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Marabou Stork

Marabou Stork

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Scientific Name:

Leptoptilos crumeniferus


Africa (from Sahara desert to South Africa)


Carnivore. Carrion, scraps of fish, live fish, termites, locusts, frogs, lizards, snakes, rats, mice and birds


Habitat: Open dry savannas, grasslands, swamps, riverbanks, lake shores, receding pools where fish are concentrated


Incubation: 30 days, 2-3 eggs/season

Social structure: groups 20-60 individuals up to several thousands

Weight: max 9 kg

Dimensions: height: ~1,5 m, wingspan: ~2,6 m

Lifespan:  25 years , 44 years in human care

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Estimated population in the wild: Unknown, increasing

Threats: Hunted and traded at traditional medicine markets in Nigeria

Did you know that:

  1. The males, after establishing a territory and building a nest, attract the females by inflating the throat pouch, dancing and clattering the bill.  When approached, males respond aggressively and females react submissively so that a bond might be established. 
  2. They defecate on their legs in order to keep cool during the day, and that’s where they get the white color on their legs which are normally black. This is called urohydrosis.

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