Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala)

Painted Stork

Painted Stork

The Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala) is a large wading bird occurring in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Records further afield have become rare, but include China. Generally, the birds favor wetlands where they forage for fish and amphibians in shallow water. They immerse their long bills into the water and catch their prey as they touch it. They breed in colonies and build their nests on trees. I have seen these colourful birds several times on journeys through Kachchh, western India. But only in January 2015, I really had the chance to get close enough for some better photographs. You may click on them to see more details. This year, the water tank in the centre of Bhuj (the capital of Kachchh) attracted many bird species and you may look forward to some more posts from this location during the coming weeks.

Painted Stork

Painted Stork

Painted Stork

Painted Stork

Painted Stork

Painted Stork

Painted Stork

Painted Stork

storks in Hamirsar Tank in front of the Prag Mahal, Bhuj

storks in Hamirsar Tank in front of the Prag Mahal, Bhuj

flying storks

flying storks

flying storks

flying storks

Painted Stork

Painted Stork

storks in Hamirsar Tank, January 2009

storks in Hamirsar Tank, January 2009

18 responses to “Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala)

    • thanks for your comment! ๐Ÿ™‚ you are definitely right, they look very similar and they are indeed closely related as they belong to the same genus. As far as I know they do not occur in the same region and the Painted Stork has these pinkish tail feathers… maybe that’s how you can differentiate them?!

  1. Oh wow those are so cool! Very like our Woodstorks aka Wood Ibis but even more colorful.Ours nicknamed “old flinthead’ has a black textured neck with a dark patch on top and with a brownish bill and your has some pink on top with a lighter colored bill. Though our does have very pink toes. Would be nice to travel as see these other species!

    • thanks for your comment, Judy!! You are right, the Woodstorks really look similar and also belong to the same genus! But I never had the luck to see one yet! If you come to India, chances are quite high that you can find Painted Storks though! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • thanks!! so you have to tell me whether there is a milky stork mixed within! In my opinion, these are all painted storks due to their pinkish tail feathers! but you are the bird expert not me!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • yes, I have read that in the meantime… ๐Ÿ˜‰ in any case, judging from the relatively dark underwings and comparing with photographs on the internet, I would still say these are Painted Storks ๐Ÿ˜‰ do you agree? btw I still think you are pretty much an expert!!

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