1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Jabiru

See also Jabiru and Wood Stork on Wikipedia; and our 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica disclaimer. This article starts with what is apparently a description of Jabiru mycteria, and this also appears to be the subject of the illustration. Mycteria americana is now commonly referred to as the wood stork.

JABIRU, according to Marcgrave the Brazilian name of a bird, subsequently called by Linnaeus Mycteria americana, one of the largest of the storks, Ciconiidae, which occurs from Mexico southwards to the territory of the Argentine Republic. It stands between 4 and 5 ft. in height, and is conspicuous for its massive bill, slightly upturned, and its entirely white plumage; but the head and neck are bare and black, except for about the lower third part of the latter, which is bright red in the living bird. Very nearly allied to Mycteria, and also commonly called jabirus, are the birds of the genera Xenorhynchus and Ephippiorhynchus—the former containing one or (in the opinion of some) two species, X. australis and X. indicus, and the latter one only, E. senegalensis. These belong to the countries indicated by their names, and differ chiefly by their feathered head and neck, while the last is sometimes termed the saddle-billed stork from the very singular shape of its beak. Somewhat more distantly related are the gigantic birds known to Europeans in India and elsewhere as adjutant birds, belonging to the genus Leptoptilus, distinguished by their sad-coloured plumage, their black scabrous head, and their enormous tawny pouch, which depends occasionally some 16 in. or more in length from the lower part of the neck, and seems to be connected with the respiratory and not, as commonly believed, with the digestive system. In many parts of India L. dubius, the largest of these birds, the hargila as Hindus call it, is a most efficient scavenger, sailing aloft at a vast height and descending on the discovery of offal, though frogs and fishes also form part of its diet. It familiarly enters the large towns, in many of which on account of its services it is strictly protected from injury, and, having satisfied its appetite, seeks the repose it has earned, sitting with its feet extended in front in a most grotesque attitude. A second and smaller species, L. javanicus, has a more southern and eastern range; while a third, L. crumenifer, of African origin, and often known as the marabou-stork, gives its name to the beautifully soft feathers so called, which are the under-tail-coverts; the “marabout” feathers of the plume-trade are mostly supplied by other birds, the term being apparently applied to any downy feathers.  (A. N.)