by both parents.
Voice - Seldom heard loud croaks or honks.
Other names - D: Klaffschnabel, Mohrenklaffschnabel- K: Etongorokofu - Ts: Mukyindlopfu - F: Bec-ouvert africain - PT: Picotenaza Africano, S: Afrikansk gapnäbbstork - NL: Afrikaanse Gaper - IT: Anastomo Africano
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
Vincent Carruthers (ed.) - The Wildlife of Southern Africa. Struik Publ. ISBN 1-86872-451-4