Successful fish-stalking*

One for the birds. And next time, by popular request, I will show you rhinos

The Black-necked Stork, Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus, is a splendid bird, five feet (150cm) tall, with black and white plumage, an iridescent blue-green-black neck, and bright red legs.

This one was on the far side of a shallow lake, hunting. Look closely, and you can see he has just grabbed a fish:

Black-necked Stork

He gets a grip:

Black-necked Stork

Then turns it around, head first:

Black-necked Stork

And it is traveling down his gullet, all gone, in six seconds start to finish.

Black-necked Stork

These storks are widespread in India, and Australia, but they are thinly distributed, and declining in numbers. There are probably about 1000 total in India, and 10,000 in Australia. They are on the IUCN Red List as Near Threatened. Kaziranga has a healthy and stable population. This one is an adult male, because males have a brown iris, and females have a yellow iris.

*In British English, ‘stork’ and ‘stalk’ sound the same, hence my title. Really BAD pun, sorry.

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