Black-necked Stork Preying on a Coot, Bharatpur, Rajasthan

by Kesavamurthy N
Kesavamurthy N

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

Nature is red in tooth and claw, goes the saying, and every creature must watch its back in the wild -- not just from teeth and claws but also from beaks apparently!

This image was photographed at Bharatpur, Rajasthan in February 2016. A coot that was too absorbed in its feeding ended up as a meal for a black-necked stork.  While the coot was feeding on the grass from the swamp, the stork came gliding and landed next to it. It then caught hold of the coot by its neck and violently swung it. The stork’s powerful beak pierced the coot a few times and it was all over for the victim. But, it didn’t end there. Over the next 7-10 minutes, the stork broke the coot into multiple pieces. This was helpful for other birds like drongos and crows, which managed to snag a few titbits. 

Black-necked storks are carnivorous birds that prey not just on fish, but also on a wide variety of other creatures. Apart from waterbirds such as coots and ducks, they also prey on crabs, frogs, turtle hatchlings, molluscs and insects.

About the author

Kesavamurthy N

The author is a photography mentor and naturalist, based in Bangalore.

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