Asian Openbill Stork

The Asian Openbill Stork (Anastomus oscitans) is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae and a resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Southeast Asia.

This stork is a broad-winged soaring bird and relies on moving between thermals of hot air for sustained flight. Like all storks, its neck is outstretched during flight. It is relatively small for a stork at 68cm length. They breed near inland wetlands and build stick nest in trees, typically laying 2-6 eggs.

Breeding adults are completely white except for the black flight feathers, red legs and dull yellow-grey bill. Non-breeding adults have off-white plumage instead of white. The mandibles* do not meet except at the tip, and this gives this species its name. Young birds have brown tinge to the plumage.

The Asian Openbill Stork, like most of its relatives, walks slowly and steadily on the ground, feeding on mollusks, frogs and large insects.

* The mandible is a bird’s upper or lower beak.