Saddle-billed Storks are one of the world’s largest stork species, standing approximately five feet tall, with an eight to nine foot wingspan and weighing 11-16 pounds when fully grown.
Ironically, a Saddle-billed Stork egg is about the size of a baseball and produces a chick that weighs only a few ounces and is only a few inches tall! While the chicks grow quickly, it is not until they are adults that these storks develop their namesake yellow saddle-shaped marking on their long red and black beak.
Saddle-billed Storks are found throughout sub-Sahara Africa and are vulnerable to wetland degradation from pesticide contamination and conversion of their native range into agricultural areas. Saddle-billed Storks are mainly solitary creatures, but pairs do bond for life. They then work together to build a platform nest of sticks in trees near the water where they will share in incubating the eggs and caring for the young.
Your Toledo Zoo has had wonderful SSP-supported breeding success of Saddle-billed Storks with 20+ successful hatches since beginning in 2000.