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Juveniles are browner
Breeds in much of India and Sri Lanka and in mainly coastal areas from Burma and southern China south to Malaya and from the Philippines, Borneo and Sumatra east to New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago and Solomon Islands, and Australia. In Australia a northern coastal species found from about Shark Bay in Western Australia to central New South Wales.
Four subspecies are recognised:
Coastal mudflats, islands, estuaries and mangroves up to 2,300m. In some areas common in coastal towns.
It nests in mangrove trees, close to water. The nest is made of twigs and sticks, usually lined with dried mud. The 2 white eggs have scattered red-brown blotches. Both adults care for the young.
The diet includes frogs, small snakes, crabs, insects and fish. It also scavenges.
Call: a mewing keeyew, kweeaa or kyeeer.
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