The Ugly Wood Stork of Central Florida
There's Nothing Attractive About These Endangered Birds
Friday October 20, 2017
I Have always called these native American Birds one of the ugliest fowls next to the lowly buzzard. If there's one redeeming thing about their appearance, it's that they are beautiful when they fly.
Wood Storks are often seen around fish cleaning tables begging for scraps or looking for handouts. Although they are listed as endangered in North America, I've never seen a lack of these grand ole storks in our area. My daughter did a book report on Wood Storks several years ago because she was looking for a unique animal other than the Florida Panther or Manatee that many of the other students were writing about. We decided that the stork would be fun and easy to photograph as there were always plenty of them around and we'd have lots of material on the internet and birding books to look to.
Evidently male and females look very similar and that's probably good because I don't think they could bear the looks of the uglier one of the couple. Their faces look like an old country man that's had too much sun and much in need of a facelift. The long bill is extraordinary looking and evidently is perfect for foraging for food in shallow waters, but their bald head would look perfect with a small straw hat.
Wood Storks are about four feet tall (3.3 meters) and are large birds that have tremendous wingspans and long skinny legs. Myths of Storks delivering babies have been around for centuries and to this day, I've never observed a stork cradling a baby in a diaper embraced in it's bill.
In the Brevard County Space Coast area, wood storks are a common site. The birds above were at a retention pond on the side of the road. I'll try and get some better close up photos of these cool American birds, but if you really want to see a wood stork, maybe it's time to catch a few fish and delve in to the wood storks habitat on a Lagooner Fishing Charter.
A habitual vagrant of the cleaning table, the common wood stork is an endangered species that calls central Florida one of it's homes. Look for these old men of the bird family to be around the coastlines and shallow waterways.
Last modified: December 14 2015 16:40:31.
Published by: Captain Richard Bradley of Lagooner Fishing Guides©
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