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Painted Stork

Common name for a large wading bird with the scientific designation Mycteria leucocephala, as well as the Latin names Tantalus leucocephalus, Ibis leucocephalus and Pseudotantalus leucocephalus. It grows to an average height of about 97 centimeters, has a naked red face and a yellow to orange bill, similar to the Milky Stork (fig.), but distinct by its grey to black and white bars on the scapulars and some pink colouring on the wingtips and tail. Juveniles are whitish with greyish and white bars on the scapulars, and a greyish-brown to blackish neck and head, but initially lack the pink colouring on the wingtips and tail (fig.). Its diet includes fish, frogs and large insects. This species dwells in lowland wetlands, where it breeds in colonies, building nests from large sticks, high-up in the trees (fig.). In Thai, it is known as nok kaab bua. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.