Milky Stork gaping widely

posted in: Miscellaneous | 1

Tan Tze Siong’s image of a Milky Stork (Mycteria cinerea) with its mandibles gaped widely was photographed at the Chinese Garden in Jurong in August 2016 (below).

StorkM-yawn [TanTzeSiong]

“I’m also not sure what it was doing. It was having a shower in the hot afternoon; it repeatedly lowered itself into the water while fluffing its wings. And right after that it stood up and opened its beak wide as photographed. It looked like retching but nothing was expelled. Thereafter it continued its shower!” wrote Tze Siong.

Tan Tze Siong
Singapore
31st August 2016

Opinions:
1. According to Wildlife Consultant Subaraj Rajathurai, “It looks like it may have temporarily choked on something…”

2. Malaysian birder Dato Dr Amar-Singh HSS has this to say: “I agree with the person observing the bird – it looks like a ‘retching behavior’. This could imply: (1) it was choking and trying to get something out; (2) looks very much like the behavior of birds that eject pellets, but never heard of it in storks; or (3) finally consider that this could have been some form of rhynchokinesis HERE.

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One Response

  1. Daisy O'Neill

    A possible 4th could suggest bird is exercising its bill – jaw out of fatigue having to use its pair of bills regularly. I have seen such behavior from other bird species especially during their process of feather maintenance to include this abrupt gape opening behavior.
    Not much different from humans who sometimes give their elbow a jerk or two -extending their lower arm straight after a heavy day’s work when arms went into fatigue.

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