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Marabou Stork

Marabou Stork
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-12
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/11, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-10-13 4:59
Viewed: 5768
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Not mothers most beautiful child.

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 3.2 m (10.5 ft). In the last regard, it shares the distinction of having the largest wingspan of any land bird with the Andean Condor. More typically, these birds measure 110-140 cm (43-55 in), 225-287 cm (89-113 in) across the wings, and weigh 4.5-8 kg (10-18 lbs). Unlike most storks, the three Leptoptilos species fly with the neck retracted like a heron.

The Marabou is unmistakable due to its size, bare head and neck, black back, and white underparts. It has a huge bill, a pink gular sack at its throat, a neck ruff, and black legs and wings. The sexes are alike, but the young bird is browner and has a smaller bill. Full maturity is not reached for up to four years.

Like most storks, the Marabou is gregarious and a colonial breeder. In the African dry season (when food is more readily available as the pools shrink) it builds a tree nest in which two or three eggs are laid.
It also resembles other storks in that it is not very vocal, but indulges in bill-rattling courtship displays. The throat sack is also used to make various noises at that time.

The Marabou Stork is a frequent scavenger, and the naked head and neck are adaptations to this, as it is with the vultures with which the stork often feeds. In both cases, a feathered head would become rapidly clotted with blood and other substances when the bird's head was inside a large corpse, and the bare head is easier to keep clean.

This large and powerful bird eats mainly carrion, scraps and faeces, but will also take fish, frogs, insects, eggs, small mammals and reptiles such as crocodile hatchlings and eggs. It occasionally eats other birds including quelea nestlings, pigeons, doves, pelican and cormorant chicks and even flamingos.

Source: Wikipedia

ferranjlloret, marianas, nasokoun, cirano, zulfu, goldyrs, xTauruSx, marius-secan, boreocypriensis, nglen, Dis. Ac., roges, jmirah, Noisette, jusninasirun, bahadir has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Ciao Peter. Great capture! Nice vertical compo good contrast and sharp. Wel done MF.


Hi Peter,
Good shot, They are animal dirty and rotten but they are very photogenic
TFS. Ferran

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-10-13 6:16]

Hello Peter,
I daresay that its mother is not the most beautiful of mothers either, but you have made a fine capture of a Marabou Stork taken from a great POV, in a fine pose to show both its ugliness and beauty with excellent clarity in a pleasing composition.
Thanks and best regards,

Ciao Peter, great capture of splendid bird in nice pose, wonderful details and excellent sharpness, good natural colors, very well done, ciao Silvio

Wonderful stork!
Great details, lovely colors.

Hello Peter,
a very beautiful picture of the Marabou Stork, very good sharpness and splendid natural colours, i like the lovely posture of the bird in a very nice composition.
Best regards

hello Peter
good scene, difficult head for clarity or sharpness,fine result with natural colours and good details and beautiful pose!

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2009-10-13 8:56]

Slav Peter,
Very good shot!Nice colors and sharpness.Very well composed.TFS.


hallo Peter
super goed genomen zo in de boom
meestal zie je ze op de grond
mooie details en mooie kleuren
great shot
groetjes lou

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-10-13 8:59]

Hello Peter.
Great shot. Crisp, clear and sharp. Looks great against the blue BG. Good eye contact. TFS.Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2009-10-13 9:19]

Very good photo of this Marabou Stork, great colors and very good sharpness!

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-10-13 9:21]

Hello Peter, an additional new bird and its great shot with good details and beautiful colours.
TFS and G's,

This stork is huge, Peter!
An awesome shot!

Hello Peter, beautiful shot of this ugly:) but elegant stork with nice pose.
TFS and regards,

Hello Peter,
You are right about the beauty of the bird, but the photo is excellent, with good details and natural colours.

Hi Peter,

An awesome capture of this long-legged beauty from nice POV with excellent clarity, nice posture, natural colours and delightful composition.
TFS and have a nice night!


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-10-13 12:34]

Hi Peter. You have taken a fine picture of this sad looking Stork.You were able to get a fine pose from this large looking bird in the tree tops. Taken wit hgood detai land natural colours. Reading your notes it sound like it would eat just about anything. Well taken TFS.

Hallo Peter,

bedankt voor de felicitatie.
Je hebt toch een boel vogels in je verzameling hoor die ik alleen van gevangenschap of dierentuinen ken.
Dit is ook weer een mooie natuur plaat.
Alleen jammer dat hij niet net iets anders kijkt.


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-10-13 14:33]

Hi Peter,impressive composition whit an incredible specie.In this trip you found a lot of fantastics species,this si another wonderful example taken from a perfect POV and whit a top quality of sharpness and colors.My best compliments,have a nice day,LUCIANO.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2009-10-13 21:34]

Hi Peter,
Wonderful shot of this Marabou Stork perched high up. Very neat and sharp image with perfect light and DOF. Very nicely composed. Kudos.

The Marabou Stork, might not be beautiful wrt our viewpoint but everything in nature is beautiful :-), Good note and a decent picture with a low viewpoint.

  • Great 
  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2009-10-14 8:31]

Hi Peter,

Wat interessant vangen. Prachtige kleuren zeer mooie details. Ik heb niet gezien deze vogel.
Een leuke dag,

  • Great 
  • jmirah Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 509 W: 5 N: 1141] (4687)
  • [2009-10-14 12:39]

Hi Peter
Great capture of a not so beautiful bird..Fine color and detail...TFS

Hello Peter
beautiful shot of this "nice" bird, you have captured this Marabout Stork with great details and lovely colors, great pose on the top of this tree and fine POV
have a good night

Kodiang 2009

Hi Peter: This is such a beautiful pose of a stork on top of a tree. Very well metered shot bringing out fine exposure and details of the plumage in tall frame. Pleasing perch against the cloudless sky. Well done and thanks for sharing. Jusni

Hello Peter, excellent shot of this Marabou stork in lovely pose with nice composition, details and colours.
TFS and regards,

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-10-18 0:47]

Hi Peter,
what a lovely piece of shot. The head is so exciting and you have presented it aso well.
excellent view and the details are so brilliant.


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