Mycteria leucocephala   (Pennant,  1769) (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights: Pbase

This species of stork stands 93 to 102 cm tall and weighs between 2 to 5 kg.

Color: 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.

Breeding season: Painted storks breed from August to October (nothern India) or November to March (southern India). Nest- Painted storks are colonial tree nesting birds, nesting in 5 to 6 trees with often 70 to 100 nests. Nests are constructed with plant matter and extend over the water. Eggs- Painted storks lay 3 to 4 eggs with an incubation period of about 30 days.

Lifespan- 28 years in captivity

Synonym (s)
Ibis leucocephalus (Pennant, 1769)
Tantalus leucocephalus (Pennant, 1769)

Common Name (s)
• Painted Stork (English)
• Varnakokku (Malayalam)
• Yerukala konga (Telugu)
• Chengaal naarai (Tamil)
• Chitrablaak, Rangit karkocha, Ratyatamb (Marathi)
• Dhonk, Pilichanch dhonk (Gujrati)
• Jangil dhok (Hindi)
• Sanguvalai naarai (Tamil)
Economic Importance and Threats
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(Hunting, drainage and pollution.)
Importance:  Commercial
(Chicks are often captured and sold by local fisherman to animal collectors. Painted stork young are collected by local people for food.)
Importance:  Ecosystem balance
(Fish population may be slightly impacted by the storks also their chicks and eggs may be food source for the predator.)

Habitat:  Estuarine, Muddy
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  fish, insects, crustaceans, amphibians and reptiles
Predator:  Crocodiles (Crocodylidae) Eagles (Accipitridae) Humans (Homo sapiens) Hyenas (Hyaenidae), and Leopards (Panthera pardus) Tigers (Panthera tigris)


• Goa, Baga INDIA (Record: 27/01/1995, 30/01/1995)
• Goa, Arpora INDIA (Record: 27/01/1995, 30/01/1995)
• Goa, Carambolim INDIA
• Goa, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary INDIA
• Goa, Shiroda marshes INDIA
• Goa, Neura wetlands INDIA
• Orissa, Bhitarkanika INDIA
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.33) (Long: 75.96) INDIA
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.66) (Long: 76.18) INDIA
• Gujarat, Gulf of Kachchh INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake INDIA
• Gujarat, Bet Dwarka INDIA
• Maharashtra, Navi Mumbai INDIA
• Kerela, Kuttanad wetlands INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary INDIA
• Gujarat, Mahi River estuary INDIA
• Delhi, Okhla barrage bird sanctuary INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Lainer, H (2004) Birds of Goa : A reference book The Goa Foundation, Goa 244 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • PBase Available at -
  • Chadha, S and Sekar, KC (1999) Bhitarkanika:myth and reality Nataraj publishers, Dehra Dun Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Nameer, PO (2005) Wetlands and waterfowl conservation in kerala with special reference to Ramsar sites kerala environment congress 2005 Centre for environment and development 97-112 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • (1997) Coastal marine environment of Gujarat 178pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Nagarjuna, A; Kumar,NVN; Kalarani, V and Reddy, DC (2010) Aquatic and avian biodiversity of Pulicat brackish water lake and ecological degradation World Journal of Fish and Marine Sciences IDOSI Publications 2 (2) 118-123 Available at -
  • Srinivasulu, C (2004) Birds of kawal wildlife sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh , India Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 101(1) 3-25 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jeyarajasingam (2012) A Field Guid to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore Oxford University press 2nd edition 1-89pp Available at -
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Available at -
  • Vernacular names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 62pp Available at -
  • Manakadan R and Pittie A (2001) Standardized English names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent BUCEROS Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetland 6(1) 26pp Available at -
  • Kumar A, sati JP and Tak CK (2003) Checklist of Indian Waterbids Buceros Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetlands 8(1) 30pp Available at -
  • Urfi AJ (2002) Waders and other wetland birds on Byet Dwarka Island, Gulf of Kutch, western India Wader Study Group Bull. 31-34 Available at -
  • Pawar PP (2011) Species diversity of birds in mangroves of Uran (Raigad), Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, West coast of India Journal of Experimental Sciences 2(10) 73-77 Available at -
  • Narayanan SP, Thomas AP and Sreekumar B (2011) Ornithofauna and its conservation in the Kuttanad wetlands, southern portion of Vembanad-Kole Ramsar site, India Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(4) 1663–1676 Available at -
  • Rao VV, Anjaneyulu M, Nagulu V, Srinivasulu C and Satyanarayana D (2004) Water fowl Status at Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh EPTRI - ENVIS Newsletter 10(4) 7-12pp Available at -,%20No.4,%202004.pdf
  • Gopi GV and Pandav B (2007) Avifauna of Bhitarkanika Mangroves, India Zoo's print journal 22(10) 2839-2847pp Available at -
  • Pandya PJ and Vachhrajani KD (2010) Birds of Mahi River estuary, Gujarat, India Journal of Threatened Taxa 2(6) 994-1000pp Available at -
  • Sivaperuman C and Jayson EA (2000) Birds of Kol wetland, Thrissur, Kerala Zoo's print journal 15(10) 344-349pp Available at -
  • Urfi AJ (2003) The birds of Okhla barrage bird sanctuary, Delhi, India Forktail 19 39-50pp Available at -
  • Myers, P; Espinosa, R; Parr, CS; Jones, T; Hammond, GS and Dewey, TA (2006) Animal diversity web Available at -
  • Ali S and Ripley SD (1968) Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan Oxford university press 1 1-368pp Available at - NIO

Page last updated on:2012-08-03

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