Asian Open-bill Stork

Asian Open-bill Stork near Delhi Public School Tapi at Surat:
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Scientific Name : Anastomus oscitans
Classification :
Kingdom             : Animalia
Phylum                : Chordata
Class                     : Aves
Order                    : Ciconiiformes
Family                  : Ciconiidae
Genus                   : Anastomus
Species                 : A. oscitans

How to Identify this bird :
  • It is about 75 cms high, stout and is a dull coloured open-bill bird.
  • The breeding stork is white in colour with black on its wings and tail.
  • The non-breeding stork is greyish-white stork with black in its wings and tail.
  • The legs are usually dull pink and they are brighter in the breeding condition.
  • It has a peculiar reddish-black bill with arching mandibles leaving a narrow open gap between them.
  • Both male and female are alike.
  • The juvenile has brownish-grey head, neck and breast and brownish mantle and scapulars slightly paler than the blackish flight feathers.
  • When they fly they can be identified as a white stork with a black tail and dull coloured bill.
Where do I find this bird :
  • This is a common bird in the Paddy fields around DPS Tapi.
  • They are found in twos or threes or in flocks.
  • They are the most common type of stork widely distributed in India generally in marshes and lakes.
  • The exact significance and function of the uniquely shaped bill is unknown and needs to be studied. Maybe used to open thick shells of large snails found in marshes.
  • It also feeds on crabs, large insects, frogs, etc.
  • It mostly nests between July-September making their nests in trees along with painted storks, egrets etc., by making a circular platform lined with leaves.
Local Names :

Hindi         : Gungla, Ghungil, Ghonghila
Bengali      : Shakukh khol, Shakukh bhanga, Thonte bhanga
Assamese  : Samuk bhanga
Tamil         : Naththai kuththi narai