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Stork, Yellow-billed

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Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:34 pm Unread post
Sweni hide, May 2008

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Re: Stork, Yellow-billed

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Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:04 pm Unread post
What bird is this please? :redface:

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Re: Stork, Yellow-billed

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Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:10 pm Unread post
Yellow-billed Stork (juvenile)


Re: Stork, Yellow-billed

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Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:09 am Unread post
Bookman wrote
The stork is a saddle-billed and not yellow-billed stork - look at the black neck and red/black/yellow on the beak - the yellow-billed has only yellow and then red (in its case actually the cere)


I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one Bookman. It's a good observation that the neck is black (although I don't think it's really black but it certainly is dark). This is however a feature of the juvenile Yellow-billed Stork. They have an overall darker plumage with the head often being another shade darker but I will concede that the contrast is quite stark on this individual which may have lead to confusion.

There are actually a number of other features visible:

1. The bill is the typical downcurved shape of Yellow-billed Stork with that "drooping tip" appearance. Saddle-billed Stork has a straight upper edge but upcurved lower edge to the bill which gives the appearance of an upcurved bill. The bill of juv SBS is also mostly black turning gradually red at the tip as the bird age. This bird clearly has a yellow bill and red facial skin.

2. Speaking of the facial skin, the fact that this bird has red between the eyes is pretty much a giveaway. Even the youngest SBS's would have a saddle which would be dark grey or yellow but certainly not red. This bird doesn't have a saddle and the area where the saddle should have been is the incorrect colour anyway.

3. The SBS has a very slender neck. In fact, the bill often appears thicker than the neck. This bird has a rather thick neck which is congruent with YBS.

4. The legs of SBS are black with red joints while the legs of YBS are all red. On the juveniles the colours are more or less the same but just more "washed out" so to speak. This bird clearly has red legs all over, albeit a pale shade.

5. The underwing coverts of SBS are black and the flight feathers white. The YBS is just the opposite. On both the juveniles the coverts as well as flight feathers are dark but on this bird it can be seen that the white coverts are moulting in already, clearly pointing to YBS.

I had a quick Google around for pics of juvenile YBS and SBS. Here are two links that you can have a look at:
Yellow-billed Stork (juvenile)
Saddle-billed Stork (juvenile)

Notice how the YBS has a dark neck, red legs, red facial skin, yellow "downcurved" bill with black tip and thick neck while the SBS has grey legs with pale pink joints, saddle between the eyes, black "upcurved" bill with red tip and relatively slender neck. Hope that helps.


Re: Stork, yellow-billed

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Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:46 am Unread post
Deefstes, thanks as always for the great explanation. I agree with your analysis - the yellow saddle with black bill would be a dead giveaway on the juv SBS.

I want to remind all of the juv SBS seen recently out of range in Kgalagadi. See the pics here


Re: Stork, Yellow-billed

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Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:43 pm Unread post
Sunset Dam

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Re: Stork, Yellow-billed

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Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:59 pm Unread post
Some really beautifu Pictures everyone. Thought I'd post one of mine - not well exposed but i like the sun coming through the bill!

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Re: Stork, Yellow-billed

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Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:34 pm Unread post
We saw this one perched on top of a tree
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Re: Stork, Yellow-billed

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Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:47 pm Unread post
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On the Shingwedzi causeway

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Re: Stork, Yellow-billed

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Sat May 19, 2012 12:26 pm Unread post
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Re: Stork, Yellow-billed

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Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:16 pm Unread post
Great sightings and images

Taken at Sunset dam


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