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Home » Information » Woolly-Necked Stork in Uganda (“Ciconia episcopus”)

Woolly-Necked Stork in Uganda (“Ciconia episcopus”)

Woolly-Necked Stork

What to Know About a Woolly-necked Stork in Uganda?

The Woolly-Necked Stork in Uganda is one of the African birds of Uganda seen during Uganda birding safaris. It is a well-designed-sized bird found in Sub-Saharan Africa, India and SE Asia.

It belongs to the kingdom Animalia, Phylum-Chordata, class-Aves, order Ciconiiformes and family Ciconiidae.

The woolly-necked stork has a length of 75-92cm tall. In Uganda, it is found in Murchison falls national park

How Does the Woolly-necked Stork in Uganda Look Like?

The grown-up wooly-necked stork has glossy black plumage with blue, green and purple irises. Wings and tail also black.

The woolly neck, belly and under tail-coverts are white, as lower back and rump. The split black tail is covered by the long white under tail-coverts, appearing white seen from below.

In the race “microscelis” from Tropical Africa, the head displays black face and white back crown and nape.

The elongated bill is black with red tip from half length. The eyes are red, Legs and feet are black. Forecrown and peak are black and distinct.

Both the male and female are similar. The immature is duller and tanner, and lacks the blue and purple irises. The black forehead extends further back on crown.

How Does a Wooly Necked Stork in Uganda Sing and Make Calls?

The Woolly-necked Stork is mostly quiet, but it is rarely heard giving some croaking “honk”. But like most of Ciconiidae species, they perform bill-clattering at nest.

Where Does a Woolly-necked Stork in Uganda Live?

The woolly-necked stork is frequently located near or in a large diversity of wetlands such as rivers, marshes, lakes, rice fields, flooded grasslands and pastures, swamp forest.

In East Africa, it is located in coastal areas, on mudflats and coral reefs, as well as in savanna, grassland and cultivated areas.

This bird can also be found in plain areas and light woodland or forest marshes, but it usually avoids the exact forest.

How Does a Woolly-necked Stork in Uganda Feed?

The Woolly-necked Stork feeds on fish, amphibians, snakes and lizards, crabs, molluscs and marine invertebrates.

It is attracted to grass fires where it catches large quantities of grasshoppers and locusts. This species usually hunts singly walking slowly on the ground and along water.

It spears the preys with the long bill. It is also attracted to termite emergencies.

How Does a Woolly-necked Stork in Uganda Nest?

The Woolly-necked Storks are lonely nesters and both male and female stay together all year round. The Woolly-necked Stork nests in trees.

It constructs a large-stick base with a central depression lined with grass and garbage, positioned high in tall tree, about 20 and 30 meters up and the same nest is reused year after year.

How Does a Woolly-necked Stork in Uganda Breed?

Like other Ciconiidae species, woolly-necked storks also perform the usual courtship displays. They clatter bills at nest, with the head resting back on the upper back.

But the solitary breeders often have far less elaborate courtship ceremonies.  The pairs are more or less permanent.

How Does a Woolly-necked Stork in Uganda Reproduce?

The female woolly-necked stork lays between 2-4 oval white eggs becoming brown-stained later. Parents incubate for about one, at hatching, the chicks are covered in grey plumage with buff neck.

Both parents feed their young ones in the nest by regurgitation, and each chick takes its own part. Their fledging is between 55-65 days after hatching, until they are able to fly.

They become independent after some weeks more.

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