English and Scientific names:

Jabiru  (Jabiru mycteria)

Number of individuals: 

1 individual, adult plumage

Locality: LOUISIANA: 

Iberville Parish

Specific Locality:

Sherburne WMA, North Farm

Date(s) when observed:

31 July 2008

Time(s) of day when observed:  


Reporting observer and address:

Joshua T. Sylvest

Baton Rouge, LA

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):


Michael Seymour

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s):


Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

The bird was spotted to the west of us and in 8am sunlight from the east; excellent light conditions

Optical equipment: 

Leica Binoculars, 10x42, excellent condition

Distance to bird(s): 

Initially viewed from roughly 200 yards and we were able to creep to within ca. 80 yards

Duration of observation:

45 minutes


Flooded Ag Lands/Crawfish Pond -type impoundment

Behavior of bird: 

Initially observed feeding, walking and stalking slowly, deliberately picking prey items.  Also observed in flight for 3 minutes or less when it flew off to the south and disappeared over the tree line


Huge white body, long, dark legs, broad red skin separating white body from black, featherless head and neck.  Few white downy-type feathers were apparent on the nape of the otherwise featherless head and neck.  The bill was very large (nearly the length and girth of the entire neck) and black.  The bird was viewed directly next to some of our largest wading birds including Wood Storks, Great Blue Herons, and Great Egrets and towered over them all, appearing almost twice as bulky as well.




Similar species:

Only other bird it might resemble would be Wood Stork.  Wood Stork much smaller, bill smaller,  no red skin on neck.  Jabiru also showed entirely white remiges in flight.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Photographs by Joshua Sylvest and Michael Seymour (previously submitted by Michael Seymour

Previous experience with this species: 

None (books only)

Identification aids:


This description is written from: 


Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 


Yes.  While origin may be a concern, this bird showed no leg band of any kind and is apparently not commonly kept in zoos and therefore not a likely candidate for an escapee.


Joshua T. Sylvest

Date and time: 

7 Aug 2008  6pm