The woolly-necked stork (Ciconia episcopus) belongs to the family Ciconiidae in the order Ciconiiformes. These stork species are distributed in Africa and Asia. There are three recognized subspecies in these storks. The subspecies C. e. episcopus are distributed in Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines. The subspecies C. e. microscelis are found in Africa. The subspecies C. e. neglecta occurs in Indonesia.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) had categorized and evaluated these bird species and had listed them as 'Vulnerable'.
These storks are large wading birds, measuring 85 to 95 cm in length and are 85 cm tall. The neck feathers are soft, fluffy and woolly. They may have a black cap on the head. The woolly neck is white. The back is black with glossed dark green and purple plumage. The beak is heavy and reddish grey. The legs are long and reddish. The forked tail is black.
They are resident birds and inhabit wetlands, marshes, rivers, lakes and ponds. They feed on frogs, fish, crabs, insects and small reptiles. They breed during July to September in south India and December to March in north India. They nest on the forest trees and the nest has two to five eggs.
|Indian birds - Woolly-necked stork - Ciconia episcopus|
Image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Woolly-necked_stork,_Bishop_stork_or_White-necked_stork,_Ciconia_episcopus,_at_uMkhuze_Game_Reserve,_kwaZulu-Natal,_South_Africa_(15301626220).jpg
Author: Derek Keats | License: CC BY 2.0
Current topic in Birds of India: Woolly-necked stork - Ciconia episcopus.