A Visit from Storks!

This morning there’s thunder everywhere, so I went out early to feed the chickens. I’m glad I did, because when I looked into the pond behind the house, I saw something in addition to the usual great egret and blue heron: wood storks!

At first there were just three. I love how their shadows look.

They used to visit for a while periodically, but lately they just drop by and move on. I’m so glad I got to catch them before they left. They are such gorgeous birds, with white bodies, black heads and black wing tips that make them easy to spot when they are flying.

mmm, minnows

You know they are big when you compare them to the resident blue heron, who is HUGE thanks to all those catfish and minnows it ate while the ponds were drying up.

Later there were lots of them, to the annoyance of the blue heron.

Wood storks (Mycteria americana) are the only American stork, and they move around with the seasons. Interestingly, they must have shallow water to feed in, because they feed by touch. That’s why they breed when water levels are falling (in South America). They are predominantly subtropical birds, which is why they hang around here only when it’s warmer. They are listed as a threatened species in the Western hemisphere, because of predation (bad ole caracaras) and believe it or not, ecotourism disturbing their nesting colonies. (Source: Wikipedia via iNaturalist)

You can see the wing here.

I’m extra happy to have gotten some videos. The one of them flying away is so lovely. I hope they visit again soon!

Very short, but pretty
Goodbye! Thanks for visiting!

PS: Yes, we had a good amount of rain yesterday, and should have more today. Happy news for all the plants around here!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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