top of page
  • Writer's pictureS Santosh Kumar (sukubirder)

Braggart of Bharatpur: Painted Stork

Updated: Mar 27, 2023


(Nikon D5600, 200-500mm lens; 1/640 & 1/1600(flying), f/5.6, ISO250; hand-held)


Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala) is a large wader that resides in and breeds across the Indian subcontinent. It has a predominantly white body with striking patterns of black on its wings and chest, that is further complimented by bright pink feathers near the tail, pink legs, an orange head and a long yellow bill. Juvenile bird is dull brown in colour with limited patterning. Painted Stork typically flies with its head and neck extended but drooping to belly level. It is usually spotted feeding in shallow waters, moving around with its open beak submerged underwater; and when a hiding fish gets flushed out by the bird’s moving feet and comes in contact with the sensitive open beak, it gets snapped up. This technique of feeding is called ‘tactile foraging’. This stork is a colonial tree nester and can be seen forming large flocks on certain favoured trees, jostling for space. The nestlings are fed small fish by the parent bird through regurgitation. Being a stork, it is voiceless and the only sound it can produce is by bill clattering. As its population has been rapidly reducing in many parts of the subcontinent due to habitat degradation, egg and chick harvesting, and hunting, it has been placed in the ‘near-threatened’ category of IUCN.


68 views1 comment

Related Posts

See All
bottom of page