Zoological name: There are twenty species of stork. Some well
known species are the Oriental white stork (Ciconia boyciana), black
stork (c. nigra), painted stork (Mycteria leucocephala), adjutant stork
(Leptoptilos crumeniferus), black-necked stork (Xenorhynchus
asiaticus) and Asian open billed stork (Anastomus oscitans).
Distribution: Storks inhabit in temperate and tropical zones of the Old and the New Worlds.
Habitat: They are adapted to a life in shallow waters, marshes and dry uplands. The painted storks, for example, are found in coastal mud flats, lakes, marshes, inundated paddy fields and occasionally in river banks.
Physical feature: Storks are long-legged, long-necked, long-billed birds with broad, rounded wings, and short tails like other wading birds. Toes are rather short and are partially webbed. The rear toe is elevated above the other three toes. The physical characteristics of painted stork include red-brown legs, heavy, orange coloured bills with slightly decurved at the tips and eyes surrounded by bare yellow and red skin. The plumage colour pattern of storks is usually black and white with a metallic sheen, though there is a species variation. For example, the painted storks are white with black in colour and the innermost secondary feathers are pink. Legs and bills are brightly coloured.