“Excuse me, are you John?”
How dare you! Do I look like a ‘John’?
Reporter: So sorry. I’m a reporter for Avian Vogue and I was looking for John, the best dressed Black-necked Stork in Wilpattu, and I thought you were him.
Felicia: HIM!?! Do I look like a HIM? I’m Felicia you blithering idiot. My iris is yellow, and not brown like a males’ eye. DON’T say that we look the same, just because we all have a glossy, bluish-black iridescent head and neck, bright white back and belly. Learn to tell the difference. HIM! Honestly, if I wasn’t so intent on stalking my prey I’d show you the same aggression I show other birds when I’m defending my territory! Now where did that fish go? You better hope I find it or a frog or some little bird to eat, otherwise you will be on the menu!
Reporter: I do apologise for my horrendous mistake. How is a near-threatened species like yours hanging on?
Felicia: Wow. You have NO tact at all. First day on the job? Well, I’ll tell you anyway. It’s not easy. The only reason we make it work here is because Yala and Wilpattu are protected National Parks. Plenty of tall trees and marshes to build nests in, plenty of food, and not many humans to contend with. Well, until a pest like you turned up. Now go away or you will find out what this heavy bill of mine can do to you!
Story of the Photo
This image of a Black-necked Stork in the middle of an intense stalking session, was captured by Dilum inside Wilpattu National Park. The peaceful waterholes around the Mahoora Tented Safari Camp in Wilpattu are also ideal for birdwatchers to get a sighting of this rare bird.