Asian Openbill is a small stork with conspicuous gap in its bill, allowing the bird to catch its preferred food, the freshwater snails. Adult has white plumage in breeding season, and pale grey for rest of the year. Scapulars, flight feathers and tail are black.
Head is white or grey. The open bill is formed by a hollow in the lower mandible. Both mandibles meet at tip.
Asian Openbill feeds in rice-fields and marshes in freshwater. It breeds near inland wetlands. It lives in shallow marshes and flooded areas.
Asian Openbill feeds mainly on molluscs, and particularly freshwater snails, Apple Snails, (genus “Pila” – Ampullariidae), living in rice-fields and swamps. Prey is located by touch and sight. The gap in the bill allows good grasp of the snail’s shell. Asian Openbill walks slowly in shallow water, searching for prey. It extracts snail from the shell, with pointed lower mandible.
Asian Openbill feeds mainly on Apple Snails, but it also consumes frogs, crabs and large insects, and other small aquatic animals.