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5

Black-necked Stork

(Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus)
Alternate name(s): "Satin Stork"; MISNOMER: "Jabiru"
Aboriginal name(s): "korrorook", "monti"

Size: 1.3-1.5 m; wing span 1.9-2.3 m
Weight: 4.1 kg (single measurement)
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Black-necked Stork at Wikipedia .

Click here for classification information

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "australis"

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ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of an adult Black-necked Stork - the dark irises characterize this bird as a male; note the lilac cap that is not described in field guides (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Mudgeeraba, QLD, November 2015]

Near-frontal view of a male Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Moggill Wetlands, Brisbane, QLD, September 2020]

Spectacular near-lateral view of a male Black-necked Stork with its catch (photo courtesy of B. Kinross)
[Near Beachmere, QLD, June 2014]

Close-up lateral portrait of a male Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of J. Boettcher, FNQ Nature Tours)
[Esplanade, Cairns, QLD, August 2020]

Lateral portrait of a male Black-necked Stork being attacked by a horsefly (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Sandy Creek beach, Darwin, NT, November 2018]

Lateral view of a male Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Mudgeeraba, QLD, November 2015]

Lateral view of a resting male Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Moggill, QLD, May 2018]

Lateral view of a male Black-necked Stork hunting in shallow water; click HERE to see a series of photos describing the bird's hunting technique
[Urunga board walk, Urunga Heads, NSW, August 2009]

Near-dorsal view of a male Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Moggill Wetlands, Brisbane, QLD, September 2020]

Near-dorsal view of a male Black-necked Stork in a partly overgrown farm dam (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Near Moree, NSW, May 2013]

Lateral view of a male Black-necked Stork in flight (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Near Moree, NSW, May 2013]

Lateral view of a male Black-necked Stork gliding in to go hunting
[Urunga board walk, Urunga Heads, NSW, August 2009]

Ventral view of a male Black-necked Stork in flight (photo courtesy of J. Boettcher, FNQ Nature Tours)
[Mareeba, QLD, May 2022]

FEMALE

Close-up near-frontal view of a female Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[South West Rocks, NSW, July 2017]

Near-frontal view of a female Black-necked Stork resting on a beach (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Lee Point beach, Darwin, NT, August 2017]

Close-up near-lateral view of a female Black-necked Stork; note the yellow irises (photo courtesy of B. Kinross)
[Near Beachmere, QLD, June 2014]

Close-up lateral view of a female Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Kakadu NP, NT, July 2020]

Close-up lateral view of a female Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[South West Rocks, NSW, July 2017]

Close-up lateral view of a female Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[South West Rocks, NSW, July 2017]

Lateral view of a female Black-necked Stork; note the pink and grey legs (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Kakadu NP, NT, November 2020]

Near-dorsal view of a female Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Moggill, QLD, May 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a preening female Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Moggill, QLD, May 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a female Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Moggill, QLD, May 2018]

Frontal view of a female Black-necked Stork in low flight (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Kakadu NP, NT, July 2020]

Near-lateral view of a female Black-necked Stork in low, gliding flight (photo courtesy of B. Kinross)
[Near Beachmere, QLD, June 2014]

Near-lateral view of a landing female Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Kakadu NP, NT, July 2020]

Lateral view of a female Black-necked Stork flight (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Arnhem Highway near Mary River, NT, August 2018]

Pair of Black-necked Storks on the edge of a billabong (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Kakadu NP, NT, November 2014]

Black-necked Storks on the edge of a sandbank in shallow water
[Yarrie Lake, NSW, March 2014]

Black-necked Storks on the edge of a sandbank in shallow water, here with one seen stretching
[Yarrie Lake, NSW, March 2014]

Distant view of a soaring adult Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

PAIR

Lateral view of a pair of Black-necked Storks demonstrating the difference in size between male, right, and female, left
(photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Sandy Creek beach, Darwin, NT, November 2018]

