Creepy Animals

…they're really interesting.

Apr 14 2013

Marabou Stork

Marabou Stork with hairlike feathers on head

When are you due?

OB-GYNs in Africa now unanimously agree that delivering babies would be extremely creepy if they came bundled in rags carried by a Marabou Stork. This bird won’t be carrying newborns anytime soon, but it will happily devour your baby’s diapers. The Marabou Stork is a scavenger – eating everything from carrion to small animals, and more commonly human trash around dumps in its native Africa.

The Marabou Stork is absolutely huge – reaching heights of up to 5 feet, weight of up to 20 lbs. and a wingspan of up to 10 feet across - the largest span of any bird. This stork is also uncannily known as the Undertaker Bird – it wears a black cloak of feathers, the hair-like head feathers “become clotted with blood and other substances when the bird’s head was inside a large corpse.” To keep cool, it defecates on its legs and feet. That is some undertaking.

Marabou Stork head

Just a little crusted blood. No big deal.

Marabou Stork with large pouch

The pouch. Filled with secrets.

Marabou Stork flying in the sky with wide wingspan

Dumpster diving reaches new heights.

Photos via SkyscraperCity, EarthandScienceFlickr, Wildlife-photo.org

The Marabou Stork does not have the largest wingspan of currently living birds, that title belongs to the Wandering Albatross, with a wingspan typically ranging from 8 ft 3 in to 11 ft 6 in. With the largest verified specimen having a wingspan of 12 ft 2 in.

Concerning the Marabou Stork, nothing over 10.5 ft has been verified, but they more typically have a wingspan ranging between 7–9 ft.