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Saddle-Billed Stork Fishing for a Snake

Stopping for a lunch break at Cattle Baron in Skukuza, Janine Westerweel (52) from Wellington in the Western Cape happened to catch sight of a saddle-billed stork catching his own bite to eat…

She told “I was idly scanning the river with my binoculars to see what I could find, when the saddle-billed stork waded out of the reeds on the left. We really love these birds, so I watched him for a while and then realized that he had found something in the water.

That’s when I grabbed the camera, hoping to get some “action footage” – and then saw it was a snake! This is a first for us and a really exciting event. As I continued to film, the people around us started taking an interest in what we were watching, and I think you can pick up in the video the growing excitement as they too realize what it is that he’s got.

Unfortunately, we eventually lost sight of him – being at a restaurant table on the deck overlooking the river, there was nowhere else to go – so we don’t know how it ended. I’m sure not very well for the snake though (we think it might have been a small python).


My advice with game and birdwatching is always to be still, quiet and patient. You never know what will play out; or what will walk out of nowhere when you least expect it! Check out our blog here:

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