Yellow-Billed Stork | Birdlife | Wild Safari Guide

Meet the Yellow-billed stork

Yellow-billed stork

Appearing on the postage stamps of several African countries, the yellow-billed stork occurs all across the continent south of the Sahara, as well as in Madagascar. Their favoured habitat is in and around water. Both females and males look similar with the only difference males being slightly larger. The face and forehead are red and the bill, a deep yellow. During the breeding season, the upper-wings and the back, as well as the legs turn pink.

The yellow-billed stalk stands around a metre-tall and walks with a distinguished high-stepped gait of up to 70 steps per minute. When flying, it flaps its wings between 170 and 200 times per minute. Experts believe that its bill snaps shut at a speed of around 25 milliseconds. Although there is no official estimate of the population size of the yellow-billed stork, it is regarded as stable, and the species is thus classed as ‘Least Concern’.

More birdlife in africa

The Southern ground-hornbill is the largest hornbill species in the world and is found nowhere else in the world other than in Africa. It calls the woodlands and Savannahs of the continent home. 

The unmistakable sound of the African fish eagle is part and parcel of the call to visit the shores of the continent. No wonder it features as the national bird for various African countries.

The white-backed vulture is part of the Old World vultures that include hawks, kites, eagles, and buzzards. Soaring over the Savannahs and woodlands of Africa, its population is increasingly under threat.

The lilac-breasted roller, with an olive coloured crown and mantle, is indeed one of the perching pretties of Africa. Unofficially, it carries the status as the national bird of Kenya.

Popular destinations Across Africa

The Okavango Delta is the best place to spot special species such as the wattled crane, lesser jacana, slaty egret, herons, larks and babblers.

With the Kafue, Luangwa and Zambezi Rivers providing sustenance, beautiful birds like the African pitta and shoebill stork will be a thrill to the searching eyes of birders.

For those keen on records, Kenya provides the opportunity to spot more than 300 species in any given day—the record is 342 in 24 hours.

The pristine coastline is home to coastal migrant waders, while further afield the red and blue double collared sunbirds, mangrove kingfisher, tiny greenbul, and olive-headed weaver can be observed.

The Kruger National Park is indeed a birders paradise with more than 500 species, including various raptors and vultures as well as rare migrants such as Dickinson’s kestrel, Southern hyliota and Bohm’s spinetail. 

Facts about the yellow-billed stork