Have you seen a wood stork? Up until 2014, these wading birds were listed as an endangered species making them a rare bird to spot. Now they are considered threatened and are still an exciting bird to spot with their unique appearance and flight. You will find them in wetlands and cypress swamps.
What Does a Wood Stork Look Like?
These amazing birds with bald heads are around 3 feet long with a wing span of around 5 feet. That’s a big bird! When in flight, they stretch their necks out and have their long legs extended behind them.
Male and female wood storks look the same with the females being a bit smaller than the males. Pairs mate for life and return to the same spot each year to nest. Wood storks are colonial nesters, building their nests in trees high above the water. Both male and female birds will sit on the eggs.
Where Can I See A Wood Stork?
Wood storks (Mycteria americana) can be found at Tara in late summer and fall. These wading birds are the only storks that breed in North America.They nest in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina in the winter and spring and travel northward in the summer after breeding to go in search of food.
The Mississippi River Nature Weekend is a good time to spot wood storks at Tara. It’s a sight to remember!
How Does a Wood Stork Eat?
Wood storks feed in the water. As they wade through the shallows, they keep a watchful eye out for prey and stick their bills into the water to catch fish. When they feel their prey, they snap their bills shut. While they mainly eat fish, they will also supplement their diet with insects, frogs, crayfish, and even small mammals like mice or voles.
Video of a wood stork feeding on fish
What Does a Wood Stork Sound Like?
Here are some audio clips to hear the sounds of wood storks: