Derek: Saddle-billed Stork
“Frequently seen around the lagoons in the Kaingo / Mwamba area, the Saddle-billed Stork stands out for many reasons.
They’re distinctly identifiable by their large size (they stand about 150 cm tall making them the tallest stork in the world), sharply contrasting black and white plumage, and yellow lappet (saddle-like structure) on the bill.
I love the fact they pair for life, but they also hold special meaning for me.
When my father was on his deathbed, I asked him what animal he’d choose to be reincarnated as. He immediately said the Saddle-billed Stork which, having spent many so many years in the bush, was an unexpected choice as I imagined him saying lion or elephant.
They were his favourite birds, so ever since then, when I see one, I am reminded of him.”