Lesser Adjutant Stork in Malaysia

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Malaysia Lesser Adjutant Stork

In November of 2022, I visited Parit Penghulu in the Sungai Rambai district on Melaka to see and photograph the Lesser Adjutant Stork in Malaysia. This was my second time seeing these funny-looking storks, which are very timid.

Parit Pengulu is a small village that focuses on paddy planting, among other agriculture and is relatively unknown to many birders. But since the Covid-19 pandemic, more birdwatchers have been introduced to many places, including Sungai Rambai.

Lesser Adjutant Stork in Malaysia

This large stork is a migrant easily seen at Parit Penghulu from October to March due to the winter season. Several places in Malaysia have become home to the Lesser Adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus).

According to eBird, the Lesser Adjutant is;

A large stork with a completely bare head and neck ideal for its scavenging habits. The adult’s face is red and the neck is yellow while the juvenile has a brownish head and a white, thinly-feathered neck. The upperparts are all dark while the underparts are mostly white. In flight, note the broad wings with distinctive white “armpits” and tucked in neck. Similar to the larger Greater Adjutant; Lesser has a more slender bill, has all-dark upperwings, and often adopts a more upright, less “hunched” posture. Often found in shallow marshes, fields, and swamps.

Lesser Adjutant Photos in Malaysia

Below is a series of photos taken with my Fujifilm X-S10 and Fujinon XF 150-600mm telephoto lens. I took them from a distance because I noticed they were relatively shy; therefore, they walked further away when I tried to walk closer.

It is always handy to have a telephoto lens if you want to take photos of them and a decent pair of binoculars if you want to see them close up. A spotting scope is also recommended if you plan to do some birdwatching at Parit Penghulu, Melaka.

Malaysia Lesser Adjutant
A pair of Lesser Adjutants at the Paddy Fields.
Melaka Lesser Adjutant
An Egret flies past a couple of Lesser Adjutants.
Malaysia Lesser Adjutant Stork
A bird is seen flying near the stork.
Lesser Adjutant Malaysia
A Lesser Adjutant between several Egrets.

Conclusion on the Lesser Adjutant Stork in Malaysia

If you are interested in knowing more, please read about the Lesser Adjutant on Wikipedia, as a lot of detailed information is available. Several websites like eBird have a lot more information, especially if it is area specific.

Finally, seeing them in the paddy fields was exciting as they are majestic birds that some say are beautiful, and others think differently. On average, I saw about 8 of them walking along the paddy field roads in one relatively large open area.

For anyone in the vicinity of Melaka, you can easily see the Lesser Adjutant Stork in Malaysia here. Again, the best times to see these storks are from October to March.

About Bird Watching Asia

Bird Watching Asia is a self-funded project to promote bird watching in Malaysia and around Asia.

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