Family Storks (Ciconiidae)

Near Threatened

Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus)


French: Jabiru d’Asie German: Riesenstorch Spanish: Jabirú asiático

Mycteria asiatica


, 1790,



Sometimes placed in monospecific genus Xenorhynchus, but close similarity to E. senegalensis in breeding habits, behaviour and morphology demand their treatment as congeners. Race australis has occasionally been considered distinct enough to warrant treatment as a separate species on basis largely of claimed differences in neck iridescence#R, but these putative differences do not appear to be valid#R; genetic distance between individuals of the two forms was found to be notable, although sample size minimal and included a captive bird#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. a. asiaticus (Latham, 1790) – S & E Pakistan, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and mainland SE Asia; formerly to Malay Peninsula (now extirpated)#R.
  • E. a. australis (Shaw, 1800) – S New Guinea, N & E Australia.
  • Descriptive notes

    110–137 cm; 4·1 kg; wingspan 190–218 cm. Black plumage glossed blue, greenish and purple; flight feathers white. Genus Ephippiorhynchus unique... read more


    Largely silent away from breeding site. At nest, utters some guttural grunts and also bill-... read more


    Chiefly frequents and requires extensive, comparatively undisturbed freshwater wetlands, including... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly comprises fish, including eels and catfish, but also frogs, snakes, hatchling turtles, freshwater turtles... read more


    Reported mainly Apr–Jun in Australia. It nests in different parts of India in Aug–Jan: in Uttar Pradesh during 1999–2002... read more


    Chiefly sedentary. A pair may remain in the same locality for years. Young birds usually stay with... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. The two subspecies differ markedly in abundance and conservation status. E. a. asiaticus is scarce and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Elliott, A., Garcia, E.F.J., Boesman, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 7 April 2020).