Thursday, December 15, 2016

Asian openbill (শামুকখোল পাখি) - Anastomus oscitans

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Bengali Name : Shamukkhol (শামুকখোল পাখি), Shamukbhanga (শামুকভাঙ্গা পাখি).
Common Name : Asian openbill, Asian openbill stork.
Binomial/Scientific Name : Anastomus oscitans
Family : Ciconiidae
Photo Taken : Bangladesh

Asian openbill stork is not a very common bird from Bangladesh. Once upon a time we had plenty of this bids, but now a days counts are decreasing. Commonly this bird is known as Asian openbill. In Bangladesh we call this bird as Shamukbhanga (শামুকভাঙ্গা), Shamukkhol (শামুকখোল), Shamukkhola (শামুকখোলা), etc. Binomial name of the bird is Anastomus oscitans and it belongs to the bird family Ciconiidae. This bird is native to South Asia and Southeast Asia.

Asian openbill (শামুকখোল পাখি) is a large sized bird having a very heavy bill (or beak). The length is around 80cm and the wings are around 40cm. Shape of the bird is similar to the egrets (or herons). Birds are having long feet those help them to wade. Primary color of the bird is greyish-white and black. The black color is only at the back side and few portion of upper-side wings and major portion of under-side wings.

The bill of the bird is interesting. It has a gap between, for the adults only by the way. That's why the bird is actually named Openbill bird. This bird mainly diet on frogs, large aquatic insects, and of course the large snails. It is believed that the bird got such bills to adopt the food habit (the snails).

Asian openbill stork (শামুকখোল পাখি) is a gregarious bird. They use to live as a colony. During the evening they use to return back as a group and use to roost on the tree. They prefer to live near the wetlands and the places where the source of food is available. They don't bother to travel long distance when habit condition is not in favor.

This bird is preening

The breeding season for the bird is probably after rainy season in Bangladesh (not confirmed). They use to make nest with the sticks. The nest is not that much attractive. They prefer to make nests in a close proximity within the colony. Even the other birds like egrets, cormorants use to make nest on their colony. Female lays 2-4 eggs and both parents take part during incubation.

The gap between the bill is visible.

Having a large and heavy bill this Asian openbill (শামুকখোল পাখি) bird doesn't have any predator. Their only threat is the expansion of human beings that consumes their wetlands. Also some people hunt this bird for their meat.

This photo was taken after the sunset.

Photos of this article were taken from Rema-kalenga reserve forest during December 2014. It was an unexpectedly cold and foggy winter in Bangladesh. I went there to watch the birds that time.

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

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