Basic Information

Scientific Name Mycteria Leucocephala
Featured bird groups Sea birds & Shore Birds
Phylum Chordata

The Painted Stork is tall and slender, standing about 3 feet tall. It is mostly white in color, with black and white markings on its wing and chest feathers. It also has light pink on its lower back. Its legs are pink also. Its head is partly bare of feathers, and is orange-red in color, and its bill is long, yellowish, and slightly curved towards the end. Both male and female look the same, though the female is slightly smaller in height. A drab brown when young, as an adult the painted stork displays primarily white plumage, with a bright pink tinge towards the tail and a black band of feathers across the chest. The broad wings appear striped black and white while folded, but when outstretched are almost entirely black apart from a white band in the centre.


This species of stork can be found in the freshwater marshes, ponds, and flooded fields of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, eastern China, Kampuchea, and Vietnam. It is found in small numbers in Thailand also, but it's almost extinct in that area and considered threatened in some other areas. It is a protected species at this time. 


The Painted Stork is a wading bird. It walks along, slowly, in shallow waters, searching for food. It hunts its preys (fish, tadpoles, crayfish) by wading with its open bill, just under the water surface, and when a fish passes and touches it, it snaps its bill shut very quickly, and catches the prey. It hunts by touch with its beak. They feed in flocks.


Painted Stork very quiet bird, usually silent. Sometimes, we can hear some croak, like a bullfrog, or hiss like a snake

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