Painted Stork

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Image:PaintedStork.jpg

Common Name: Painted Stork
Scientific Name: Mycteria leucocephala

Size: 37-40 inches (93-102 cm)

Habitat: Asia; Breeds in Asia from India and Sri Lanka to southeast Asia. It frequents freshwater marshes, lakes and reservoirs, flooded fields, rice paddies, freshwater swamp forest, river banks, intertidal mudflats and saltpans.

Status: Near Threatened. Global Population: 25,000. Although one of the most abundant of the Asian storks this species is classified as Near Threatened because of the increasing impact of habitat loss, disturbance, pollution, drainage and hunting of adults and collection of eggs and nestlings from colonies.

Diet: Mostly fish, but also frogs, small reptiles, and invertebrates. It locates prey by touch, stalking shallow water with an open bill, using feet and wing flaps to disturb prey. Often, it will sweep its head from side to side with its bill half open in water as it hunts for fish.

Nesting: The Painted Stork nests colonially and famous nesting colonies include the ones in the New Delhi Zoological Garden and Kokrebellur in southern India which have up to 100 nests together. The peak breeding season is from September to November.

A large stick nest is built in a forest tree in lowland wetlands, and 2-5 eggs are in a typical clutch. Incubation time is 28–32 days and 60 more days to fledge. Juvenile birds are a duller version of the adult, generally browner and lacking the bright colors of the adult.

Cool Facts: Painted Storks are gregarious. They fly with neck extended and slightly lowered. They are generally quiet, but performs "wing-woofing" and bill-clattering during courtship displays.


Found in Songbird ReMix Shorebirds Volume I

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