Articles on this page are available in 1 other language: Chinese (Simplified) (1) (learn more)

Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Mycteria leucocephala occurs in Pakistan (scarce; mainly confined to the Indus delta region), Nepal (rare in terai; mainly a summer visitor), India (widespread and locally common resident), Bangladesh (former resident, now a straggler to coastal regions), Sri Lanka (locally abundant, particularly in the dry zone), China (previously a common summer visitor in south, probably breeding, but now rare and possibly extinct), Myanmar (former resident in central region and visitor throughout; current status unknown but clearly rare), Thailand (previously common breeder in south, now on verge of extinction, small numbers recorded sporadically elsewhere), Laos (previously widespread, now rare), Vietnam (formerly widespread resident, now a rare non-breeding visitor), Cambodia (local resident, 4-5,000 pairs breeding at Prek Toal, Tonle Sap Lake) and Peninsular Malaysia (previously regular, now a vagrant). There are an estimated 15,000 individuals in South Asia and fewer than 10,000 in South-East Asia (Perennou et al. 1994), with populations declining throughout. Although it is considered one of the most numerous and secure of Asian storks, this is more a reflection of the rarity and endangerment of most storks in the region, than the security of this species.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Painted storks are widespread throughout the Indian subcontinent. Populations extend from Sri Lanka to Indochina and southern China. Painted storks are predominately non-migratory and most make only local movements. However some birds have been known to migrate to west Burma.

Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native )

  • Austin, O. 1961. Birds of the World; A Survey of the Twenty-Seven Orders and One Hundred and Fifty-Five Families. New York: Golden PRess.
  • Luthin, C. 1987. Status of and Conservation Priorities for the World's Stork Species. Colonial Waterbirds, 10(2): 181-202.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range

Lowlands of Indian subcontinent to s China and SE Asia.
  • Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

This species of stork stands 93 to 102 cm tall and weighs between 2 to 5 kg. Painted storks are the only storks within the genus Mycteria that has a black pectoral band. This species has a long, heavy yellow bill and a yellow face. They display white plumage with a rose color near the tail feathers. Non-breeding plumage is usually less vibrant than breeding plumage. Juveniles are pale brown lacking a pectoral band. Males and females are not sexually dimorphic however, male painted storks tend to be slightly larger than female storks. Body length in this species is used as an indicator of sex.

Range mass: 2 to 5 kg.

Range length: 93 to 102 mm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike; male larger

  • Ali, S., S. Ripley. 1968. Handbook of the Birds of Indea and Pakistan, together with those of Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Ceylon. Bombay: Oxford University Press.
  • Urfi, A., A. Kalam. 2006. Sexual Size Dimorphism and Mating Pattern in the Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala). Waterbirds, 29: 489-496.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It frequents freshwater marshes, lakes and reservoirs, flooded fields, rice paddies, freshwater swamp forest, river banks, intertidal mudflats and saltpans.


Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Painted storks are found within a variety of habitats. They are often restricted to shallow freshwater wetlands and marshes. Painted storks have also been observed in flooded agricultural fields and seepage ponds in the Delhi region of India.

Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial ; saltwater or marine ; freshwater

Aquatic Biomes: coastal

Wetlands: marsh

Other Habitat Features: agricultural ; riparian

  • Kalam, A., A. Urfi. 2007. Foraging Behavior and Prey Size in Painted Storks. Journal of Zoology, 274(2008): 198-204.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Trophic Strategy

Painted storks have been known to feed on fish, insects, crustaceans, amphibians and reptiles. Painted storks in the Delhi region have been observed to be largely piscivorous. In order to catch their prey, storks employ a mode of foraging known as tactile foraging. Tactile foraging involves a bird holding its open beak underwater and waiting for movement near the bill before clamping shut on the prey. Foraging group size ranges from 1 to 18 individuals. Nestlings are fed by adults via regurgitation.

