Bird

Saddlebill Stork

Area: 
Africa
Habitat: 
marshes, edges of rivers, and lakes
Food: 
fish, crabs, large water beetles and other insects, frogs, reptiles and small mammals
Size: 
Up to 5 feet tall; wingspan about 8 feet
Babies: 
Fuzzy white chicks are fed by their parents for about 3 months
You can tell the sex of a saddlebill stork by looking at its eyes: females' are yellow, males' are brown.
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The yellow "saddle" across this big birdAn animal that has wings and is covered with feathers. Birds have a backbone, are warm-blooded, produce young from eggs, and walk on their two legs. Most can fly.'s bill gives it its name, but the whole beakThe hard mouthpart of a bird and some other animals. The beak can also be called a bill. is a super-cool tool for getting food. Saddlebills hunt in shallow water. Long legs help keep the birdAn animal that has wings and is covered with feathers. Birds have a backbone, are warm-blooded, produce young from eggs, and walk on their two legs. Most can fly.'s body dry as it wades in search of preyNoun: An animal that is hunted as food by another animal. Verb: To attempt to take an animal for food.. Sometimes a saddlebill sticks its bill into the muddy bottom to feel for insects and crabs. Other times it quickly snatches a fish from the water. Before it swallows its catch, the saddlebill usually holds it down with its feet and plucks sharp spines out of the fish's back.

Saddlebill storks breed near the end of the rainy season. They usually have the same mate every year. Together, the pair carries sticks, grasses, and mud to the top of a tree where they build a 6-foot-wide nest. Both birds take turns keeping the eggs warm and feeding the fuzzy white chicks that hatch. A young saddlebill stork reaches its full size in about year but doesn't develop the bright colors of adults until it is about two years old.