Partly because I was with two avid birders, and partly because that is just how it worked out, I took a lot of photos of birds and not as many as of big game on my trip to Uganda this year. I will be doubling up on my bird posts for next few days to keep my posts mostly in order as the encounters happened. 🙂 Two more birds from the Hippo Pools area of Murchison Falls National Park…where the Albert and the Victoria Niles join. This was our first good view of a Sacred Ibis, which happened to be feeding with a Hadada Ibis at the time. The black head and neck on the Sacred Ibis is actually bare skin…not black plumage, and evidently there is a bare patch of red skin under the wings that can be seen in flight. Of course, I had to google the bird to see why it is called the Sacred Ibis, and found that it is one of those birds with a still active controversy over its species status…one, four, or more? Some suspect that it is actually the same species as the Asian Sacred Ibis and the Australian White Ibis. The Sacred part though comes from the ritual of offering a mummified Ibis to the god Thoth…the Egyptian god of knowledge and truth. Historians estimate that up to 8 million Sacred Ibis were mummified and entombed over the course of the worship of Thoth, and, ironically, there are today no Sacred Ibis left in Egypt. Sony Rx10iv at 573mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ 4 @ 1/800th.
African Open-bill Stork: (or just African Open-bill) Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — Another bird from our visit to the Hippo Pools area of Murchison Falls National Park. in Uganda. The African Open-billed Stork is unmistakable in any view close enough to see the bill. Otherwise it is just a dark stork. In the right light, there is apparently a green screen to the uniquely structured display feathers on the chest, but I have yet to see that in the wild. According to the latest theories, the gap in the bill allows the Open-bill to extract snails and small mollusk from their shells…very like the bill on the unrelated Limpkin, which has a similar specialized diet. They work like a tweezer. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4.5 @ 1/1000th.