Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Wood Storks Of Corkscrew Swamp!

A fascinating creature...
Standing tall...I was protected by a fenced in boardwalk when I took this photo.
Always in pursuit of food...
Ok, so not the prettiest bird in the universe...
Yes, that is a gator in the background...
follow me...  
The wood stork is another common sight here in Florida. We usually see them by the road side, wading in almost any pool of standing water. They can stand erect, commanding a second look, especially in larger groups. My hubby often says that they are holding a union meeting! 
Quite playful, they seemed to go about their day peacefully. Not nearly as aggressive as the egret.  
Very regal looking creatures, larger than most of their sloshing buddies, dressed always in formal attire! 
A few facts: "Wood storks are tall, white denizens of freshwater or brackish wetlands and swamps. They can be identified by their long legs, featherless heads, and prominent bills. These waders feed on minnows in shallow water by using their bills to perform a rare and effective fishing technique. The stork opens its bill and sticks it into the water, then waits for the touch of an unfortunate fish that wanders too close. When it feels a fish, the stork can snap its bill shut in as little as 25 milliseconds, an incredibly quick reaction time matched by few other vertebrates. The storks prefer to employ this technique in isolated pools created by tides or falling freshwater levels, where fish congregate en masse. In some areas, such as Florida, breeding begins with the dry season that produces these optimal fishing conditions. Though wood storks eat small fish, they eat a lot of them. An average nesting pair, with two fledglings, may eat over 400 pounds (181 kilograms) of fish during a single breeding season. Wood storks are social animals. They feed in flocks and nest in large rookeries—sometimes several pairs to a single tree. Females lay two to five eggs, which both sexes incubate for about one month. Young fledge about two months after hatching."

~National Geographic~

sharing with: http://paying-ready-attention-gallery.blogspot.com/

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25 comments:

Stewart M said...

Great set of shots - I love the variety of the birds, and especially the way that the 'gator is just casually loafing about in the background!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

TexWisGirl said...

had one stop here one winter for a couple of days. just a fascinating prehistoric-looking creature! loved it!

Cris, Oregon Artist said...

Wow what fascinating birds.Their heads look like they are about a hundred years old and their body's 20 years old in fancy costumes. Why aren't they afraid of the gators?

Deanna said...

They look quite formal in their black & white attire. But what ugly water they walk around in. I guess gators and birds must dwell peacefully together. What a collection!!

Kathy said...

You've gotten some fabulous shots at this swamp!

Sharon Wagner said...

I'm so jealous that you captured spoonbills at corkscrew!

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

I think they're beautiful! Well, the face may not be beautiful in the classical sense, but it is a striking bird. The shot with the stick in his mouth and the feathers fluffed out is awesome!

dinascitywildlife.com said...

Nice shots of the whole group! I've got to get down there one of these days.

HansHB said...

Great photos!
Happy WBW to you!

NatureStop said...

WOW!!!so many of them...variety indeed:)Great shots. Have a great day!

Shantana

mick said...

Great photos of fascinating birds.

Gordon said...

A truely great set of pics, the one with a good veriety of birds and the gator, epitomizes Florida birding for me, its in your face, its just great.
Take care, Gordon.

The Artful Diva said...

I had a lovely egret strut through our yard yesterday!

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Great pictures. I've only seen ONE wood stork in my area...it was a rogue. Your photos are super. And I saw a gator... oh oh. Bud and I saw two today, while out birding.

EG CameraGirl said...

The faces of these birds are evidence that birds are descendants of dinosaurs. Their wings are beautiful though.

eileeninmd said...

Cool shots of the Corkscrew birds. I love the wood storks. I pretty much saw the same scenes at Corkscrew last week when I was there. It is an awesome place for birding. Beautiful photos.

Karen said...

Oh wow! Aren't they interesting.

Carletta said...

I thought I saw a gator. Oh my.
Loved the storks and the other birds as well.
Maybe not the prettiest face I agree but sure looks like they're wearing a fluffy white boa when their feathers are all ruffled up.
Loved these shots!

Julie G. said...

Wow, excellent photograph series of the feeding birds at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary! You've got some marvelous Wood Stork images, as well as many of the other wading birds. What a delight it must have been to see such a wide variety of birds (and an alligator!) foraging in one area. Wood Storks are very cool birds, indeed!

bailey-road.com said...

What fabulous captures!

Neil said...

Great series.

Carola Bartz said...

A union meeting - ha!
They might not be the most attractive bird, but they certainly are fascinating. I feel the same about the turkey vultures - not pretty, but they always capture my attention, Such graceful gliders.
So, the alligators don't hunt those birds?
Good thing there was a fence with all those gators around...

Wally Jones said...

What a great post! Fantastic images from Corkscrew!

It's wonderful to see the storks with possible nesting material! They have been in serious decline throughout the Everglades for several years.

Thank you for sharing all of this!

missing moments said...

I do find them rather prehistoric in their features and not the loveliest of all our winged friends but still fascinating! Better be watching out for that alligator!

Lisa Gordon said...

Rosemary, they are wonderful, and you have captured them so beautifully!

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