one of Cambodia's most beautiful waterbirds: the Painted Stork

Publication Date: 02 March 2022
Source: WoM

The Painted Stork is a beautiful bird that inhabits wetlands. It is found all over the Indian Peninsula, and is widely distributed in Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia and Southern China. Painted Storks are not a migratory bird, (they are present all year round), and most of the time travel within specific areas. However, some of these storks migrate all the way to the west of Myanmar. In Cambodia, they are found in Prek Toal Ramsar Site from November until the flooded season. Then in July or August they move from their nests to forage in rice fields or floodplains in the lakes, and some even travel to coastal areas.

The Painted Stork_by Tan Viriya, YEA: Waterbird Generation
The Painted Stork_by Tan Viriya, YEA: Waterbird Generation

Habitat: The Painted Stork inhabits freshwater wetlands and floodplains, flooded rice field and lakes such as Ang Trapaing Thmor in Banteay Meanchey Province and Pear Raing Lake a floodplain of Tonle Sap lake in Sangkat Chhreav, Siem Reap Province. In addition, some of these storks can be found in coastal areas, such as Ream National Park.

Appearance: Painted stork has a medium body size, standing about 93 cm to 102 cm high, and weighs from 2 kg to 5 kg. This bird is scientifically known as Mycteria leucocephala. They have a distinctive black breast band on their chests. This stork has a long dark yellow bill and yellow facial skin. They have white feathers with pink at the tips of their wings. In the breeding season, their feathers glow brighter than usual. The juveniles display a brownish plumage except for the unique breast band on their chest. When reaching breeding age, male and female Painted Storks show no differences in characteristics, except the male stork is a bit larger in size than the female one. Their body size is one of the means to identify their sex.

Read more:

A series of posts about one of Cambodia’s most beautiful waterbirds: The Painted Stork: 
The Painted Stork chooses a mate for life: 
Feeding, distribution, and lifespan of The Painted Stork:
The Sad story about the threats to the Painted Stork: