Saddle Billed Stork

Posted on July 14, 2010

I was really excited to see a Saddle Billed Stork at one of the pans close to Leopard Hills on drive yesterday morning.

Being a passionate birder this was my highlight so far at Leopard Hills, especially considering it is a young male. Males have dark eyes and yellow wattles under the bill (This male has very small yellow wattles and new plumage around the head). Females have yellow eyes and no wattles.

Maybe he is looking for a territory and a female, they are usually found in pairs along water courses or suitable pan systems.

There is only an estimated 100 individuals left in SA and EWT is currently running a competition trying to identify individuals and estimate an updated population figure. Each bird has a unique pattern where the black band meets the front of the red bill.

0 thoughts on “Saddle Billed Stork

  1. Hello, Dave,
    I have two pics of a Saddle Billed Stork that I snapped at Elephant Pan, in the extreme southeastern corner of Djuma Private Game Reserve. These were taken on 4 September 2009. I would be happy to share them with you, if you will let me know where to send them.

    Kay Schmid
    East Lansing, Michigan USA

  2. Hi Kay, why don’t you enter the competition. Send your images to with the date and location. Good luck, all the images will help the Endangered Wildlife Trust.

    Hi Mark, enjoy the birding.

  3. I also have Photos of Saddle-Billed Storks, so will fwd when I can trace them. Occurs to me that there must be Other Species where this sort of evidence is useful – Cheetahs for instance. Am I right/wrong and could one compile a List and make it more widely known – just a thought.

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