Recent Images - Nigil Haroon Photography
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Marabou Stork

Marabou stork

Leptoptilos crumenifer

The Marabou stork is a common bird in Africa. This was the first species of bird I saw after landing in Nairobi. You can see them all over the city especially sitting on the street lamps. They are scavengers and often seen along with cultures. This photograph was really a stroke of luck.

Flight photographs of birds are often plagued by the bright sky in the background. I was in Masai Mara, Kenya and we had stopped in the early morning for a venue of vultures (group of vultures in flight are called 'kettle'). There were 4 vultures sitting on a nice low shrub and I was shooting from the top of the vehicle to get a nice background. This stork suddenly took flight and came towards our vehicle. This was shot with a #canon #1DXii camera and a combination of the canon #600mmF4 lens with a 1.4Exii extender. Shooting at 840mm handheld is not easy. Luckily I had the ISO high at 1250 that gave me the speed of 1/800s at F8. I was on F8 to get good depth of field to cover all the vultures. It worked nicely to get the entire stork including wings in focus here.

My vantage point from the top helped me create this photograph of the stork against the greenery which is much more pleasing that the jarring bright sky.

Interesting fact: Marabou storks like vultures have bald heads as they are scavengers. Apparently this is easier to maintain with all the flesh and blood around, especially if you have your head deep in a carcass.