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Marabou Stork

Afrikaans name: Maraboe

A Marabou Stork sitting down

Photo © Michael Ransburg - Fotolia.com

Leptoptilos crumeniferus

The Marabou Stork reminds many people of an undertaker! This large bird can often be seen looking for scraps on rubbish dumps or at a carcass amongst the vultures. It mainly scavenges for food but will take other prey, especially birds, if it has the opportunity.

These large birds can stand up to 150 cm tall and weigh around 9 kg. Unverified records indicate that they can have a wingspan of nearly 4 metres which would mean that they have the largest wingspan of any bird. The bill of the Marabou is around 30 cm in length.

Marabou Storks are most commonly seen in small flocks and they breed in a colony as well. They nest in trees and 2 or 3 eggs are laid.

In South Africa they are mainly found in the northern and eastern regions, particularly in Kruger National Park. Beyond our borders they are widely distributed over sub-Saharan Africa.

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References

List of South African Birds

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