Lesser Adjutant

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Lesser Adjutant
Conservation status: Vulnerable
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Ciconiiformes
Family:Ciconiidae
Genus: Leptoptilos
Species:L. javanicus
Binomial name
Leptoptilos javanicus
Horsfield,, 1821

The Lesser Adjutant, Leptoptilos javanicus , is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It is a widespread species which is resident breeder in southern Asia from India east to southern China and Java.

This is a huge bird, typically 110-120 cm tall with a 210cm wingspan. Its upper body and wings are black, but the belly and undertail are white. The head and neck are bare like those of a vulture. The pale bill is long and thick. Juveniles are a duller version of the adult.

Most storks fly with neck outstretched, but the two adjutants retract their neck in flight like a heron.

The Lesser Adjutant breeds in wetlands in tropical lowland. It builds a stick nest in trees. It often forms small colonies.

The Lesser Adjutant, like most of its relatives, feeds mainly on frogs and large insects, but also young birds, lizards and rodents. It will also eat carrion, for which its bare head and neck is an adaptation.

References

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