The Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) is huge, often known as Jabiru.
The adult is unmistakable, with white body contrasting black flight feathers, back and tail, and iridescent purplish neck and head. The black beak is massive. The legs are long and bright red, although the colour seems to vary in my old photo folder. Seems to be more of an orange colour, but I suppose that is the Auto White Balance setting I used back in the day I shot these photos. A couple of the images in this post seem to be on a warmer White Balance Setting (as you’ll notice).
Eyes are dark in the male and yellow in the female. The immature bird is brown above paling to whitish below, beak and legs grey. Apparently the voice has deep booms with the beak clappering and to be honest, I can’t remember this sound from my many Zoo visits, (where the images below were made in the enormous Great Aviary).
I’ve never seen it in the wild, with it being found predominantly in the far north, or far north-eastern, areas of Australia. But in re-booting my nature blog and starting a proper bird index of the 101 (errr……probably more like 110) bird species I’ve photographed in parks, nature reserves, Royal Botanic Gardens and Melbourne Zoo, its forms part of the list.
I think I’m up to about 40 birds I’ve shared and listed in the right-hand column of this page, so there are quite a few more species to share from my archives in future posts.
I found it a little difficult to find a really sharply focused image in my old iPhoto folder this morning, so I’ve uploaded an array of images hoping that some of them will be clear enough to see some of the feather colours and details.
Twice I’ve seen what I presume is a mating display (?) or aggressive display (?) between 2 of these stunning birds, but not being familiar with the movie/video features of my camera didn’t know how to capture it.
It was well worth seeing 🙂