Lateral view of a "Pas de deux" a la Black-necked Stork - male in front, female behind
(photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Sandy Creek beach, Darwin, NT, November 2018]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Lateral view of an immature male Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of J. Boettcher, FNQ Nature Tours)
[Esplanade, Cairns, QLD, August 2020]

Lateral view of an immature Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Arnhem Highway near Humpty Doo, NT, May 2018]

Lateral view of an immature Black-necked Stork, together with various other aquatic bird species (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Arnhem Highway near Humpty Doo, NT, May 2018]

Lateral view of an immature Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of S. Kirkby)
[Kakadu NP, NT, June 2011]

Near-dorsal view of an immature Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of S. Kirkby)
[Kakadu NP, NT, June 2011]

Dorsal view of an immature Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Lateral view of an immature male Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Leanyer Swamp, Darwin, NT, September 2019]

Close-up lateral view of an immature Black-necked Stork just after takeoff; in this shot one can see the underwing pattern
(photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Leanyer Swamp, Darwin, NT, September 2019]

Lateral view of an immature Black-necked Stork just after takeoff; in this shot one can see the upperwing pattern
[Near Wee Waa, NSW, August 2012]

Lateral view of an immature Black-necked Stork in flight; in this shot one can see the underwing pattern
[Near Wee Waa, NSW, August 2012]

Lateral view of an immature Black-necked Stork in flight
[Near Wee Waa, NSW, August 2012]

Near-dorsal view of an immature Black-necked Stork in flight
[Near Wee Waa, NSW, August 2012]

Lateral view of a juvenile Black-necked Stork (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Near Moree, NSW, October 2013]

Near-dorsal view of a juvenile Black-necked Stork in flight (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Holmes Jungle NP, Darwin, NT, August 2017]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Mar - May Eggs: 2 - 4 Incubation period: ? Fledging age: 110-115 days

The breeding season listed in the table above is the peak range in the tropical North, where Black-necked Storks can breed most months, possibly all through the year. Farther southward, towards the QLD/NSW border, the peak breeding season lasts from ca. August to November, although the nest shown below had mature chicks in it in early August, which means that they must have hatched in May.

Nest building: Female & male Incubation: Female & male Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

"bungobittah", "lar", "malunna", "jindi" [bundjalung] = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Basket Material: Sticks Height above ground: 1? - 20? m

The large, heavy nest will typically be built as high as possible in a tree that can support its weight. However, when no tall trees are available, Black-necked Storks will also nest lower, especially when surrounded by water.

Black-necked Stork nest with one parent bird (right) and two chicks, one of which is stretching its wings
(photo courtesy of V. Collins)
[Gwydir Wetlands SCA, NSW, August 2023]

Adult Black-necked Stork on its nest with two chicks
[Gwydir Wetlands SCA, NSW, August 2023]

Both adult Black-necked Storks on the nest with two chicks
[Gwydir Wetlands SCA, NSW, August 2023]

Here both Black-necked Stork chicks have settled again on the nest
[Gwydir Wetlands SCA, NSW, August 2023]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "mirk", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena", "pum-pum" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 75 x 53 mm Colour: Coarse-grained white, usually stained grey/brown Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Additional information

We have observed the hunting technique of a male Black-necked Stork, which is quite different to that of herons and egrets. There is a separate page with a detailed description.

Food, Diet

Black-necked Storks have a varied diet similar to that of egrets and herons. They prey on fish, frogs, crustaceans and snakes, but in addition will also take other, smaller birds, in particular their chicks.

Spectacular lateral view of an adult male Black-necked Stork with its catch; for details of their hunting technique, click HERE (photo courtesy of B. Kinross)
[Near Beachmere, QLD, June 2014]

Female Black-necked Stork with its prey (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Kakadu NP, NT, July 2020]

Female Black-necked Stork with its prey (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Karumba, QLD, September 2019]

Lateral view of an immature Black-necked Stork trying its luck with a turtle (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Arnhem Highway near Humpty Doo, NT, May 2018]

It appears that Black-necked Storks also take chicks of other bird species; Masked Lapwings certainly don't want them around...
[Near Wee Waa, NSW, August 2012]

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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