Marabou Stork {Leptoptilos crumeniferus}

South Africa Wildlife

Marabou Stork {Leptoptilos crumeniferus}

The Marabou Stork
The Marabou Stork

This is a huge, unmissable and unmistakable stork. Marabou are scavengers and can be found around refuse dumps as well as with vultures around carcasses. However they don't rely solely on scavenging, they will catch small rodents and reptiles. Airborne, the Marabou are superb flyers, soaring at high altitude across the plains.

A large male Marabou Stork, standing up to 1.5 m tall and weighing nearly 9 kg, is one of the largest flying birds in the world. Their wingspan approaches 2.9 m.

Quick Facts


Name: Leptoptilos crumeniferus

Diet Description: Marabou Storks will eat just about any kind of animal, dead or alive. Living prey includes termites, fish, locusts, grasshoppers, army-worm caterpillars, frogs, rodents, crocodile eggs and hatchlings, quelea nestlings, doves, young and adult flamingos, cormorant nestlings, and pelican chicks.

Habitat: Marabou prefer dry open savannahs near large lakes or rivers. Marabous are often found around fishing villages, slaughterhouses, and rubbish dumps.

Distribution: The Marabou Stork is found throughout most of tropical Africa.

Reproduction: The female lays 2-3 chalky white eggs. Both parents incubate for 29-31 days. Chicks grow rapidly in the first few weeks of life as their parents keep them constantly supplied with food regurgitated onto the floor of the nest. The pre-fledging period, 95-115 days, is relatively long in this species. Most birds reach sexual maturity in their fourth year and may live for more than 25 years.

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Gauteng, Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, Garden Route, KwaZulu Natal
Northern Cape, North West Province, Western Cape or see All Birder-friendly.
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Marabou Stork Photographs and Information
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