LOOKING MARVELOUS IN BLACK & WHITE
This week I thought we’d look in on a bird whose range is in Southeast Asia, and Australia. Storks are found all over the world, but mostly in tropical regions and always near water. The stork which is best known in Southeast Asia and Australia is the Black-necked Stork. It is also known as the Jabiru. Many people believe that this word is aboriginal in origin, but it is not. It is Portuguese, and storks in South America are called Jabirus as well.
The Black-necked Stork is unusual because of its coloring. Its striking black and white plumage sits on stilts of red and provides a marvelous contrast in color. The feathers on the neck of this ‘near-threatened’ bird can shimmer with blues and greens when struck by the sunlight. Both sexes appear the same. However, the female has a yellow iris while the male iris is brown.
The Black-necked Stork is the only member of the stork family found in Australia, and Australia is home to its largest population. It has a fairly wide range, which can be seen from the below map.
“The combined populations of South and Southeast Asia are thought to total less than 400 individuals, and this species would be classified as Endangered if it were not for the more abundant Australian populations, consisting of 10,000 to 20,000 birds.” (Bird Life International – 2005 http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species)
This stork is a carnivorous hunter. Stalking independently, the birds will probe their freshwater habitat with long and powerful bills. Their main food is fish, but they will occasionally eat reptiles, frogs, crabs, rodents, and even carrion.
It is a large bird, standing approximately sixty inches tall and has a wingspan of about ninety-one inches.
Photo credit: Wikipedia commons
I’ve found a video that provides some information about this stork. However, please note that the narrator says that the bird is endangered. According to the IUCN*, which is the benchmark for such information, it is ‘near-threatened.’ As I stated above, if it weren’t for the large population in Australia, this bird would indeed be critically endangered. Its major threat is habitat destruction.
*IUCN = International Union for Conservation of Nature
If you would like to learn more about the Black-necked Stork, feel free to visit the following sites.
Thank you for stopping by.
Jeanne E. Rogers, Award Winning Author
The Sword of Demelza, and The Gift of Sunderland
Middle-Grade Fantasy Where Endangered Animals Heroes Roam the Pages!