Australian Black-Necked Stork

The Black-Necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) is a tall, long-necked wetland bird from Asia (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus asiaticus) and Australia (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus australis). In Australia, it is also called a Jabiru. It is related to the Saddle-Billed Stork from Africa.

The Australian Black-Necked Stork is white with glossy iridescent black feathers, a black neck, and a large black beak. It has a copper-brown crown and a white belly. It has bright red legs. Females have yellow eyes and males have brown eyes.

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Yellow-Billed Stork

The Yellow-Billed Stork (Mycteria ibis) is a large wading wetlands bird from sub-Saharan Africa (mainly East Africa) and Madagascar. Although its scientific name is Mycteria ibis, it is not an ibis.

It is white with a short black tail and a deep yellow beak (bill), which is slightly decurved at the end. Its face and forehead has deep red skin and its legs are pink.

The Yellow-Billed Stork wades in shallow water with high-steps. It is a medium-sized wader, growing to 90–105 centimetres (35–41 inches) tall.

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African Marabou Stork

The African Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumeniferus) – often just called the Marabou – is large with distinct features and is found in sub-Saharan Africa.

Its feathers are grey and white. Its soft, white tail feathers are known as marabou. It has a pink bald head and neck like a vulture with red spots and a long reddish-coloured pouch hanging from its neck, called a wattle. It has a conical bill. It has long black legs.

It grows to 1.5 metres (5 feet) tall with a wingspan of 2.6 metres (8.5 feet). In flight, it soars, but when it is on the ground it walks in a hunched manner. It is often called The Undertaker bird.

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CREATURE FEATURE: Saddle-billed Stork

The Saddle-Billed Stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) is the largest African stork, with a height of 1.8 metres (six feet) and a wingspan of 2.7 metres (9 feet).

It has striking colours with an iridescent black head, neck, back, wings, and tail. The rest of the body and primary flight feathers are white.

The long beak (bill) is red with a black band and a yellow shield, which is called the saddle (like a horse saddle). They have black legs and feet with pink knees.

Males have black eyes and females have yellow eyes.

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Why do birds stand on one leg?

Almost all birds stand on one leg. Some can even sleep while standing on one leg. Why do they do it and why don’t they fall over?

Long-legged birds, such as storks and flamingos, often stand on one leg, but so do short-legged birds, such as ducks.

Birds generally don’t have feathers on their legs. Standing on one leg reduces heat loss. Birds tuck one leg under their feathered body to keep it warm, leaving only one leg exposed.

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