(Last Updated on : 01/09/2015)
Lesser adjutant is the Indian bird with a scientific name "Leptoptilos javanicus
" is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. Like other members of its genus, it has a bare neck and head.
Concentration of Lesser adjutant
Lesser adjutant is however more closely associated with wetland habitats where it is solitary and is less likely to scavenge than the related greater adjutant. It is a widespread species found from India through Southeast Asia to Java.
Structure of Lesser adjutant
Lesser adjutant is a large stork with an upright stance, a bare head and neck without a pendant pouch, it has a length of 87-93 cm, weighs from 4 to 5.71 kg and stands about 110-120 cm tall.
Species of Lesser adjutant
The only confusable species is the greater adjutant, but this species is generally smaller and has a straight upper bill edge, measuring 25.8-30.8 cm in length, with a paler base and appears slightly trimmer and less hunch-backed. The skullcap is paler and the upper plumage is uniformly dark, appearing almost all black. The nearly naked head and neck have a few scattered hair-like feathers. The upper shank or tibia is grey rather than pink, the tarsus measures 22.5-26.8 cm.
Sexes of Lesser adjutant
Lesser adjutant has the belly and undertail is white. The juveniles are a duller version of the adult but have more feathers on the nape. During the breeding season, the face is reddish and the neck is orange. The larger median wing coverts are tipped with copper spots and the inner secondary coverts and tertials have narrow white edging. The wing chord measures 57.5-66 cm in length. Like others in the genus, they retract their necks in flight. In flight, the folded neck can appear like the pouch of the greater adjutant. Males and females appear similar in plumage but males tend to be larger and heavier billed.
Residence of Lesser adjutant
The lesser adjutant tends to be widely dispersed and is very local. It is often found in large rivers and lakes inside well wooded regions. It is found in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos, Singapore, Indonesia and Cambodia. The largest population is in India in the eastern states of Assam
, West Bengal
. It may occur as a vagrant on the southern edge of Bhutan. They are extremely rare in southern India.
Feedings of Lesser adjutant
Lesser adjutant stalks around wetlands feeding mainly on fish, frogs, reptiles and large invertebrates. They rarely feed on carrion. They may also take small birds and rodents particularly during the breeding season. They are solitary except during the breeding season when they form loose colonies.
Breeding Season of Lesser adjutant
The breeding season is February to May in southern India and November to January in north-eastern India. The nest is a large platform of sticks placed on a tall tree. The nest diameter is more than a metre and up to a metre deep. The clutch consists of three to four eggs. They are silent but have been noted to clatter their bill, hiss and moan at the nest.