Species: M. leucocephala
The Painted Stork, Mycteria leucocephala, is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. The Painted Stork is a broad winged soaring bird. Like all storks, it flies with its neck outstretched.
The adult is a large bird, 95-100cm tall, mainly white with black flight feathers. The head is red, and the long downcurved bill is yellow. The tail and legs are pink, and there is dark barring on the breast. Juvenile birds are a duller version of the adult, generally browner and lacking the bright colours of the adult.
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 walks slowly and steadily in shallow waters or adjacent wet 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.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Karnataka, India (March 2007)