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Lesser Adjutant - BirdForum Opus

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Photo by ruchai
Siracha, Thailand, November 2003
Leptoptilos javanicus


110-120 cm (43¼-47¼ in)

  • Slaty blue-black upperparts and wings in breeding season
  • White belly and undertail
  • Bare head and neck
  • Long and thick bill

Juveniles are a duller version of the adult.

Similar Species

Greater Adjutant


Asia: they are found from India and Sri Lanka to southern China, Indochina and Indonesia.


This is a monotypic species[1].

Displaying pair
Photo by Alok Tewari
Dudhwa National Park, Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, India, January-2015


Mangrove forest, tidal estuary, large rivers and lakes inside well wooded regions, grasslands, crop fields.



They are colonial tree nesters, sometimes in mixed species. They build a stick nest.


Photo by ruchai
Sriracha, Thailand, November, 2003

Diet consists primarily of fish, such as skippers; also frogs, large insects, young birds, lizards and rodents. They will also eat carrion, which is probably why they have a bare head and neck.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved August 2015)
  3. Website of Everything
  4. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links

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