Once known by its South American name "Jabiru" the Black-neck Stork is Australia's only stork and is more commonly found in the north of the country.†
A number seem to move south before spring when they breed and back again after the breeding period. There are apparently at least 55 breeding pairs in NSW but no records of breeding in this area that we are aware of. They prefer a wet shallow habitat like coastal wetlands, sewage ponds, farm dams and tidal mudflats and they are reported as being sighted at several places in the shire in similar habitats.†
At the Belongil over the past few years we have seen them August to October when possibly they are looking for a mate and again in January to March for short periods only. Usually singly but one day in 2006 there was a report of a pair. They frequent the West Byron Wetlands more often and stay for extended periods.†
Very interesting to watch as they move slow and deliberately when looking for a feed, giving a quick stab with the huge black beak and some flapping of the wings and if successful there may be a fish, snake, eel, crab or similar creature wriggling at the end of the beak. The untidy nest of sticks is usually constructed high and exposed either in a dead or live tree. Report of any sightings would be greatly appreciated.