Family Storks (Ciconiidae)

Least Concern

Marabou (Leptoptilos crumenifer)


French: Marabout d’Afrique German: Marabu Spanish: Marabú africano
Other common names: Marabou Stork

Ciconia crumenifera


, 1831,



Closely related to L. dubius, with which formerly considered conspecific. Specific name has long been given as crumeniferus, but correct masculine modification of original name is crumenifer#R. Monotypic.


Tropical Africa from Senegal E to Eritrea, Ethiopia and W Somalia and S to Namibia and N & E South Africa (Northern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal).

Descriptive notes

115–152 cm; 4–8·9 kg; wingspan 225–287 cm. Males average larger. Only member of genus with dark iris. Immature has duller upperparts and more... read more


Largely silent away from roosting or breeding site, apart from bill-clattering, usually associated... read more


Frequents open dry savanna, grassland, swamps, river banks, lake shores and receding... read more

Food and feeding

The diet is catholic and opportunistic. It often includes carrion as well as scraps of fish and other food discarded by humans, which is... read more


The breeding season in the tropics normally begins in the dry season and ends in the rains. However, it is more variable in the equatorial... read more


Many sedentary, especially in urbanized districts, others locally nomadic. The more northerly and... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). It is frequent, common or abundant across most of its range and is thought to be increasing overall, due to its ability to exploit... read more

Recommended citation

Elliott, A., Garcia, E.F.J. & Boesman, P. (2019). Marabou (Leptoptilos crumenifer). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 19 October 2019).