The painted stork (Mycteria leucocephala) belongs to the family, Ciconiidae. The painted stork is a large wading bird of stork family. These birds are widely distributed over the plains of Asia. The painted storks are usually seen in the freshwater wetlands and occasionally in the coastal regions. They are found in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) had categorized and evaluated these stork species and had listed them as 'Near Threatened'.
The painted stork is a large bird, measuring 90 to 100 cm in length and weighing 2,000 to 3,500 grams. They have a wingspan of about 150 to 160 cm. They have a long heavy yellow beak with a down curved tip. The bare head is reddish or orange in color. They have a distinctive black pectoral band with white scaly markings. The tertials are long and the tips are bright pink extending beyond the tail when at rest.
These storks feed in groups, wading in shallow waters and avoiding deeper waters. They feed on small fish, frogs and reptiles. The breeding season extends from July to October in north India and November to March in south India. They breed in colonies on the tree tops. The platform of nests is seen in islands and undisturbed areas. The typical clutch may contain two to five eggs. The chicks are fed with regurgitate fish. Though the population in India is considered secure, the painted stork are near threatened in other countries due to poaching.
|Indian birds - Painted stork - Mycteria leucocephala|
Image source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mycteria_leucocephala_-_Pak_Thale.jpg
Author: JJ Harrison | License: CC BY 3.0
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