Milky x Painted Stork hybrid

on 13th September 2007


The Milky Stork (Mycteria cinerea), whose population is globally VULNERABLE, has a restricted distribution in Southeast Asia (above). Its population worldwide is estimated at 5,500 birds, confined mainly to Indonesia, with smaller populations in Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, and possibly Vietnam. Through the years the population in Malaysia has seen a massive decline.


On the other hand, the Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala), although not globally threatened, is regionally threatened in Southeast Asia (above).

Both storks have been sighted during the last few years in Singapore, mainly in the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. Their status here is debatable – either vagrant or escapee.

KC Tsang has encountered quite a few specimens in Sungei Buloh that are possible hybrids of the two species. This has been confirmed by David Li, Waterbird Conservation Officer with Wetlands International. David believes that it is possible that these birds could be one of the free flying hybrid.


In a Wetlands International study on the status of the Milky Stork population in Malaysia during 2004-2006, it was reported that hybridisation does occur between free-flying Milky and Painted Storks in the zoos/bird parks in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

Wetlands International report can be seen HERE.

KC Tsang
September 2007

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

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