Tantalus leucocephalus Pennant, 1769, Ceylon. Monotypic.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Painted wood stork, Indian wood ibis; French: Tantale Indien; German: Buntstorch; Spanish: Tбntalo Indio.
Length 3–3.3 ft (93–102 cm), wingspan 4.9–5.2 ft (150–160 cm); 4.4–7.8 lb (2–3.5 kg). Black and white with orange/red face and yellow bill slightly downcurved at the tip.
India and Indochina.
Shallow freshwater lakes, marshes, and flooded fields.
Gregarious. Flies with neck extended and slightly lowered. Generally quiet, but performs “wing-woofing” and bill-clattering during courtship displays.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Mostly fish, but also frogs, small reptiles, and invertebrates. Locates prey by touch, stalking shallow water with an open bill, using feet and wing flaps to disturb prey.
Colonial, up to 100 nests together. Clutch size three to four, incubation 28–32 days, fledging 60 days.
Not threatened. Local declines have occurred though through hunting and capture for zoos.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Popular species whose colonies are actively supported and protected by locals.
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