Sharing the view with a jabiru

Jabiru at Mamukala wetlands by Gary Scott

Kakadu is in the middle of the cool weather season – Wurrgeng - this is the name that the local Indigenous people of northern Kakadu, Bininj, give to this part of the dry season.

The water levels in the wetlands of Kakadu are getting lower each passing day. Birds are becoming much easier to spot as they start gathering, ready to congregate in great numbers around the billabongs which will diminish in a few months time.

I recently went down to Mamukala wetlands near the South Alligator River. I was lucky enough to come across this beautiful male black-neck stork, or jabiru, feeding amongst the water lilies. You can tell it’s a male because it has a black coloured eye, unlike the female which has a yellow eye. Jabirus mate as a couple for several years, sometimes for life, building their enormous nests, up to 1.5 metres deep and 2 metres wide, high up in the paperbark trees surrounding the wetlands.

Occasionally, I’ve spotted a jabiru – which also happens to be Australia’s only stork - sitting on top of the rocky escarpment at Ubirr. Perhaps it too is enjoying the same beautiful views of the Nadab floodplain that attracts many visitors to Kakadu at this time of year.

Jabiru at Ubirr by Gary Scott

Gary Scott Kakadu National Park ranger