Animal Foods: amphibians; reptiles; fish; aquatic crustaceans

Primary Diet: carnivore (Piscivore )

  • Kahl, P. 1987. An Overview of Storks of the World. Colonial Waterbirds, 10(2): 131-134.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Associations

There is little information on painted storks and the roles they play in an ecosystem. As the primary food sources, fish populations are likely impacted by storks. Painted stork chicks and eggs are also food sources for predators.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Painted storks are predated by tigers (Panthera tigris), leopards (Panthera pardus), hyenas (Hyaenidae), crocodiles (Crocodylidae), and eagles (Accipitridae). Predation is most significant during the breeding season when eggs and defenseless chicks are available. As a method of defense, chicks will vomit and lie motionless to appear dead.

Humans are another common predator of painted storks. Fisherman in local villages capture chicks and sell them to animal collectors. Storks are also collected for food in rural villages.

Known Predators:

  • Crocodiles (Crocodylidae)
  • Eagles (Accipitridae)
  • Humans (Homo sapiens)
  • Hyenas (Hyaenidae), and
  • Leopards (Panthera pardus)
  • Tigers (Panthera tigris)

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Painted storks are voiceless and the only sound they produce bill-clattering at the nest. Like all birds, they perceive their environment through visual, auditory, tactile, and chemical stimuli.

Communication Channels: tactile ; acoustic

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life Expectancy

Painted storks can live up to 28 years in captivity.

Range lifespan

Status: captivity:
28 (high) years.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 28.6 years (captivity) Observations: One animal lived for 28.6 years in captivity (Brouwer et al. 1992).
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Joao Pedro de Magalhaes

Source: AnAge

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Reproduction

Painted storks are a monogamous species. Little is known about mate selection however, there is evidence that females prefer to mate with relatively large males.

Mating System: monogamous

The breeding season begins in late August in northern India lasts until October. However, in the south the breeding starts much later in November and lasts until March. The breeding season occurs after monsoon season, greatly reducing the risk of nest failure. Painted storks are colonial tree nesting birds, nesting in 5 to 6 trees with often 70 to 100 nests. The New World mesquite trees (Prosopis juliflora) are chiefly utilized by painted storks in the Delhi region as colonial nesting trees.

Mycteria leucocephala is a colonial nester. Several thousand pairs have been known to nest in rookeries. Nests are constructed with plant matter and extend over the water. Painted storks lay 3 to 4 eggs with an incubation period of about 30 days. Chicks fledge at 60 days with a whitish plumage which later becomes pale brown as they age.

Breeding interval: Painted storks breed once a year.

Breeding season: Painted storks breed from August to October (nothern India) or November to March (southern India).

Range eggs per season: 3 to 4.

Average time to hatching: 30 days.

Average fledging age: 60 days.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; oviparous

Both male and female painted storks share responsibilities when incubating and raising young. The young are born altricial, without feathers and with eyes closed. Each parent will take turns feeding nestlings until they fledge.

Parental Investment: altricial ; male parental care ; female parental care ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female)

  • Ali, S., S. Ripley. 1968. Handbook of the Birds of Indea and Pakistan, together with those of Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Ceylon. Bombay: Oxford University Press.
  • Austin, O. 1961. Birds of the World; A Survey of the Twenty-Seven Orders and One Hundred and Fifty-Five Families. New York: Golden PRess.
  • Urfi, A. 1993. Breeding patterns of Painted Storks (Mycteria leucocephala Pennant) at Delhi Zoo, India. Colonial Waterbirds, 16: 95-97.
  • Urfi, A., A. Kalam. 2006. Sexual Size Dimorphism and Mating Pattern in the Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala). Waterbirds, 29: 489-496.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Mycteria leucocephala

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s
vanZalinge, R. & Mahood, S.

Justification
Although one of the most abundant of the Asian storks, this species is classified as Near Threatened because it is thought to be undergoing a moderately rapid population decline owing primarily to hunting, wetland drainage and pollution.


History
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
  • Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5