Scientific Name: Ciconia episcopus
Name: Woolly-necked Stork
The Woolly-necked Stork is an elegant bird found in Sub-Saharan Africa, India and SE Asia.
Size in cm:
The adult has glossy black plumage with blue, green and purple iridescences. Wings and tail are black too. The woolly neck, belly and undertail-coverts are white, as lower back and rump. The forked black tail is concealed by the long white undertail-coverts, appearing white seen from below.
In the race “microscelis” from Tropical Africa, the head shows black face and white rear crown and nape. The long bill is black with red tip from half length. The eyes are red. Legs and feet are blackish.
In the nominate race “episcopus” from India to Indochina, N Malay Peninsula and Philippines, the bare face is grey. Forecrown and crown are black and well defined.
The large bill is grey with reddish tip. The eyes are deep red. Legs and feet are red.
Size in Inch
white (Bird may have more colors)
The Woolly-necked Stork feeds on marine invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans, molluscs and large insects, caught at bush fires and while walking slowly on the ground.
Habit and habited:
The Woolly-necked Stork is usually found near or in a large variety of wetlands such as rivers, marshes, lakes, ricefields, flood plains and pastures, swamp forest…
In India, it prefers waterlogged ground.
In E Africa, it is found in coastal areas, on mudflats and coral reefs, but also in savanna, grassland and cultivated areas.
This species can be found in clearings and light woodland or forest marshes, but it usually avoids the true forest.
The Woolly-necked Stork is usually silent, but it may give some croaking honk seldom heard. But as most of Ciconiidae species, they perform bill-clattering at nest.
The woolly-necked stork or whitenecked stork (Ciconia episcopus) is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It breeds singly, or in small loose colonies. It is distributed in a wide variety of habitats including marshes in forests, agricultural areas, and freshwater wetlands.
The woolly-necked stork is a medium-sized stork at 75–92 cm tall. The iris is deep crimson or wine-red. The stork is glistening black overall with a black "skull cap", a downy white neck which gives it its name. The lower belly and under-tail coverts are white, standing out from the rest of the dark coloured plumage. Feathers on the fore-neck are iridescent with a coppery-purple tinge. These feathers are elongated and can be erected during displays. The tail is deeply forked and is white, usually covered by the black long under tail coverts. It has long red legs and a heavy, blackish bill, though some specimens have largely dark-red bills with only the basal one-third being black. Sexes are alike. Juvenile birds are duller versions of the adult with a feathered forehead that is sometimes streaked black-and-white. The African birds are described as having the edges of the black cap diffused or with a jagged border compared to a sharp and clean border in the Asian birds. Sexes are identical, though males are thought to be larger. When the wings are opened either during displays or for flight, a narrow band of very bright unfeathered skin is visible along the underside of the forearm. This band has been variously described as being "neon, orange-red", "like a red-gold jewel", and "almost glowing" when seen at close range.
Small nestlings are pale grey with buffy down on the neck, and a black crown. At fledging age, the immature bird is identical to the adult except for a feathered forehead, much lesser iridescence on feathers, and much longer and fluffier feathers on the neck.
English common names for this species include Whitenecked Stork, Whiteheaded Stork, Bishop Stork, and the Parson-bird. More recently, the African and Asian populations are considered to be two different species, the African and the Asian Woolly-neck. This is based purely on geographical isolation, but there is no morphological or phylogenetic evidence yet to support this split.