Sexes alike, but female slightly smaller than male; grey plumage; naked red head and upper neck; young birds are brownish-grey, with rusty-brown on head. Pairs, family parties or flocks; also feeds along with other waterbirds; known to pair for life and usually well-protected in northern and west-central India, but habitat loss continues to be a grave threat; flies under 12 metres off ground.
marshes, jheels, well-watered cultivation, village ponds.
fish, frogs, crustaceans, insects, grains, tubers.
most common in N and C India (E Rajasthan, Gujarat, N and C Madhya Pradesh, Gangetic plain).
very loud, far-reaching trumpeting, often a duet between a pair; elaborate dancing rituals.