Monday, April 1, 2019

Asian Openbill Stork

We saw the Asian openbill stork in groups in Minneriya National Park, near water buffalo lounging in Minneriya Reservoir, and we saw them singly in Yala National Park
Asian openbill storks in front of water buffalo in Minneriya NP.
In Yala NP.
It is found in portions of southeast Asia where it is widespread and common in India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand. It is predominantly grayish in non-breeding season (November to March in Sri Lanka) and then turns predominantly white during breeding season. It has black wings and a tail with a hint of gloss. The "openbill" moniker comes from a gap in the closed bill in adult birds (juveniles do not have the gap). The gap is believed to be an adaptation to help them eat snails, their favorite food. The bill is a dull grayish yellow. The legs are pinkish to gray, but more reddish right before breeding.  
Range map from Wikipedia.
Solitary bird in Yala NP.
Coming in for a landing in Yala NP.
Close-up of gap in bill.
We saw a similar species, the African openbill stork, which is black, in Botswana. 

1 comment:

  1. They look a bit mangy, especially with that gap in their beaks, kind of like a slovenly person who chews with his mouth open. Not the prettiest bird we saw, but definitely an interesting one.