Leptopilus javanicus

Written by on November 19, 2010 in Indonesia Bird with 0 Comments

Leptopilus javanicus, Lesser Adjutant, Bangau tongtong


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 (43-48 in) tall, weighing about 5 kg (11 lbs) and has a 210 cm (83 in) wingspan. It is, however, the smallest member of the Leptoptilos genus. 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 three Leptoptilos species 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 small birds, reptiles and rodents. It will also eat carrion, for which its bare head and neck is an adaptation.

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