These are a few of the birds that I hope to include in illustrations for 'When I was a girl in Sudan'.
The elegant black, white and red wading birds are saddle-billed storks - spectacular large birds found in many parts of Africa. Alarmingly, they grow to about my height (150 cm), although this is mostly leg (on them - not me), and have a wingspan of almost 3 metres. I was particularly smitten with their red knees, or should that be elbows? They build huge stick nests in trees and, like other storks, are mute but clatter their bills.
The owl is based on the spotted eagle owl, which has distinctive ear tufts. They mate for life, hoot musically, and bathe regularly! They like to go out in thunderstorms and spread their wings for a rinse-off. In Sudanese folklore the owl is linked with sorcery or may be a messenger.