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!
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.
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.
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)
I’m extra happy to have gotten some videos. The one of them flying away is so lovely. I hope they visit again soon!
PS: Yes, we had a good amount of rain yesterday, and should have more today. Happy news for all the plants around here!