Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala)

Feral Adult Painted Stork (Mycterua leucocephala) near Kuala Lumpur Airport, Malaysia - July 2016

Local Name (Malay): Upeh Sawah ("Field Stork")
Weight: 2-3.5kg
Wingspan: 150-160cm
Height: 93-102cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Near Threatened 

I must admit, seeing Painted Stork in Malaysia was a bit of a pleasant accident - we pulled over at a restaurant at a fairly random road near Kuala Lumpur Airport and four of these colourful storks circled overhead.  For the listing purists, these birds wouldn't count however - Malaysia has a bit of a more lax attitude to free-flying birds in zoos and collections and in this case these birds have gone on to establish a feral colony in Selangor near Kuala Lumpur Airport where these birds were seen.  I saw a further individual on a pond near the road Malacca on the Northern outskirts of Kuala Lumpur but this is near to the free-flying zoo population so probably from there.  The Painted Stork is one of the more common Stork species in Asia, however it is suffering declines due to human disturbance - however unfortunately it itself is a cause of conservation problems for Milky Stork - a similar species that is native to Malaysia.

Related Species:
Order: Ciconiiformes
Family: Ciconidae
Genus: Mycteria
Subspecies: none - monotypic 

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - Feral populations exist in Selangor province and possibly along the Singapore straits.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: A flock of four seen circling in Selangor Province near Kuala Lumpur Airport

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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