Scientific Name: Mycteria leucocephala
Name: Painted Stork
The Painted Stork adult has white body plumage with a bright pink area on tertials and inner greater coverts. On the wings, the flight-feathers are black, and there is a black-and-white pattern on both upper and underwing coverts.
Size in cm:
On the underparts, we can see a blackish breast band patterned black-and-white like the underwing coverts. The underwing is blacker than the upperwing. The tail is blackish.
The naked head is orange-red. The long, thick bill is pinkish-yellow and droops slightly at tip. The eyes are pale blue-grey to bluish-white. Legs and feet are pinkish-red to brownish-red. The legs appear often whitish when covered with dejections to protect them against the sun.
Male and female are similar.
The adult in breeding plumage has redder skin on head. The bill is bright pinkish-peach. Legs and feet are brighter reddish to magenta. The body plumage is more contrasted and the pink area is much brighter.
The immature is much duller, with pale greyish-brown head and neck with whitish streaks. The bare skin of the head is dull yellowish and less extensive.
On the upperparts, mantle and wing-coverts are pale greyish-brown with whitish fringes, whereas on the upperwing, lesser and median coverts are darker with whitish edges. On the underparts, the dusky breast band is indistinct. The underwing-coverts are dark. There is often a slight pinkish wash on tertials.
Size in Inch
black (Bird may have more colors)
fish, frogs, crustaceans
Habit and habited:
The Painted Stork frequents a variety of wet habitats such as marshes, lakes, ponds, freshwater swamp forest, and also flooded cultivated fields.
It occurs mainly in lowlands, but it can be seen up to 1000 metres of elevation.
The Painted Stork only produces bill-clattering at nest like most of Ciconiidae. However, visual, auditory, tactile and chemical perception allows the bird to communicate and perceive its environment.
The painted stork (Mycteria leucocephala) is a large wader in the stork family. It is found in the wetlands of the plains of tropical Asia south of the Himalayas in the Indian Subcontinent and extending into Southeast Asia. Their distinctive pink tertial feathers of the adults give them their name. They forage in flocks in shallow waters along rivers or lakes. They immerse their half open beaks in water and sweep them from side to side and snap up their prey of small fish that are sensed by touch. As they wade along they also stir the water with their feet to flush hiding fish. They nest colonially in trees, often along with other waterbirds. The only sounds they produce are weak moans or bill clattering at the nest. They are not migratory and only make short distance movements in some parts of their range in response to changes in weather or food availability or for breeding. Like other storks, they are often seen soaring on thermals.
This large stork has a heavy yellow beak with a down-curved tip that gives it a resemblance to an ibis. The head of the adult is bare and orange or reddish in colour. The long tertials are tipped in bright pink and at rest they extend over the back and rump. There is a distinctive black breast band with white scaly markings. The band continues into the underwing coverts and the white tips of the black coverts give it the appearance of white stripes running across the underwing lining.
The rest of the body is whitish in adults and the primaries and secondaries are black with a greenish gloss. The legs are yellowish to red but often appear white due their habit of urohidrosis or defecating on their legs especially when at rest. The short tail is black with a green gloss. For a stork, it is medium-sized, standing about 93–102 cm (36.5–40 in) tall, 150–160 cm (59–63 in) in wingspan and weighing 2–3.5 kg (4.4–7.7 lb). Males and females appear alike but the males of a pair are usually larger than the female.
The downy young are mainly whitish with grey bills and blackish facial skin. The juveniles assume a brownish plumage and like most other storks reach breeding condition after two to three years.
Like all storks, they fly with their neck outstretched. They often make use of the late morning thermals to soar in search of foraging areas. Like other storks they are mostly silent but clatter their bills at nest and may make some harsh croaking or low moaning sounds at nest.