Black-necked Stork eating snake

Subject: Black-necked Stork eating snake
From: "jade welch" <>
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 21:50:31 +1000

This report would be of great interest to Greg Clancy who is on the list . He shoud be able to tell you whether snakes are part of the natural diet of these birds. I recall however hearing from a birdo who said that he had witnessed these birds feeding on snakes around swamps before.

Your Jabiru may have been eating a Black-bellied Swamp Snake (Hemiaspis signata) or Marsh Snake as it is also known. It is a species that is variable in colour with some indiduals being black. They also have two pale stripes on each side of the face. They grow to a length of 70 cm's. They are found along creeks and swamps and may be found in Casino. Hope this helps.

Yours Sincerely
Mr Jade Welch
Gold Coast,

From: "Val Curtis" <>
Reply-To: Val Curtis <>
To: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: [Birding-Aus] Black-necked Stork eating snake
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2006 20:10:28 +1000

A Black-necked Stork was seen by 15 birdwatchers, with varying degrees of
experience, devouring a snake. I don't have my Handbook with me at present so cannot check if this a normal part of their diet. (When will they put it on disk????)

This was at Llwellyn Wetlands, near Casino, NSW on Wednesday 24th May '06. The Stork was seen to pick up the snake a few meters from the edge of the water, carry it to the water's edge where it struggled to devour it. It held the snake crossways in it's bill and submerded it in the shallow water many times, perhaps trying to drown it. The snake was black, approximately 600mm to 800mm long, very slender and 'whippy', it struggled hard twisting, turning and almost escaping a few times. Eventually the Stork was able to turn the snake so that it had it head first in it's bill and then proceeded to swallow it. We could see the snake wriggling in the long neck as it went down. YUK!! The tip of the tail was visible for some time protruding from the Storks bill.
It was definitely a snake and not an eel, those being totally different

The other interesting thing about this sighting was that the Black-necked Stork had one eye black and the other eye yellow.

Val Curtis

Any comments welcome.


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