Audubon Corner, February 2016
2/28/2016 - The Wood Stork can be up to 4 feet tall, have a wingspan of up to 6 feet, and weigh up to 10 lbs. - a very large American wading bird. They have a dark brown head and neck with a black bald face. They are white with black tail and flight feathers, and have long dark legs and a heavy black bill with a down curve at the end. This is the only Stork that is native to and breeds in the United States (in the southern states, mostly Florida and Georgia). They have been upgraded from endangered to threatened as a species.
Wood Storks have been known to fly as high as 6,000 feet. Their large nests are made out of sticks and are located in trees in standing water for protection. They like to live in colonies, as many as 25 pairs in one tree. They breed in late winter.
A great place to see them, their nests and chicks, is in early spring at the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine. Wood Storks need 400 lbs. of food to feed themselves and two chicks over just the breeding season and will fly as much as 50 miles to do this. This picture is of a first year juvenile on Lake Monterrey.