( Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus)
The Black-necked Stork is the only representative of the stork family found in Australia and often referred to as a Jabiru. Adults have a striking black and white plumage, with deep red legs and feet. The females have yellow eyes, while the males have dark eyes. The Black-necked Stork is very sensitive to human-induced impacts such as altered water levels and the destruction of aquatic vegetation.
The Black-necked Stork is found along the north and east coast of Australia, sometimes as far south as Sydney, but this is not a common occurrence. They inhabit freshwater marshes and wetlands, lakes, pools in open forests, mangroves and large rivers.
Each bird hunts independently, striding through the shallow water, probing with its large powerful bill as it goes. The storks are freshwater foragers where their main food is fish, but they can also eat reptiles, frogs, crabs, rodents and carrion. When hunting active prey a bird may run a few seemingly disjointed steps and catch the food with a rapid thrust of the bill, swallowing it with a backward jerk of the head.
The Black-necked Stork breeds any time from March until October. They build a substantial nest of large bulky sticks up to 1.8m wide lined with reeds about 20cm, often up to 25m above the ground or near the waters edge. The Black-necked Stork usually has between 2-4 white eggs which both parents incubate.
Black Necked Stork Profiles
J.J. is the first Black Necked Stork to be bred in captivity. J.J is the famous bird's name and what a handsome fella he is. He arrived from the Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary in Port Douglas in 2004. J.J got his name from 'Jab' his mother and 'James' his proud father. 'James' is actually on loan to the Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary from us here at Australia Zoo. 'James' has been up there for a good eight years and by the look of it, he has been having a great time.
J.J. is one of a kind. He has answered many questions about Black Necked, including several we didn't even ask. Can you believe J. J. has not only been taught by his parents to fend for himself, but also to build a nest. Yes! He actually helped his parents build their latest nest. As well as help feed this year's nestlings. What a ripper!
Age: 24 Years (DOB 1/1/1990)
Jack has been part of the Australia Zoo, since late 1992 where he was rescued from the wild. He was found as a youngster with only one wing. The wing had been amputated in the wild - presumably he had collided with powerlines. Jack would not have survived in the wild and we consider it a privilege to be caretakers of such a regal fella.
Jack, with his long red legs, black and white plumage, beautiful blue head and big black eyes, is a popular sight with the guests and a favourite amongst the staff.
Age: 12 Years (DOB 1/1/2002)
Juliette is the long, red-legged female Black-necked Stork. With her beautiful big yellow eyes (males have black eyes) she is a stunning specimen and a real head-turner, who often gets looked up and down! Juliette has been at the Zoo since 2003 and was born in the wild, but fell from her nest and badly injured her right leg. She was rescued and hand-raised from a young age and would not have survived in the wild.