Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala) is a colourful bird that can be found in most Lakes of the Indian subcontinent.
According to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list, it is categorised as near threatened with only around 16,000 – 24,000 mature individuals. Their habitat includes wetlands, fresh water and marine ecosystems. One of their main threats include human interference and disturbance.
They can easily be identified by their distinct pink feathers. They feed on fish in groups and nest in trees. Flock sizes may be from 5 to 50 individuals. The adults feed the chicks by regurgitating small fish of about 20 cm.
The bare red skin seen on the head is developed when breeding maturity is reached and is caused by the loss of feathers and deposition of lipids under the skin. This bird was spotted at Kukkarahalli Lake in Mysuru recently.
Pic. by Ryan Satish