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Whale head stork

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Whale head stork

A whale-headed stork is a stork-like bird that is 1.2 meters tall on an average, 4000-7000 grams in body size and 2.6 meters in wingspan. The size of white storks, the head is particularly large, but also the largest existing bird. Have a very interesting, lovely face. Its huge, mottled beak makes it more attractive. The huge beak looks like the head of a whale, with the eye on the front of the head, on the same plane as the owl's eyes. Large and thick beak, is the world's widest beak, 12 cm wide, bent into a hook under the mouth, the role of the beak is not trivial, not only sharp sharp anomalies, but also sharp like sharp knife around the periphery, can penetrate the crocodile thick Thick skin, and the upper and lower two so prey, like a workpiece is caught in the fitter's vise.

Storks often live alone or in pairs, all night. Hidden in the grass or reeds during the day, come out to feed the evening, few people find them. However, when people rest near the floating island, they may see it flying over the wetlands, flying like a heron or pelican like a head and neck bent into a "Z" shape. Not tweet, but can be issued like a white stork like "da, da" sound. In addition, the glide can also make a big noise. Mainly to lung fish, catfish and other fish for food, but also to capture the crocodiles, turtles, water snakes, snails, frogs and other animals as food, and occasionally prey on lizards, turtles, mice, chicks or young crocodiles. They hide the body in the appropriate height of the water near the grass, waiting for the capture of prey. By the dry season, the swamp dries up and digs into the lungs of the lungs, the clumsy beak that catches fish and frogs, especially lungfish and catfish.

The whale-headed stork usually lives alone and covers an area of about 3 square kilometers. During the nesting season, it usually begins during the dry season. Territorial consciousness is strong and the couple work together to defend and destroy the natural enemy or the potential competitor's nest. Breeding during the rainy season, eggs in the late rainy season. Marriage is monogamous, male and female birds in the reed grass near the wetlands or the island with branches and reeds to build nests, the nest diameter of about 1-2 meters, the sustainable use of a few years, female participation in the newborn Breeding and keeping. Nesting cycle lasts about 6-7 months, the diameter of the nest about 1 meter. Eggs dirty, the female spawning 1-3 eggs each time, usually 2, but often only one brood. Male and female alternately hatch, incubation period of about 30 days. Parents feed together about 3 months old chicks, hatchlings after hatching, the birds will use the wings shading, the bird feathers in the late dry season, about 60 days, 95 days after leaving the nest, 105-112 days take off completely independent 140 Days later, their parents later have to feed them for some time. Sexually mature about 3 or 4 years old, life expectancy of about 36 years.

The number of whale-headed storks, more than half of South Sudan's total, exceeds 5000; the Democratic Republic of the Congo: less than 1,000; Zambia: less than 500; Tanzania, 200-500; Uganda, 100-150; Rwanda more than 50; Ethiopia 50; the Central African Republic occasionally present; and the number of Burundi and Malawi is unknown, with a total estimated number of 5000-8000 as of 2002. The overall number dropped sharply. International Bird Preservation Alliance defines it as a vulnerable species. The main cause of the damage is habitat destruction, disturbance and hunting caused by agricultural irrigation. Because of its rare occurrence, many African countries have donated the whale-headed stork as a national treasure to zoos around the world and issue stamps and currencies to highlight their unique animals. The species is provided legal protection in Sudan, the Central African Republic, Uganda, Rwanda, Zaire and Zambia.

In eastern Africa, Uganda, the fierce crocodile has a strange natural predator, which is a bird that is a whale-head stork. The way it captures small crocodiles is also unique. It stands in the water, leaning its beak to the chest, standing still for a long time, looking in the distance, like a monument set up in the water. Inexperienced little crocodile, I do not know where, finally fooled, swim to its feet, and an instant, the whale stork flying diving, and then immediately pierced the water, the tip of the beak sandwiched dead crocodile straight on the sky, and then fell Enjoy a delicious meal on a rock. The whale-headed stork catches the crocodile very fast, but it takes a long time to eat. It turned out that crocodile wrapped around many like noodles like plants, must be removed. The whale stork patiently shook the crocodile on the rocks until the plants fall off, which takes at least 15 minutes. The birds love to eat soft-shelled turtles, and even their tortoiseshell can swallow, strong digestion, stunning.

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