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The Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) is a tall long-necked wading bird in the stork family. It is a resident species across South and Southeast Asia with a disjunct population in Australia. It lives in wetland habitats to forage for a wide range of animal prey. Adult birds of both sexes have a heavy bill and are patterned in white and glossy blacks, but the sexes differ in the colour of the iris. In Australia, it is sometimes called a Jabiru although that name refers to a stork species found in the Americas. It is one of the few storks that is strongly territorial when feeding.
The Black-necked Stork is a large bird, 129--150 cm (51--60 inches) tall having a 230-cm (91-inch) wingspan. The average weight is around 4100 grams. The plumage patterns are conspicuous with younger birds differing from adults. Adults have a glossy bluish-black iridescent head, neck, secondary flight feathers and tail; a coppery-brown crown; a bright white back and belly; bill black with a slightly concave upper edge; and bright red legs. The sexes are identical but the adult female has a yellow iris while the adult male has it brown. Juveniles younger than 6 months have a brownish iris; a distinctly smaller and straighter beak; a fluffy appearance; brown head, neck, upper back, wings and tail; a white belly; and dark legs. Juveniles older than 6 months have a mottled appearance especially on the head and neck where the iridescence is partly developed; dark-brown outer primaries; white inner primaries that forms a shoulder patch when the wings are closed; a heavy beak identical in size to adults but still straighter; and dark to pale-pink legs. Like most storks, the Black-necked Stork flies with the neck outstretched, not retracted like a heron. In flight it appears spindly and a black bar running through the white wings (the somewhat similar looking migratory Black Stork has an all black wing) with black neck and tail make it distinctive.
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