Whilst stuck at home during the first wave of the pandemic I started posting a Bird of the Day on Facebook, as a way of bringing some brightness into the pervasive gloom. This has taken on a life of its own, and today’s bird was #194 in the series.
Of course, not everyone is on Facebook. One of my readers suggested that I post the birds to this blog as well. The reader happens to be my Mom, so I am taking that suggestion as direction. 😊
So I am going to start posting the birds here as well. The text will be the same as on Facebook so if you have already seen it you can just scroll on to the next notification on your device of choice.
In each post I will show the bird from today and also include a previous bird of the day. So in 193 days or so we should be all caught up!
Bird of the Day # 194 – the Marabou Stork
As a break from all those glamorous hummingbirds and tanagers, today’s bird is from the homely end of the spectrum. I can’t say for sure that this is the ugliest bird in the world, but it’s the ugliest one I have seen.
The Marabou Stork is a large member of the stork family, with some individuals standing over 150cm/60″ tall. They live in Africa where they are a common sight, usually at the corpse of a large animal where they battle for scraps with the vultures.
For more on its eating habits, Wikipedia notes that: “This large and powerful bird eats mainly carrion, scraps, and faeces but will opportunistically eat almost any animal matter it can swallow. It occasionally eats other birds including Quelea nestlings, pigeons, doves, pelican and cormorant chicks, and even flamingos. During the breeding season, adults scale back on carrion and take mostly small, live prey since nestlings need this kind of food to survive. Common prey at this time may consist of fish, frogs, insects, eggs, small mammals and reptiles such as crocodile hatchlings and eggs, and lizards and snakes. Though known to eat putrid and seemingly inedible foods, these storks may sometimes wash food in water to remove soil.”
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, February 2015.
Bird of the Day #1 – Rufous-gaped Hillstar
Something not Covid-related. Enjoy.
Cerro Montezuma–Los Chorros, PNN Tatamá, Risaralda District, Colombia, March 2019.