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Marabou Stork

Leptoptilos crumenifer

Quick Facts

Scientific name: Leptoptilos crumenifer
Class: Bird
Weight: 20 pounds
Life span: 25 years
Conservation status: Least concern
Number of offspring: 2 to 3 eggs at a time

About

I LIVE IN AFRICA

Marabou storks live in Africa, from the Sahara desert to South Africa. They live in the savannas and open areas, but will also live close to human habitation.


I AM A SCAVENGER

These storks will eat carrion (dead animals), fish, reptiles, insects, birds, frogs, and rodents. These birds also eat food scraps around homes and farms near African towns.


MARABOU STORKS ARE SOCIAL

Marabou storks often gather in groups near lakes or rivers. These social birds are also known to hang around large mammals, including human beings. They are generally very quiet creatures, but may occasionally make grunts, croaks, or rattling from their bills.


BALD AND BEAUTIFUL

The marabou stork has no feathers on its neck and head which allows it to stay clean when eating messy foods. This adaptation is also extremely important in preventing infection from their food-of-choice.


HELPING THE MARABOU STORK IN THE WILD

The marabou storks at the Zoo are enrolled in the Species Survival Plan (SSP). SSP is a program implemented by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to help ensure a genetically viable population exists.


I AM IMPORTANT TO MY ECOSYSTEM

Marabou storks are known as scavengers, meaning they feed mainly on carrion and animal scraps. Although this may seem a little gross, it is extremely beneficial for the environment in that animal carcasses are removed from the environment and the spread of pathogens and bacteria is halted.


Conservation

Learn more about our efforts, our conservation partners around the world, and the simple steps you can take to contribute.

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