Head, breast, and neck white. Shoulders, back, belly and tail rich chestnut, open wings tipped black. Reddish brown eyes, pale bone coloured bill and cream feet. Juvenile is mottled brown.
Feed on fish, often relying on fish stranded or cast up by the tide. Offal and scraps are part of the diet along with frogs, crabs and insects. Most food is eaten on the ground but is sometimes taken to a perch to be devoured.
Pairing only to breed, they build a bulky nest of sticks in mangroves or other suitable trees. The female does most of the incubating while the male hunts and brings her food. When the chicks are big enough, both parents hunt and drop food at the nest for them to feed on.
Places to Look
Coastal foreshores, mangrove lined creeks and inlets.
Clearing of suitable nesting trees.
- Coastal Birds of the Burdekin Dry Tropics
- Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club)
NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Birdlife Townsville (formerly the Townsville Region Bird Observers Club) to the information on this page.
This is a legacy website. Content is not being updated but is kept as an archive.
Updated NRM information is now held in the NQ Dry Tropics NRM Information Portal at http://nrm.nqdrytropics.com.au/.
while corporate information about NQ Dry Tropics is held on our main website at http://www.nqdrytropics.com.au