Okavango Delta, Botswana, Africa

The beautiful Saddle-billed stork impaled a big fish. Standing at a riverbank in shallow water he holds his dinner. A few meters behind him are two elephants standing in the water.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 10 September, 2020

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This photograph was captured with a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/6.3
  • Exposure time: 1/2500s
  • ISO: 1600
  • Focal Length: 600mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 4479 by 2978 pixels (WxH).

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The beautiful Saddle-billed stork impaled a big fish. Standing at a riverbank in shallow water he holds his dinner. A few meters behind him are two elephants standing in the water. The Saddle-billed stork has a beautiful colorful beak in red, yellow, and black.

The background contains elephants that are out of focus, creating a more interesting composition. As you can see in the photograph, a water source is a gathering place for all walks of life. Correspondingly, you will find nearly all the wildlife here at any given time. The contrast between the grace and size of the stork compared to the mighty elephant creates an enjoyable atmosphere.

The Saddle-billed stork is indeed the tallest flying bird in the world, reaching a height of 150 cm (59 inches). Even though the females are smaller than males, the way you can tell them apart is by looking at their eyes. Females have yellow eyes, while males have dark brown. Interestingly, the stork is missing a syrinx. The syrinx is the vibrating cavity located in the breasts of many birds, which allows them to sing and make all sorts of vocal noises. As a result of the missing syrinx, chicks make hissing sounds when wanting their parents’ attention, but in adulthood, they are mute.

The Saddle-billed stork, Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis, is in the category least concern on the IUCN red list.

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