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Asian Woolly-necked Stork - BirdForum Opus

C. e. episcopus, breeding plumage
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, India, 22 June 2017
Ciconia episcopus


75–92 cm

  • Black overall plumage showing blue, green or maroon-purple iridescence
  • Woolly white neck
  • White lower belly, undertail coverts and tail
  • Glossed dark green underparts
  • Purple breast and belly
  • Bare, grey skin on side of head and a black cap

Juvenile birds are duller versions.

C. e. episcopus, a displaying pair
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, India, 6 December 2010


Asia: India to Indonesia and the Philippines.


This species was formerly included in Woolly-necked Stork together with African Woolly-necked Stork


Ciconia episcopus has two subspecies:[1]

  • C. e. episcopus
  • C. e. neglecta
  • Java and Wallacea. Bill largely red, with grey at base only; black crown more extensive, and with sharp edge to white feathering.


Wetlands with trees or within forests, and in the western end of its range, also a variety of agricultural areas.


Usually solitary or in pairs; sometimes in small flocks. The diet includes frogs, lizards and large insects.

This species may move around in response to water levels but is not migratory.


Bill-clattering has been described.


Pair in flight
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Dist. Jhajjar, Haryana, India, 29 September-2018

It builds a large stick nest in trees, and usually 3-4 eggs are laid.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2023. IOC World Bird List (v 13.1)_red. Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.13.1. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. Mlodinow, S. G., J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, N. Collar, E. F. J. Garcia, P. F. D. Boesman, and G. M. Kirwan (2022). Asian Woolly-necked Stork (Ciconia episcopus), version 1.1. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.wonsto1.01.1

Recommended Citation

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