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Jabiru Jabiru mycteria


The Jabiru is a huge, prehistoric-looking stork of wetlands in Neotropical lowlands. It has a massive black bill that curves slightly upwards, a bare black neck with a large red patch at the base, and entirely white plumage. Other large South American storks have black in the wings. It feeds on all manner of aquatic animals, including fish, frogs, snakes, insects, young caimans and crocodiles, crabs, and turtles. Feeding birds move about actively in shallow water, splashing with their bill to flush prey, which they then locate using either sight or touch. Particularly in the dry season, it often gathers in groups at shrinking pools, sometimes acting cooperatively to herd fish into the shallows. The huge nest is placed in the crown of a large tree and is used for consecutive years, each year growing in size and sometimes attaining a diameter of over 2 meters. The Jabiru is found in regions with extensive swamps or marshes from Mexico south to northern Argentina. While not migratory, it does disperse seasonally, and sometimes is found some distance from its usual range.

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Bill clatter

© Julian Quillen Vidoz

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Jabiru (Jabiru mycteria), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: