Adults for nesting in Uppalapadu, Andhra Pradesh, India.
The Painted Stork, Mycteria leucocephala, is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae.
It is a tropical species which breeds in Asia from India and Sri Lanka to southeast Asia. It is a resident breeder in lowland wetlands with trees. The large stick nest is built in a forest tree, and 2-5 eggs is a typical clutch.
The Painted Stork is a broad winged soaring bird. Like all storks, it flies with its neck outstretched.
The adult is a large bird, mainly white with black flight feathers. The head is red, and the long downcurved bill is yellow. A medium-sized stork, it is 93-102 cm (37-40 in) tall, 150-160 cm (59-63 in) in wingspan and weighs 2-3.5 kg (4.4-7.7 lbs). The tail and legs are pink, and there is dark barring on the breast.
Immatures at nest at Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India.
Juvenile birds are a duller version of the adult, generally browner and lacking the bright colours of the adult. The Painted Stork walks slowly and steadily in shallow waters or adjacent we and grassland seeking its prey, which, like that of most of its relatives, includes fish, frogs and large insects. It sweeps its head from side to side with its bill half open in water as it hunts for fish.
The Painted Stork nests colonially and famous nesting colonies include the ones in the New Delhi Zoological Garden and Kokrebellur in southern India. The peak breeding season is from September to November.
Another Painted Stork colony is located at Uppalapadu village which is about 10 km towards east of Guntur town in Andhra Pradesh. This is basically a nesting colony of Grey Pelican and Painted Stork who come in thousands during their nesting season from November to April every year. For feeding the chicks they bring fish from sea and river which is about 45 to 50km from the nesting site. Being surrounded by villages and ever increasing demand of land and absence of patronage from the local government, the future of this sanctuary is not very bright.
- ^ BirdLife International (2008). Mycteria leucocephala. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2008. Retrieved on 2 February 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is near threatened
- ^ a b Urfi, A. J. (1993) Breeding Patterns of Painted Storks (Mycteria leucocephala Pennant) at Delhi Zoo, India. Colonial Waterbirds. 16(1):95-97.