Milky Stork gaping widely

on 19th September 2016

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
31st August 2016

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.

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

One Response

  1. 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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