Distribution: Northern and eastern Australia
Habitat: Tropical and warm temperate wetlands, lagoons and swamps.
Description: Storks are very large birds with long, slender necks and legs. The Jabiru has a broad black stripe on its wings, head, neck and tail. The rest of the plumage is white. The legs are pale red and their black bill is long and pointed. The eye colour of females and males is different. Males are brown-eyed and females are yellow-eyed.
Diet: Black-necked Storks are carnivores and eat fish, frogs, large crustaceans and insects. Jabirus use their bills like swords to impale or snatch prey from the water.
In the wild: When looking for a mate, the male constructs a nest to try to attract a female. Breeding pairs stay together for a number of years, sometimes even for life. When the young hatch, they are naked and helpless and are taken care of by both parents for several weeks.
Threats: Habitat destruction through the filling in of wetlands and swamps is a threat to the Black-necked Stork population.
At Perth Zoo: The Australian Wetlands is home to a wide-range of water birds. You can see the Jabiru and many other birds in this naturalistic setting.
Did you know? The name ‘Jabiru’ is not Aboriginal but Portuguese and is the same name for storks in South America and Africa.