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Always spotted on a Safari to Uganda, and Scientifically referred to as Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis, the Saddle-billed stork is one of the incredible Uganda birding safari bird species always encountered along the water logged environments such as Kazinga Channel and Nile River. When seen, it completes an amazing Uganda Safari.

The Saddle-billed stork stands as a large wading bird thriving in the stork family named Ciconiidae. It thrives mainly in the sub-Saharan Africa stretching from Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda through to South Africa. The bird species also thrives in West African Countries of Senegal, Gambia and Chad.

The saddle-billed stork stretches up to a height 150cm, body length of 142cm along with a wing span of 2.4 – 2.7m as always interpreted to birders on birding safaris in Uganda. The male bird is a bit heavier than the female counterparts with a weight of 5.1 – 7.52kg and 5 – 6.84kg respectively. This bird species is anticipated to be the tallest among the storks due to its extremely long legs. It as well features a long bill measuring 27.3 – 36cm.

The beautiful plumage makes the Saddle-billed stork an outstanding bird species that one shouldn’t miss out while on a birding safari in Uganda.  It has a black head, neck, back, wings along with the tail while the rest of the body including primary feathers are notably white.  Its bill is red marked with a black band along with a yellow frontal shield known as the Saddle from which the bird derives its name.  The pink hooks are also noticeable on its black legs.

The Saddle-billed Stork is noted to be silent bird species apart from when they are bill clattering at the respective nests. They feature outstretched necks while in flight.  Breeding occurs in forested woodlands and other flooded areas in the tropics. A count of 1 – 5 white eggs weighing 146g each are normally laid in a deep stick nest after which the incubation lasts 30 – 35 days. Fledging occurs between 70 – 100 days.

Saddle-billed Stork feeds mainly on frogs, fish and crabs and at times on reptiles and small birds

The Saddle-billed Stork is listed as Species of Least Concern on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Prime Uganda Safaris can arrange a perfect Uganda Safari to the areas where this bird can be seen. Self Drive Car hire rentals in Uganda are also always available for any guests who wish to drive themselves to these areas to see these birds.

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