Black-necked Stork, Jabiru
Size: 1.1-1.3m Wingspan to 2m.
Australia's only Stork and largest wader.
Formerly known as the Jabiru
Tall, stately pied stork with a glossy green/black neck, lanky red legs and a massive black bill. Male has black eye, female has yellow eye. Immature is brown with dull grey bill.
Majestic in flight, flying straight with neck and legs extending, often using thermals to reach great heights.
Usually solitary or in loose pairs or families.
Habitat: coastal wetlands, mangroves and inlands waterways, dams etc in mostly northern Australia, often preferring freshwater environs. Stalks fish in shallow water and then spears them with the large bill, or dashes about chasing, feeding on fish, snakes, frogs, turtles and eels.
Call: seldom calls but makes clapping noises with the bill.
Breeds: October-May. Large flat nest of sticks, reeds, grass high and exposed on treetops. Both parents build nest, incubate eggs and feed young. 2-4 eggs laid. Young fledge at 100-115 days.
Black-necked Stork can often be seen feeding on the banks of the Daintree River or in local wetlands and waterways. A sight to behold when flying overhead.