Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Asian Woolly-necked Stork (Ciconia episcopus)

OTHER NAMES: Asian Whitenecked Stork, Bishop Stork
Latin Etymology: Ciconia ("stork") episcopus ("bishop" - in reference to a black cap)
Adult Wooly-necked Stork (subspecies C. e. episcopusat Florican Grasslands, Cambodia - February 2019

Local Name (Khmer): ?
Featured Subspecies: Ciconia episcopus episcopus
Weight: 1.8kg
Length: 75-92cm
Wingspan: ?
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Vulnerable

Cambodia is a great country for storks, with seven species breeding within it's borders.  Most are heavily associated with wetland habitats as the vast colonies of Prek Toal can attest, but the Wooly-necked is a bit less colonial in it's nesting, and also frequents grassland areas more.  We only saw a single pair of these birds, distantly coming in to land over the Florican Grasslands.  They seem to be in a bit of taxonomic limbo as most sources seem to list a continuous species over Africa and Asia, but also imply the African subspecies have been split off. 

Related Species:
Order: Ciconiiformes
Family: Ciiconidae
Genus: Ciconia
SUBSPECIES: C. e. microscelis,* C. e. episcopus, C. e. neglecta

 - Sighting Locations -
CAMBODIA - A scarce resident
SINGAPORE / CAMBODIA 2019 TRIP - Two seen very distantly at Florican Grassland Reserve

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

*Some authorities separate this subspecies into a full species as the African Wooly-necked Stork, oddly, the IUCN is the only one of my normal sources to do so, despite usually being more conservative splitters than others.

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