Yellow-billed Stork (Mycteria ibis)
These birds are found in Africa South of the Sahara desert, frequenting rivers, dams, floodplains and marshes.
French: Tantale ibis, Tantale africain
Dutch: Afrikaanse Nimmerzat
Number of eggs per clutch:
Primarily frogs and fish
Up to 19 years in captivity
Aquatic habitats, including shallow lakes, mud flats, coastal lagoons and meadows.
Feeds on crustaceans, small fish, frogs, insects and worms.
Adult male yellow-billed storks have a smooth forehead and their face is orangey-red. Their bills are long and thick at the base. It is also slightly curved at the tip and bright yellow, hence their name. Their necks are also long and slender and grayish white. The rest of their body including their back, belly and breast is solid white with a small hint of pink on the tips of their feathers. Their tail and wing quills are black. The yellow-billed storks legs vary from a dark red to a light pink color and are long and skinny. Its hard to believe that their legs can support their plump, round bodies. The female storks are alot like the male storks, however the females are smaller.
The yellow-billed storks have remarkable adaptation. These birds are know to have the quickest muscular reflex of the neck, allowing almost all food to be caught in the water. Their long, narrow, curve tipped bills allow them only to catch small prey such as small fish, frogs, insects and worms passing by in the water. Yellow-billed storks are intelligent birds. These birds created a technique to help them catch more prey in the water. They typically use one foot to stir up the water or mud which disturbs and flushes out the prey. Then they submerge their heads quickly in the water snapping their bills on small prey. Yellow-billed storks bills are great fishing tools.
The female yellow-billed storks approaches the courtship among the male yellow-billed storks. Together they build a bulky nest made of sticks and the male chooses where the nest is to be built. The two storks work vigorously together to build a nest and can do so within 7-10 days. These nests are usually built high in trees away from predators. The storks breed almost year round. At breeding colonies the storks make a hissing sound. Incubation period can last up to 30 days and between 2-3 eggs are laid on alternate days. The juveniles are ready to fly after about 2 months.
Much of the above information was taken from the WhoZoo