Marabou Stork

Leptoptilos crumeniferus

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The marabou stork of southern Africa isn’t much to look at—it’s large, ungainly, and bald like a vulture, with a nasty appetite for carrion. This bird is increasingly making a home in urban areas like the Ugandan capital of Kampala, where human city dwellers don’t much like the habits of these winged neighbors. But graduate student Lillian Twanza has been studying the storks, with growing respect. She tells Ari Daniel Shapiro the ways that people have unknowingly put out the welcome mat for these scavengers.

Photo Credit: David d'O. CC BY-NC-SA

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