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Some Observations on Breeding Behaviour of the Asian Open-Billed Stork (Anastomus Oscitans) in the Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary, West Bengal, India

Author Affiliations

  • 1Endocrinology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Kalyani, Kalyani-741235, West Bengal, India
  • 2Department of Biological Sciences, Jadupur Anchal High School (H.S.) Jadupur, Kamlabari-732103, Malda, West Bengal, India
  • 3Endocrinology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Kalyani, Kalyani-741235, West Bengal, India

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 5, Issue (9), Pages 10-21, September,22 (2016)


The breeding behaviour of the Open-billed stork, Anastomus oscitans was studied in the Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary, Raiganj, Uttar Dinajpur, West Bengal, India. The storks assembled in the sanctuary from the last week of the month of May of the year 2007 and 2008. During breeding season they foraged singly. They visited foraging areas 10 Km away from the sanctuary. The main food species of the adult Open-billed stork were Pila globosa and Bellamya bengalensis. They also took lamelidens and crabs as food. Aerial displays of Open –billed stork observed through the breeding season in the sanctuary from the last week of the month of May to the last week of the month of December of the year. Peak activity was between 8.00 hr to 13.00 hr of the day before pair formation. They performed this behavior in the sky in a group with more than hundred birds for about 45 to 60 minutes. The Open-billed storks choose their mate within 5 to 7 days of aerial display. After mate choice, they occupied a fixed nesting place and stood side by side. A typical paired birds showed up and down standing position and sometimes at opposite direction. The mated birds touched each other’s bill and pecked their mates check , head region , neck , body and also wing feathers by their bills. Allopreening preceded copulation in 87% of the cases. High frequency of copulation (5.5±0.032 times/pair/day) were seen in newly formed pairs. The copulation occurred either on the nest or on the branch of nesting trees from the first week of the month of June to the last-week of the month of August of the year. The copulatory behaviour was more in the morning and noon (10.00 – 12.00 hrs) than afternoon (14.00 – 16.00 hrs) of the day. The time was taken for cloacal contact upto 30% of the time engaged in copulation (2.66±0.040 seconds in 2007 and 2.71±0.042 seconds in 2008). Copulation also occurred after 1 to 4 eggs laid. The copulatory behaviour of storks basically ceased after hatching.


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