Species: A. oscitans
The Asian Openbill Stork, Anastomus oscitans, is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It is a broad-winged soaring bird, which relies on moving between thermals of hot air for sustained flight. Like all storks, it flies with its neck outstretched. It is relatively small for a stork at 68cm length. They breed near inland wetlands and build stick nest in trees, typically laying 2-6 eggs.
Breeding adults are all white except for the black wing flight feathers, red legs and dull yellow-grey bill. The mandibles do not meet except at the tip, and this gives rise to the species’ name. Non-breeding adults have the white of the plumage replaced by off-white. Young birds have brown tinge to the plumage.
It is a resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Southeast Asia. The Asian Openbill Stork, like most of its relatives, walks slowly and steadily on the ground, feeding on molluscs, frogs and large insects.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Karnataka, India (March 2007)