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India: birds

painted stork & white ibis /

KEOLADEO N.P. chiamato anche Santuario degli uccelli di Bharatpur, ( ne

sono state censite 230 specie), patrimonio dell'umanità dell'UNESCO dal

1971.

PAINTED STORK is a tropical species, belonging to the stork family of Ciconiidae. The bird is found in the Asian continent, covering the area from India and Sri Lanka to Southeast Asia. Broad-winged soaring birds, the Painted storks of India fly with their neck outstretched. They are resident birds and are found in Indian lowland wetlands, with trees.

 

Physical Traits

The Painted stork of India is a tall and slim bird, which grows to a height of 95 to 100 cm. The bird is mostly white in color, with the exception of its wings and chest feathers that have black and white markings. The color of the lower back, along with the legs, is light pink. The head of the Painted storks is only partly covered with feathers and is orange in color.

 

The bill is long, yellow in color and curves towards the end. The female Painted stork is a little smaller than the male. The young ones are brownish in color when they hatch. Only after they become three years old, do they get adult feathers or plumage. Full maturity comes around the age of four years.

 

Diet

Painted storks of India prefer to eat fish, which also forms a major portion of their diet. However, at times, they consume frogs and snails also. When hunting, the stork puts its head inside the water, with its bill being partly open. The bird keeps swinging its head back and forth in the water, till it catches a prey.

 

Natural Habitat

Painted storks are seen occupying Indian freshwater marshes, ponds and flooded fields. Apart from India, the bird is found in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, eastern China, Kampuchea and Vietnam. A small population of the Painted stork lives in Thailand also.

 

Status

Painted stork bird of India has a place in the list of protected species, at the moment.

 

Predators

The predators of Painted stork of India include tigers, leopards, jungle cats, hyenas and crocodiles.

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Taken on November 18, 2010