Lucky me, I spotted this bird twice in consecutive springs. Once at the Ranthambore Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajasthan and second time in their colony at Delhi Zoo. There, they nest in tall bushes, tamarind and other native trees, within the artificial island.
Very interestingly, these birds live in huge colony consisting of a whopping 300 to 600 wild birds of different species including migratory birds. In March, when I went to the zoo I didn’t see as many species, but the island still had some hundreds of birds.
Bright yellow-orange and pink are two hues with which a grown up painted stork is gifted. It’s long bill and face are yellow-orange, while legs and feather-ends are pink, but the rest of plumage is mainly white with black strokes on the chest.
Colloquially known as dokh or janghil, this large bird is usually found in saltpans, freshwater marshes, lakes and reservoirs, freshwater swamp forest and river banks.
Painted storks forage for fish with their bills half open and shaking their heads back and forth. They nest in colonies with other storks, spoonbills, herons and ibises. their lifespan is over 22 years, if not hunted by humans!
The species is near threatened because decline population due to hunting, pollution and diminishing wetlands. It’s rapidly declining in south asia and almost rare and even extinct in most south-east Asian countries such as China, Myanmar, Thailand and Laos.