Flamingo, Spoonbill, Ibis, Storks
Flamingo – Order Phoenicopteriformes
There is only 1 family in this order Phoenicopteridae. In Africa Greater and Lesser Flamingos exist. All flamingos are filter feeders and sieve the water for nutrition. The pinkish colour derives from their food containing Carotene. Nest are constructed with mud and shaped like a cone with a bowl for the egg. A group of Flamingos is called a flamboyance.
Spoonbills – Family Threskiornitidae, subfamily Plataleinae
(Platalea means broad in Greek). Spoonbills have long legs and wade in shallow water. Their spoon-shaped bills are equipped with many sensors detecting the smallest movement in the oft murky waters.
Ibis – Family Threskiornithidae, subfamily Threskiornithinae
are stocky birds with curved long bills to pick carnivorous food out of water or small holes in the soil. There are different genus in the subfamily.
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Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is found on soda lakes in Afrika. They are carnivorous and feed on small crabs, mollusks and others.
Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor) are found at soda lakes in Africa. They mainly feed on blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria). The only known breeding place is inside Lake Natron in Tanzania.
African Spoonbill (Platalea alba) is found on fresh and alkaline lakes in Africa.
African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) lives near water and roosts on trees. Widespread in Africa.
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) is found at fresh water bodies in Africa, sometimes in large numbers. The right light angle of light will show the colours.
Olive Ibis (Bostrychia olivacea akeleyorum) is found at few places in highland forests in Kenya and Tanzania.
Hadada Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash brevirostris) is widespread in Africa in grassland, near water and swamps. They are quite noisy birds. In Uganda you will find the subspecies B.h. nilotica. They build simple nests with twigs on trees.
Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) is a rare bird in its own family. The best place to see it is in Mabamba Swamp in Uganda. Photo by Marina Meger
African Openbill (Anastomus l. lamelligerus) is widely spread but only locally common. They feed on water snails which they crack with their open bill.
Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumeniferus) is a widespread and very common species. They reside often near human settlements and feed on waste. But they also found in protected areas where they feed on fish, rodents, young birds and carcasses. To produce shade they spread their wings. Shitting on their legs colours them white which reflects heat and cools through evaporation.
Saddle-billed Stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) is a tall stork near water and in swamps where the feed on amphibians and other creatures. The female has a yellow eye, the male a black eye. Wide spread in Africa.
African Woolly-necked Stork (Ciconia microscelis) is easily recognised with its white neck. They are uncommon near any kind of fresh or salt water.
Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) is an uncommon migrant from Eurasia to some parts of Africa.
Abdim’s Stork (Ciconia abdimii) is an intra African migrant following rain. They can appear in large numbers.
White Stork (Ciconia c. ciconia) spends the Northern winter in Africa. Those East of the Ural migrate to swampy areas in East Africa. Sometimes we find large flocks.
Yellow-billed Stork (Mycteria ibis) is widespread in Africa at rivers, swamps, lakes and creeks. They feed on fish and water creatures.