Black-necked Storks and the Australian Pelican

posted in: Interspecific | 1


Dr CH Lee a.k.a. lchxian recounts his August 2008 encounter, with a pair of Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) confronting an Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) in Townsville, Australia:

“…Black-necked Stork is considered an endangered species in Australia. Also commonly called Jabiru in Australia, I think Jabiru should be reserved for Jabiru (Jabiru mycteria) in Mexico. Jabiru in Tupi-Guarani languages means “swollen neck”, the Black-neck Stork definitely does not have a swollen neck.

“As I was walking back towards the car, the female Black Necked Stork flew and landed near an Australian Pelican. She started to flap her wings and clack her bill. The pelican was all tensed up. The male Black-necked Stork flew over and joined his partner. I told myself, if there is going to be a fight for territory or fish, I am not going to miss it! I am a wildlife paparazzi.


“As the pair of Black-necked Storks stood around, the pelican looked stressed and ready for a fight.

“The pelican flew away, and the stork gave chase.

“Another birdwatcher who was there, thought that the pair of Black-necked Storks was doing a mating dance. To me, it looked more like the pair was hustling the pelican.

“An interesting encounter, seeing two heavy weight species interacting. Not sure if they were fighting for territory or were just messing around.”

Earlier accounts of Australian birds by lchxian can be viewed here: 1, 2.

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