Woolly-necked Stork | Ciconia episcopus

Robert's Birding Information: Woollynecked Stork

The Woolly-necked Stork is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Ciconiidae bird family group which includes birds such as Storks.Woollynecked Stork

The description for the Woolly-necked Stork (Latin name Ciconia episcopus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Ciconia episcopus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 86 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 622. You will find a picture of the Woolly-necked Stork on page 593.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.Woolly Necked Stork

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Woolly-necked Stork between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Woolly-necked Stork is known in Afrikaans as Wolnekooievaar.

The Woolly-necked Stork has a height of 75 cms and weighs around 1800 gms. The head is coloured white while the bill is coloured black. The Ciconia episcopus has a white coloured throat, red legs and a brown, black coloured back. The eyes are crimson.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is white.

Eyes are crimson.

Bill is black.

Legs are red.

Throat is white.

Back is brown, black.

Woollynecked Stork Feeding Habits ...

This bird is a nocturnal feeder and is able to forage in the dark because of the enhanced night vision. It also forages at this time because that's when the prey comes out in the open.

This bird hunts for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes. The Woolly-necked Stork strikes poisonous snakes on the head with one fatal blow which kills the snake instantly. There have been cases were this bird has been killed by a snake while hunting. Some birds have been blinded by Cobra venom.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Woolly Necked Stork Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Woolly-necked Stork is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 4 eggs and they are coloured white.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foliage.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

The bird is an urban dweller as well, being at home in parks, gardens and in old vacated buildings.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Woollynecked Stork is mainly seen singly or in pairs but does occur in large flocks.