Jabiru Stork

By Marla Lise

Scientific Name: Jabiru mycteria

The Jabiru Stork is a large bird with a big, black and slightly upturned bill. It can be found around South America, from Mexico down to Argentina, but is most commonly found in Pantanal region and in Paraguay.

The Brazilians call this bird, ‘Tuiuiu’ and in the Tupi-Guarani language spoken around South America, ‘Jabiru’ actually means swollen neck. There is also another bird called a Jabiru bird that comes from Australia, however, this is the Asian Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus).

Jabiru Stork. Photo by Rhett A. Butler
Here’s an interesting fact for you - words like jaguar and tapioca are also from of the Tupi–Guarani origin.

The Jabiru Stork is the tallest flying bird in South and Central America, growing up to 140cm (4.6 feet). They make huge nests out of sticks that they built upon every season. The nests can be several meters in diameter.

This bird lives in groups near water bodies and feeds on amphibians and other little aquatic creatures like fish and mollusks. They will sometimes even eat dead animals that they find in the water. By doing this, they help keep the water clean.

Jabiru Stork. Photo by Rhett A. Butler
Jabiru Storks are not listed as an endangered species, however, they are highly sensitive to disturbances around their nesting sites. Therefore, with people encroaching into their habitats, there is a high risk that they will be affected negatively.


  • May I use graphics from mongabay.com for my projects? Yes, you may provided that you don't remove the mongabay label from the images. You may use information from the site for class projects and can cite mongabay as the source.
  • Is this web site credible? Mongabay is the world's most popular source for information on tropical forests. The site is highly acclaimed by a number of the world's leading tropical scientists. Mongabay Founder Rhett Butler has published several scientific papers.
  • Can I interview the founder of mongabay for my school project? Unfortunately Rhett is not available for interviews. However he has answered some common questions on the Rainforest Interview page.
  • Do you have any games or activities? Currently there are a few on the resources page.
  • How can I help save rainforests? Some ideas are listed at Rainforest Solutions.
  • Where can I learn more about rainforests? Check the main rainforest site.