African Openbill ( Anastomus lamelligerus, family: Ciconiidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Openbilled Stork

african open bill kruger national park birds The African Openbill (Latin name Anastomus lamelligerus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 87 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 618 also a picture of the African Openbill on page 593. The African Openbill belongs to the family of birds classified as Ciconiidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the African Openbill is also known by these other names: African Openbilled Stork, Openbill Stork, Openbill.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the African Openbill was called the Openbilled Stork

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The African Openbill is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

In terms of distribution of the African Openbill in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. African Openbill : see above distribution map.

The African Openbill.

Kruger Park African Openbill StorkIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The African Openbill is a largish bird about the same size as a Pied Crow. The height of the African Openbill is about 60 cms and its weight is about 1100 gms

The male and female African Openbill have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is black.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is brown.
  • Throat is grey, black.
  • Back is black.
  • Legs are black.

This bird has long legs.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The African Openbill feeds on the ground and in or around water mainly


Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The African Openbill is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Anastomus lamelligerus will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of African Openbill is to create the nest on the ground. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 3 to 5

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for African Openbill are: wetlands and riverine areas

You will normally see the African Openbill in pairs or flocks and not as single birds.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... isiQhophamnenke

Afrikaans ...Oopbekooievaar

German ... Klaffschnabel

Portuguese ... Bico-aberto

French ... Bec-ouvert africain

Dutch ... Afrikaanse Gaper

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 87

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,