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African Openbill

African Openbill
Photo Information
Copyright: Sujoy Bhawal (sujoybhawal) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 70 W: 0 N: 406] (2181)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-02-25
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 7D
Exposure: f/8, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-11-16 7:16
Viewed: 2953
Points: 8
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Back after a long gap.

This is from my visit to Chobe national park, Botswana.

Like the other member of the genus Anastomus, the Asian Openbill, the African Openbill has an unusual bill well adapted to the feeding behaviour of both species. These birds feed mainly on large aquatic snails of the genus Pila, and this type of bill is useful to extract the mollusc from the shell.

Length: 80-94 cm
Weight: 1000-1300 g

Both adults are similar, with male larger than female.
The plumage is black overall, with glossy green, brown or purple mantle and breast.
The large bill is brownish-horn, paler towards the base. The mandibles show a wide gap between them of about 5-6 mm, and join only at tip. On the almost straight upper mandible, there are several small columnar pads, about 20-30, which help the bird to grip the shell and then, to extract the mollusc.
Eyes are grey with bluish lores and bare eye-ring. Legs and feet are blackish.

Immature is duller and browner, with pale feather tips on the upperparts. The bill is almost straight, with narrower gap between the mandibles. The young develops the gap little by little with the maturity.
The African Openbill frequents mainly extensive freshwater wetlands, and it is often found in marshes, swamps, margins of lakes and rivers, ricefields and flooded plains. It may sometimes frequent moist savannahs and burnt grasslands, and occasionally streams with nearby tall trees for nesting.

The African Openbill is found in Africa, South of the Sahara, but it is infrequent throughout West Africa.
It also occurs in Madagascar, mainly on the western regions.

This species performs some migrations, with regular transequatorial movements of birds arriving in West Africa for the dry period. They migrate in flocks, but these movements are not very well understood.

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Critiques [Translate]

hello Sujoy
very good sharpness and nice details
the colours are very good naturel
thanks greeting lou

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2012-11-16 7:48]

Hello Sujoy,
Nice photo of this African Openbill in fine sharpness and natural colours.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2012-11-16 8:56]

Hello Sujoy.
Very good close up of this African Openbill. You have captured it with fine deatil and colours a nice POV/DOF. Well done TFS.Regards Siggi

Ciao Sujoy, lovely bird in a beautiful natural ambientation, fine details, excellent clarity, splendid light and colors, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

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