1552. Pseudotantalus leucocephalus

1552. Pseudotantalus leucocephalus.

The Painted Stork.

Tantalus leucocephalus, Pennant, Ind. Zool. p. 11, pl. x (1769); Blyth, Cat. p. 275 ; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 761; Blyth, Ibis, 1867, p. 173; Godw.-Aust. J. A. S. B. xxxix, pt. 2, p. 274 ; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xli, pt. 2, p. 255; Hume, N. & E. p. 626; Adam, S. F. i, p. 399; Butler & Hume, S. F. iv, p. 24 ; Fairbank, ibid. p. 263; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 484; Davids. 8c Wend. S. F. vii, p. 91; Murray, ibid. pp. 110, 113 ; Butler, ibid. p. 188; Ball, ibid. p. 231 ; Cripps, ibid. p. 809; Hume, ibid. p. 507; id. Cat. no. 988; Doig, S. F. viii, pp. 372, 374 ; Newton, ibid. p. 415 ; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 1100; Butlen, S. F. ix, p. 435; Reid, S. F. x, p. 76 ; Davidson, ibid. p. 324 ; Simson, Ibis, 1882, p. 93; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 267 ; Swinhoe & Barnes, Ibis, 1885, p. 136; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 387; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 338; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 220 ; Barnes, Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. i, p. 60; vi. p. 149. Pseudotantalus leucocephalus, Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxvi, p. 323.

The Pelican Ibis, Jerdon; Janghil, Dokh, H.; Kat-Sarunga, Bam-jhankar, Sona-janga, Beng. ; Lungduk, Sind; Yerri Kali-konga, Tel.; Singa nareh, Tam.; Changa vella nary, Tam. (Ceylon); Datuduwa, Cing.; Hnet-kya, Burm.

Coloration. White, except the primaries, secondaries, and tail, which are black glossed with green ; lesser and median, but not the greater, coverts the same with broad white margins ; the under wing-coverts and a broad band across the lower breast black glossed with green, with white edges to the feathers ; tertiaries pink with white borders ; scapulars and greater wing-coverts white tinged with rosy.

In young birds the neck and back are light brown, the neck-feathers scale-like, with dark edges which are broader behind than in front, lesser and median wing-coverts dark brown, greater coverts paler, quills and tail as in adults ; the rump, breast, and abdomen sullied white.

Bill and facial skin orange-yellow, plumbeous at the base of the bill; irides pale yellow ; legs, toes, and claws brown. In the young the iris is brown (Oates); legs fleshy red (Jerdon, Cripps).

Length 40 ; tail 6.5; wing 20; tarsus 9.5 ; bill from gape 10.

Distribution. Resident throughout India, except in the Punjab, in tracts where there are large rivers, tanks, and marshes ; also in Ceylon and Burma, and in Southern China and Cochin China; but P. leucocephalus is very common in the Deccan. It is replaced by an allied species P. lacteus in the Malay Peninsula and Islands.

Habits, &c. This bird, well known as the Pelican Ibis, a name involving error, is common in well-watered parts of the country, solitary or in flocks, frequenting the larger pieces of water, and with the usual habits of Storks. It breeds on large trees, often about villages, several birds nesting together: it makes a rather small nest of sticks, and lays usually 4, but sometimes as many as 8, white eggs, measuring 2.77 by 1.88. The breeding-season is September and October in Northern India, February in the Deccan. This bird is easily tamed and becomes very sociable.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol. 4. 1898.
Title in Book: 
1552. Pseudotantalus leucocephalus
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Painted Stork
Painted Stork
Mycteria leucocephala
Vol. 4

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