Totally PA_Lesser Adjutant Stork (Leptoptilos javanicus)Totally PA_Lesser Adjutant Stork (Leptoptilos javanicus)

Lesser Adjutant Stork (Leptoptilos javanicus)

Family: CICONIIDAEPicture

A small, worldwide family of very large birds with long powerful beaks. They have long legs, broad wings, and short tails. They feed mostly on fish or small animals, which they catch while stalking quietly in open wet areas.

Storks are strong fliers and several species migrate over large distances. They are experts at soaring on thermals and often circle high in the sky, gaining height for easy travel, or searching for likely feeding places.

There are four resident species in the Greater Sundas and three doubtful vagrants.

Description: Huge (110cm) black and white stork with massive bill. Wings, back, and tail black; underparts and neck collar white; naked head, neck, and throat pink with some fine white downy feathers on crown. Distinguished from Greater Adjutant by smaller size, uniform wing, and lack of gular pouch. Iris-bluish grey; bill-grey; feet-dark brown.

Voice: Silent, apart from buzzing sound at nesting sites and audible wing-beats and bill clapping.

Range: India, S China, SE Asia, and Greater Sundas.

Distribution and status: Not uncommon in E Sumatra, particularly S Sumatra where groups of 40 or 50 are regularly reported. In Borneo this is a local and rather scarce bird though nesting is recently recorded in SC Kalimantan. In Java and Bali this once common bird is now rare in open lowland areas.

Habits: Frequents paddy fields, open burnt or flooded grassy areas, and mud banks and mangroves. Often seen soaring in thermals solitarily or in small parties with other storks, and even with eagles. Nests in colonies in well-wooded areas.