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26 July 2013 / leggypeggy

Storks deliver babies! They make them too!

Jabiru

A jabiru couple later that afternoon (scroll down for more pics)

If you’re hoping to see a jabiru—a large white, black and red stork—try heading to their natural territories in South America.

We’re in the Pantanal wetlands at the moment and I hadn’t realised that it’s one of the best places in the world to see jabirus in the wild. I guess that’s not surprising after what I saw them getting up to in their nest yesterday. Blush!

We were on a two-hour nature walk through the property where we’re camping for a couple of nights. We’d just made it to the algae-clogged pond with a couple of resident caimans and a range of smallish birds.

But I spied a stork’s nest behind me in the distance. There wasn’t a single stork in it, but after seeing such nests in Morocco and Turkey, I knew immediately that it was the home of some type of stork. They love building nests of sticks on the top of telephone poles, high up in trees and on the top of columns in Roman ruins.

Jabiru

Mrs Stork clears out the riff-raff

So I watched and waited. Some small birds were playing in the nest and I wondered if they were squatters, but suddenly Mrs Stork arrived and shooed them away quick-smart.

She scratched around for a bit and then Mr Stork arrived ‘home’; perhaps after a long day of delivering babies. No doubt about it, he was ready for some monkey business.

Jabiru

Hi honey, I’m home

It all played out so quickly that I only had time to rapid-fire away with the camera, so now I can share it with you. We won’t be here when the Storks babies are delivered, but I may have seen history in the making. Jabirus rarely breed successfully two years in a row.

Jabiru

Antics in the air

Jabirus are the tallest flying bird found in South and Central America, and have the second longest wingspan (after the Andean condor). Large males can be up to 1.5 metres tall with a wing span approaching 3 metres. Their name comes from the Tupi-Guarani language and means ‘swollen neck’.

Jabiru

Moments later

Jabirus share the incubating duties and the young spend about six months with mum and dad before officially leaving the nest.

I have lots more pics of birds and wildlife in the Pantanal, but I thought this moment deserved top and immediate billing. 🙂

P.S. The name jabiru is given to two other distinct birds found in Australia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Jabiru

Companions

11 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Joanne T Ferguson (@mickeydownunder) / Jul 26 2013 12:29 pm

    G’day and how interesting Peggy, true!
    LOVE learning new things every day through your unique view!
    Cheers! Joanne

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Jul 26 2013 12:32 pm

      Thanks Joanne. Stay tuned for more of the Pantanal.

      Like

  2. janandrussroundoz / Jul 26 2013 12:30 pm

    I’m surprised he didn’t lay back smoking a cigarette afterwards.

    Like

  3. Pat Allen / Jul 26 2013 8:35 pm

    I enjoyed your story. It was entertaining and informative; my kind of reading. Nicely done.

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Jul 26 2013 8:50 pm

      Thanks so much. I feel lucky to have had the experience.

      Like

  4. projectlighttolife / Jul 27 2013 2:37 pm

    Aww this is so neat! Loved this story 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

    Like

  5. Deepti / Aug 3 2013 8:28 pm

    Amazing pictures…You made me fan of your photography 🙂 what a composition peggy.. keep it up..

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Aug 4 2013 5:50 am

      Thanks Deepti. I look forward to taking pictures in India later this year. 🙂 Very exciting.

      Like

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