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|The Saddle-billed Stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis) is a large wading bird in the stork family, Ciconiidae. It is a widespread species which is a resident breeder in sub-Saharan Africa from Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya south to South Africa, and in The Gambia, Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire and Chad in west Africa.|
This is a close relative of the widespread Asian Black-necked Stork, the only other member of the genus Ephippiorhynchus.
The Saddle-billed Stork breeds in marshes and other wetlands in tropical lowland. It builds a large, deep stick nest in a tree, laying one or two white eggs weighing about 146g each. It does not form breeding colonies, and is usually found alone or in pairs. The incubation period is 30-35 days, with another 70 - 100 days before the chicks fledge.
This is a huge bird that regularly attains a height of 150 cm (5 feet) and a 270cm (9 feet) wingspan. The male is larger and heavier than the female, with a range of 5.1-7.5 kg, the female is usually between 5 and 6.9 kg. It is probably the tallest, if not the heaviest, of the storks. Females are distinctly smaller than the males. It is spectacularly plumaged. The head, neck, back, wings, and tail are iridescent black, with the rest of the body and the primary flight feathers being white. The massive bill is red with a black band and a yellow frontal shield (the “saddle”). The legs and feet are black with pink knees. Sexes are identically plumaged except that the female has a golden yellow iris, while the male's is brown. Juveniles are browner grey in plumage.
They are silent except for bill-clattering at the nest. Like most storks, these fly with the neck outstretched, not retracted like a heron; in flight, the large heavy bill is kept drooping somewhat below belly height, giving these birds a very unusual appearance to those who see them for the first time. To experienced birdwatchers on the other hand, this makes them easily recognizable even if seen from a distance. It has been suggested that due to the large size and unusual appearance in flight, this species is the basis for the "Big Bird" and Kongamato cryptids.
The Saddle-billed Stork, like most of its relatives, feeds mainly on fish, frogs and crabs, but also on young birds, and other land vertebrates. They move in a deliberate and stately manner as they hunt, in a similar way to the larger herons.
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Levels on histogram
Bringing the workshop up I see all your notes on the Saddle-billed stork, why are your notes not showing up in the gallery?. So sorry about my comment that notes would be great, you have a great set of notes here.
Adjusted the levels on the lighter end of the histogram in photoshop and they needed a slight adjustment at the darker end also, so moved the slider in on both ends. I did a small crop to bring attention to the Stork with a slight sharpen in unsharp mask at an amount of 80, radius of 0.3, threshold 0.
Hope you agree