Lesser Adjutant


Lesser Adjutant

Taxobox
name = Lesser Adjutant
status = VU | status_system = IUCN3.1
trend = down

|thumb|Lesser Adjutant
image_caption = Lesser Adjutant ("Leptoptilos javanicus")
image_width = 225px
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
ordo = Ciconiiformes
familia = Ciconiidae
genus = "Leptoptilos"
species = "L. javanicus"
binomial = "Leptoptilos javanicus"
binomial_authority = Horsfield, 1821

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 young birds, lizards and rodents. It will also eat carrion, for which its bare head and neck is an adaptation.

References

* Database entry includes a range map, a brief justification of why this species is vulnerable, and the criteria used
* Grimmett, Inskipp and Inskipp; "Birds of India". ISBN 0-691-04910-6

External links

* [http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=3840&m=0 BirdLife Species Factsheet.]


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