Canon EOS 350D, 49mm, 1/250 sec, F/5, ISO-290
Location: Aqua Zoo, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, Europe
Date: August 20/2010
Featured in The World As We See It, or as we missed it
The Marabou Stork, Leptoptilos crumeniferus, is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It breeds in Africa south of the Sahara, occurring in both wet and arid habitats, often near human habitation, especially waste tips. It is sometimes called the “undertaker bird,” due to its shape from behind: cloak-like wings and back, skinny white legs, and sometimes, a large white mass of “hair.”
A massive bird, large specimens are thought to reach a height of 150 cm (60 in), a weight of over 9 kg (20 lbs) and have a wingspan of at least 3.5 m (10.5 ft). In the last regard, it shares the distinction of having the largest wingspan of any landbird with the Andean Condor. More typically, these birds measure 120–140 cm (43–55 in), 310–350 cm (89–113 in) across the wings, and weigh 6–10.5 kg (10-18 lbs). Unlike most storks, the three Leptoptilos species fly with the neck retracted like a heron.