Beautiful Birds of Belize Blog – Post #7
By Jim Gain
- Scientific Name: Jabiru mycteria
- Name in Spanish (Mexico): Cigüeña Jabirú
- ABA 4-Letter Bird Code: JABI
- Family: Ciconiidae – Storks
- Order: Ciconiiformes
About this Species
The Jabiru (Jabiru mycteria) is a large stork species that is widely distributed throughout the Americas, including Belize. These birds are known for their striking appearance, which includes a white body, black wings, and a distinct red head and neck. They have a long, heavy bill that they use to catch fish and other prey, and can stand up to five feet tall with a wingspan of up to nine feet.
Jabirus are typically found in wetland habitats, such as marshes, swamps, and rivers, where they can feed on a variety of aquatic animals, including fish, crustaceans, and amphibians. They are also known to eat small mammals, reptiles, and birds. In Belize, Jabirus can be found in the wetlands of the northern and central regions of the country, including the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary and the Lamanai Archaeological Reserve.
Despite being a large and impressive bird, Jabirus are currently classified as near-threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This is largely due to habitat loss and degradation, as wetland areas continue to be drained and developed for agriculture and other human activities. Conservation efforts are underway in Belize and other countries to protect these magnificent birds and their habitat, which are important components of the wetland ecosystems they inhabit.
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