Ugandan Birds: The Marabou Stork

Marabou Stock

You will find singles to gatherings of hundreds of these birds common and widespread in a range of habitats from city rubbish dumps, lake shores and also at predator kills.

marabou stalk

You will also see many nesting on trees within Kampala city especially near the Parliament, Sheraton Hotel, Serena Hotel and a the constitutional square. But the highest population is at the Kiteezi landfill where Kampala City’s Municipal solid waste is dumped.

Identifying a Marabou Stork

  • You will see a huge stork about 152cm with grey black wings and white underparts.
  • Scientific Name is Leptoptilos Crumeniferus, local name is kalooli
  • The Marabou stork has a naked head and neck or has reddish showing scabby black spots at close range and a downy white neck ruff.
  • These Uganda birds have two inflatable air sacs: a bright red one at the base of the neck, and a pink pendulous ballon which is variable in size and hangs below the neck.
  • Her bill is massive and horn-coloured.
  • The legs are dark grey but often appear white as a splattered with excrement.
  • Sexes are alike but the female is slightly smaller.
  • The brooding adult has light greyish wings, white-edged wing coverts and a fluffier undertail. The non brooding adults are darker grey.
  • The immature birds are duller with brown and not grey wings.
  • Marabou storks are massive in flight, soaring on broad wings with neck retracted , but will make short flights when the neck is extended.
  • Marabou storks are silent when away from the nest, but breeding birds give a wide range of bleating, grunting and squealing noises, as well as bill clattering.
  • The Marabou storks are prolific enough to be considered pests in some areas as they congregate near villages to raid rubbish dumps.