The omnivorous Marabou Stork: old man in a tailcoat - News - Gondwana Collection

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The omnivorous Marabou Stork: old man in a tailcoat

Avatar of inke inke - 14. August 2018 - Environment

A Marabou Stork at the Goas waterhole in Etosha National Park has caught a bullfrog and tosses it repeatedly into the air to catch it in a “bite-sized” position. The frog is attacked and stabbed with the pointed bill again and again, until it is finally swallowed in one piece.

Dirk Heinrich

Many people perceive the Marabou Stork as ugly or describe it as an old man wearing a tailcoat. Some call it the “undertaker bird”. The Marabou is a large member of the stork family, just under 1.5 metres tall, with a wingspan of more than 2.5 metres. The head and neck are almost bare and a reddish wattle adds to the peculiar appearance. Apparently the purpose of the pouch on the throat is to regulate temperature and to show off. 

Since they are highly effective scavengers these storks are very useful to people. Marabou Storks are classified as “possibly endangered” in Namibia, and according to estimates there are around 900 of these birds. 

For more information, please have a look at Namibia Outdoor.

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