Appearing on the postage stamps of several African countries, the yellow-billed stork occurs all across the continent south of the Sahara, as well as in Madagascar. Their favoured habitat is in and around water. Both females and males look similar with the only difference males being slightly larger. The face and forehead are red and the bill, a deep yellow. During the breeding season, the upper-wings and the back, as well as the legs turn pink.
The yellow-billed stalk stands around a metre-tall and walks with a distinguished high-stepped gait of up to 70 steps per minute. When flying, it flaps its wings between 170 and 200 times per minute. Experts believe that its bill snaps shut at a speed of around 25 milliseconds. Although there is no official estimate of the population size of the yellow-billed stork, it is regarded as stable, and the species is thus classed as ‘Least Concern’.
The Okavango Delta is the best place to spot special species such as the wattled crane, lesser jacana, slaty egret, herons, larks and babblers.
With the Kafue, Luangwa and Zambezi Rivers providing sustenance, beautiful birds like the African pitta and shoebill stork will be a thrill to the searching eyes of birders.
For those keen on records, Kenya provides the opportunity to spot more than 300 species in any given day—the record is 342 in 24 hours.
The pristine coastline is home to coastal migrant waders, while further afield the red and blue double collared sunbirds, mangrove kingfisher, tiny greenbul, and olive-headed weaver can be observed.