1548. Dissura episcopus.
The White-necked Stork.
Ardea episcopus, Bodd. Tabl. Pl. Enl. p. 54 (1783). Ardea leucocephala, Gmel. Syst. Nat. i, p. 642 (1788). Ciconia leucocephala, Blyth, Cat. p. 277; Jerdon, B. 1. iii, p. 737 ; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xliii, pt. 2, p. 175 ; Butler & Hume, S. F. iv, p. 22. Melanopelargus episcopus, Hume & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 294; Hume, N. & E. p. 609; Adam, S. F. i, p. 398; Ball, S. F. ii, p. 433 : Hume & Oates, S. F. iii, p. 189; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 469; Davidson & Wend. S. F. vii, p. 90. Ciconia episcopus, Blyth & Wald. Birds Burm. p. 158; Fail-bank, S. F. iv, p. 263; Wardl. Rams. Ibis, 1877, p. 470. Dissura episcopus, Ball, S. F. vii, p. 230; Cripps, ibid. p. 307 ; Hume, Cat. no. 920; Scully, S. P. viii, p. 359; Butler, ibid. p. 387 ; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 1119; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 88 ; Butler, ibid., p. 433 ; Reid, S. F. x, p. 74; Davidson, ibid. p. 323 ; Davison, ibid, p. 417; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 265 ; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 268; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 376; id. Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. vi, p. 142; Hume & Cripps, S. F. xi, p. 331; Beddard, P. Z. S. 1896, p. 231; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxvi, p. 294.
Manik-jor, Lag-lag, H. ; Bagala, Mar.; Sanku-budi-konga, Tel.; Mana koku, Vanatay koku, Padre koku, Cing.; Chi-gyin-sut, Burm. Beef-steak Bird of some Anglo-Indians.
Coloration. Crown black glossed with green; neck, lower abdomen, under tail-coverts, and tail white; remainder of plumage black, glossed with green on the lower back and rump, lesser and greater coverts and quills, and upper abdomen, purple on the upper back, median coverts, and breast.
In young birds the white neck-feathers are more fluffy and the dark parts brown.
Bill black, tinged with red on the culmen, tips and margins of the mandibles ; eyelids and facial skin plumbeous ; irides crimson ; legs and toes red (Oates).
Length 36; tail 8 ; wing 20 ; tarsus 6.5 ; bill from gape 6.5.
Distribution. Except in the Punjab and Sind (where, however, a solitary specimen was once obtained,) this Stork appears to occur almost throughout the well-watered plains of India, Ceylon, and Burma; also in the Malay Peninsula, Cochin China, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and Celebes.
Habits, &c The White-necked Stork is found singly or in small flocks on open plains and cultivation or on the banks of rivers, marshes, and tanks, especially about ponds that are nearly dry ; it feeds on insects, reptiles, frogs, mollusks, crabs, fish, &c. It flies strongly and well, and may be occasionally seen circling high in the air without moving its wings. It breeds in June, July, and August in Upper India, but in the Deccan about December and January; makes a large nest of sticks, thinly lined with down and feathers, or thickly covered with straw, leaves, and feathers mixed, and lays normally four bluish-white eggs measuring about 2.5 by 1.83.