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I'm a Science Teacher, Nature Photographer, Husband, Father, and Grandfather who loves to explore the natural world by traveling, photographing and thinking. 

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Stately Saddle Billed Stork



The winner of the latest poll on the Blue Lion Photos Facebook Page was Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis, or the Saddle Billed Stork. This bird is the largest of the African Stork and is found widely throughout Sub Saharan Africa. 


The Saddle Billed storks are most commonly found around open wetlands where they feed on fish less then a foot long. They will supplement their fish diet with crabs, shrimp, frogs, reptiles, small mammals, young birds, mollusks and large insects. The storks take advantage of trees near the lake shores to build their nests, which are usually deep and built from sticks gathered by the mating pair. 


The pair mates near the end of the rainy season so that the chicks can fledge at the height of the dry season which allows them to find food when it is most highly concentrated in the shrinking pools and ponds.


I encountered this magnificent bird at the Fort Worth Zoo where they are part of an ongoing breeding program. The Ft. Worth Zoo claims to be one of only two zoos in the United States to breed these impressive birds. 




7 comments:

Kay L. Davies said...

Well, if I'm ever in Fort Worth, I'll certainly want to see these. A very interesting bird, John. Thanks!
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Kerri said...

Absolutely amazing!
but your images always are.
WOW!

Linda Rockwell said...

My. Oh my. What an elegant bird. What a wonderful photo!

TexWisGirl said...

great shot!

Beverly said...

Wonderful!

Julie G. said...

Outstanding photograph! Great detail and color. I saw these storks while on safari in Africa but was unable to capture an image anything like this. Wonderful, informative post!

Adam Tilt said...

Stunner. Love the composition and colour. Adam @ My Life Outside