Fun Jabiru Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi
Jabiru facts are about a kind of stork.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.5 Min

Jabiru is a kind of stork belonging to the New World. The scientific name of these storks is Jabiru mycteria.

Jabiru live in North and South America and is the tallest flying bird in both Central America and South America. These birds are most commonly seen in Argentina, Mexico, Grenada, Guana, Honduras, and so on. Occasionally, they can also be seen in Texas in the United States.

Jabirus have quite a large wingspan with which they can fly steadily. They feed on various animals like insects, amphibians, mollusks, and occasionally even eat dead fish with their black and broad beaks. The head and neck are featherless in these storks and are black in color.

Being the tallest flying bird, their body length is also quite impressive. Their habitat is tropical and mostly consists of lakes, ponds, and open wetlands.

They are known to live in groups near such waterbodies. During and after the breeding season, both sexes of these birds build the nest and take care of the young. These birds were once hunted for their feathers and also their meat.

To learn more about the jabiru stork, keep reading! You can also check out the wood stork and the marabou stork.

Jabiru Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a jabiru?

The jabiru is a kind of bird. More precisely, they are a species of stork. Some of their traits are a featherless black head and neck, black feet, and a featherless red pouch at the base of their neck.

What class of animal does a jabiru belong to?

The jabiru (Jabiru mycteria) belongs to the class Aves. They are the sole member of the genus jabiru.

How many jabiru are there in the world?

The jabiru stork population is thought to be between 10,000-25,000. The number of mature birds among them is estimated at 6,700-17,000.

Where does a jabiru live?

Jabirus are a New World stork species and hence, can be found in the Americas. In South America, they are found in Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, Ecuador, and so on.

In North America, they are located in Mexico and a few places in the Central American region. All in all, their range extends to Argentina in the southern region and Mexico in the northern region. They are also seen as far as Texas, but very rarely.

What is a jabiru habitat?

The jabiru habitat consists of tropical regions, with ponds or lakes near them. They prefer living in open wetlands and can also be seen in marshes. They build their nests in tall trees.

Who do jabiru live with?

The jabiru stork is a social bird species and can be found in groups with other jabirus throughout the year. During the breeding season, mates may nest slightly away from the groups but are still in close range of other jabirus.

How long does a jabiru live?

Like other storks, jabirus also have an average lifespan of 30 years. But they can live longer in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

Jabiru storks generally display monogamous behavior during breeding. The breeding season lasts from December to May. Both the birds engage in building their nest.

These nests are built a little away from the jabiru groups near them. The nests are always built above ground in tall trees. These birds flap their wings during courtship. In this species, the females are known to approach the males.

However, they most often get rejected by the male bird, but if courting and subsequent breeding are successful, the female lays up to five eggs in their nests. The eggs are incubated by both the parents. Once the eggs hatch, both parents are also involved in taking care of the young.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Jabiru mycteria has been marked as of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Though their current population trend is unknown, their numbers have seen an increase after they received protected status in Belize and also under the U.S. Migratory Bird Act.

Jabiru Fun Facts

What do jabiru look like?

Jabiru stork neck is featherless and black with a red pouch at the base.

Jabiru birds have mostly white plumage, with a silver tuft of hair that is present on top of their head. The head and upper neck are featherless and have a black tinge. They also have a featherless red pouch that is located right at the base of their neck.

Both the sexes have black feet. The beak or bill in jabirus is quite large and slightly upturned.

This bill is black and broad in nature. The male birds appear quite a bit larger than the female. The wingspan is quite impressive and has an average measurement of 8.5 ft (2.6 m).

How cute are they?

More than cute, jabirus have a very unique appearance. Being the tallest flying bird in Central and South America, these birds appear quite majestic.

How do they communicate?

Jabirus are not very vocal in nature. However, their modes of communication include vocal as well as visual mediums.

These birds are known to have a display to greet each other. They also have a band of skin that is located towards the lower part of their neck. This band or throat sac turns red when the bird is excited and hence acts as a communication tool.

How big is a jabiru?

The height of these birds can be as much as 5 ft (152.4 cm). The length of the body of the jabirus is 3.7 ft (115 cm). The white storks are shorter in height than the jabiru.

How fast can a jabiru fly?

Though the exact speed of a jabiru stork's flight is not known, jabirus are considered to be quite strong fliers. The average measurement of their wings is 8.5 ft (2.6 m), which helps them take flight. They flap their wings steadily and slowly while flying, and use gliding motions.

How much does an jabiru weigh?

Jabirus can weigh as much as 17.6 lb (8 kg). Since this bird species displays sexual dimorphism, adult males weigh much more than adult females. The female bird has an average weight of 11.5 lb (5.2 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male and female birds belonging to this species are known as male jabirus and female jabirus, respectively.

What would you call a baby jabiru?

A baby jabiru stork is known as a nestling.

What do they eat?

Jabirus are carnivorous storks and eat a variety of animals. They feed on fish, insects, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and can even eat mollusks. They use their slightly upturned bill or beak to catch their prey using tactile sensations. They also consume dead fish at times.

Would they make a good pet?

Since the jabiru has gained protected status under the U.S. Migratory Bird Act, they cannot be kept as pets, unless a special license is obtained.

Did you know...

The name 'Jabiru' is taken from the Tupi-Guarani language. It translates to 'swollen neck'.

Jabiru storks build their nests using sticks and wood. Such nests can be as deep as 6 ft (1.8 m).

Is the Jabiru native to Australia?

Though the jabiru stork (Jabiru mycteria) can only be found in North and South America, there is another stork species known as the black-necked stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) which is native to south-east Asia and Australia. This bird is also known as jabiru locally in Australia and is the only stork of that region.

There is also a town called Jabiru in Australia which is 157 miles (252.6 km) away from the city of Darwin.

How is a Jabiru endangered?

The jabiru (Jabiru mycteria) is a kind of stork found in North and South America. While their current population trend is not known, the population of these birds was severely threatened not very long ago.

They were marked as Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List in the year 1988. Jabirus were hunted for their meat and feather before they gained protected status under the U.S. Migratory Bird Act.

They also gained the same status in Belize, which improved their numbers. Apart from the jabiru, several populations of storks continue to face threats due to man-made causes.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including the swallow and the wood stork.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our jabiru coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi

Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Oluwapelumi Iwayemi picture

Oluwapelumi IwayemiBachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Iwayemi is a creative content writer and editor studying for a Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering from the University of Lagos. He is skilled in research and has experience writing and editing content for different organizations.

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