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AFRICAN SAFARIS - Trips Of A Lifetime

   
     
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Natural Reflection Saddle-billed storks are the largest of the African storks. The saddle-billed stork is between 5 and 6 feet tall. Their wing span is up to 9 feet. They can weigh up to 20 pounds. A spectacularly plumaged saddle-billed stork’s head, neck, back, wings, and tail are iridescent black. The rest of the body and primary flight feathers are white. The massive bill is red with a black band and a yellow frontal shield (the “saddle”). These storks are silent since they do not have any muscles in their voice box. They rattle their bills to make noise and communicate. Like most storks, these fly with the neck outstretched, not retracted like a heron; in flight, the large heavy bill is kept drooping somewhat below belly height, giving these birds a very unusual appearance.

Saddle-billed storks live in tropical areas of Africa and are found in a range of habitats including marshes, rivers, lakes and areas of wet grasslands. They prefer wide open spaces and avoid forested areas. The saddle-billed stork eats grasshoppers, frogs, fish, crabs, mollusks, lizards, and young birds.

The saddle-billed stork was represent by an Egyptian hieroglyphic
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