African Openbill

African Skimmer


This is a relatively small stork, with blackish plumage glossed green, purple and brown. The bird has a uniquely shaped bill with a conspicuous gap specially adapted to facilitate removal of molluscs from their shells.  


The call consists of raucous croaks and honks.

Behaviour and habitat

The Openbill is found in wetlands, flood plains, shallow rivers, dams and lagoons. It is a fairly common bird in the wet northern and eastern regions.

Its food consists almost entirely of snails and mussels and occasionally frogs. The birds occur singly or in flocks of thousands.

The nest consists of a stick platform placed in a tree above water.